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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 25, 2003

Estimating The Seismic Impact Of Hussein's Overthrow

The ramifications go well beyond the Israeli/Palestinian chaos.
Today we confront Saddam Hussein again. The centrality of the Palestinian issue is still uppermost in Arab minds, but there is no similar, unspoken commitment to do anything about it in Washington.

There is no Arab coalition or consensus against Saddam this time around to be rewarded. George W. Bush has called for a Palestinian state but has done nothing to challenge Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's premise that the Palestinians must be beaten into submission or to contradict Sharon's vision of Palestinian statehood as nothing more than the Bantustans that the old, white supremacist government of South Africa called states.

The seismic impact that the new imperialists in the Bush administration are looking for is aimed at our Arab allies — the theory being that a democratic Iraq will bring about democracy in other Arab regimes, displacing the present Arab regimes deemed corrupt and dictatorial. It is a noble long-term goal, but the old adage of be careful what you wish for comes into play in the short run.

Too sudden modernization in traditional societies is what brought the shah of Iran to grief, and wide-open democracy today would bring Islamic fundamentalists to power in much of the Middle East...
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