Bush's Mission Accomplished: Nothing
Powell's Not So Un- Successful Mission
By Mario Giardiello
Powellís mission can be viewed as a success or failure depending on whom you ask. The Israeliís obviously see it as a great success because it made them look stronger and independent. On the other hand, the Arab world, who want nothing more than for the Palestinian people to have their own land, saw it as a complete failure. The question is how the Bush administration views this mission.
It is my contention that the Bush administration accomplished what it set out to do: pretend that they were concerned about the Arab plight, and talk tough to Sharon and Israel without enforcing a withdrawal. Even though we planned on getting tough on Israel, we surely had no intention of making them withdraw from the previously occupied land of the Palestinians. This was a puppet show, with Bush being the master puppeteer. Israel plays the role of star puppet, as they continue to monitor the tenuous area and ensure the U.S. interests are protected. Bush accomplished exactly what he intended: nothing. His continued reference to Sharon as a "man of peace" is not only insulting to the open-minded, progressive thinker, but has infuriated Arab leaders and pushed them further away from a coalition badly needed to fight our war on terrorism.
As a liberal who is disgusted with the one-sided view of terrorism, I understand the incredible hypocrisy that exists in our foreign policy. The Israeli government/army is equipped with all the latest technological weapons that the U.S. could supply, and because they are so militarily advanced it is difficult for our country to view their deeds as terrorism. Terrorism has come to be associated with guerilla warfare, solely the deeds from people who are not technically advanced to defend themselves through advanced means. Palestinians have had their homes taken away from them, have seen their children killed through Israeli aggression, and have seen the West continuing to disrespect their religion and culture have become so desperate for a solution, that they are willing to kill themselves in order to progress their cause. And this our government views as terrorism when all the while the Israeli government is the true aggressors. Since 1948 when the U.N. gave this land to them they expelled more than 600,000 Palestinians from their homeland and since that time thousands more Palestinians were expelled, put in refugee camps, or killed.
A terrorist expert has recently defined terrorist as a person who attacks civilians for political or religious gain. Israelís "war on terrorism" is a political charade that hides Sharonís real intentions; to gain as much Palestinian land as possible before any peace process can begin. Sharon has never been shy about this goal. He has always been militant about the expulsion of Arabs from "greater Israel" and he has shown by his evil deeds of the 1980ís and 90ís that he is willing to do it by any means possible; or at least by any means that the U.S. will allow of him. By this definition, it is obvious that members of Israeliís government (not Israel) are terrorists. Sharon has never given us reason to believe that he intends to live harmoniously with the Palestinians. In fact, we have every reason to believe that if he had it his way, he would commit the greatest genocide since Nazi Germany.
So Powell is home acting dejected, but hopeful. He is a liberal masquerading as a Republican, a black man ignoring his heart, a man forgetting his allegiances, and he is doing this all for political gain. But I too, am hopeful. I am hopeful that someday he will come home to his Party, and to his conscience, and to begin to do the real work of negotiating peace. The work of the Democrats.