George Bush’s tall ambitions for a short visit to one of the world hottest hotspots tell more about his America than they do about objective reality here. There are no equivalents in superpower annals for American idealistic naivete coupled incongruously with realpolitik cynicism – as selfish, coercive and amoral as any elaborate machinations contrived by Nineteenth Century European potentates.
Perhaps nowhere in recent years has this unique combination of laudable aims and hardnosed guile been demonstrated more than in the US entanglement in Iraq. Bush’s romantic dreams of democracy – sprouting spontaneously and blissfully from the debris of destroyed despotism – all too abruptly led the way straight into a foul morass of uncontrollable mass-slaughter. Optimistic good intentions paved the road to an Arab version of geopolitical hell.
A befuddled Bush must now desperately placate the Islamofascist wrath he incurred. The quickest and surest way of soothing the savage beast is to offer up the sacrifice it hankers after most. In this case it’s Israel – to be shrunken, weakened and flanked with an irredentist Palestinian terror-state.
This isn’t the first time Washington big-wigs seek to pay Arabs off with an Israeli coin. The irony is that the current White House resident is reputedly Israel’s best-ever ally, while in Israel the most unpopular government ever (propped by flunky parliamentarians who’re terrified they’d never get reelected) unconscionably collaborates in the obsequious appeasement of genocidal enemies, against its hapless nation’s most basic existential interests.
The ultimate irony of all ironies is that this latest travesty too is perpetrated in the name of the same syrupy values of freedom and peaceful coexistence that initially inspired Bush’s Iraqi misadventure. Here too the outcome would be devastation. Establishing a jihadist Palestine and casting Israel as America’s fall guy would inevitably produce unparalleled catastrophic havoc and bloodshed.
In a slightly more just world, everything which transpired in Iraq should constitute the most vigorous of contraindications imaginable against jeopardizing Israel to remedy the Iraqi plague.
But as in Iraq, American policymakers have no inkling about the fictitious national entities they tinker with. The root cause of everything which went wrong in Iraq is the fact that there’s no Iraqi nation. Likewise there’s no Palestinian nation, though hastily granting it self-determination nevertheless tops G.W.’s agenda in the professed expectation – equally as baseless as in Iraq – that immediately thereafter goodwill and democracy will blossom all over.
Iraq’s misery, alongside corresponding travails within the entire original jurisdiction of Britain’s post-WWI mandate over Palestine (astride both banks of the Jordan), was triggered by Perfidious Albion. The sordid saga didn’t originate in Iraq or in the mandated territory covered by the new name (of Roman mint and European currency) which Britain introduced to this region: ”Palestine.”
The tangled web was first spun in the Arabian Peninsula where two rival clans vied for control- the Saudis and the Hashemites. Britain bet on the wrong horse – Hussein, Mecca’s Hashemite chieftain, who lost control of Islam’s holiest city and surrounding Hejaz to his arch-adversaries, the Saudis. Had Hussein won, Bush and Co. would today be cozying up to oil-rich Hashemite Arabia. Instead we’re saddled with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Jordan and told that downtrodden Palestinians are denied sovereignty.
To make it up to the losers, British imperialism in 1921 gave Mesopotamia – which London called Iraq and which it ruled via another League of Nations mandate – to Feisal, one of defeated Hussein’s sons. So rooted to Fertile Crescent soil was Feisal, that he previously declared himself King of Syria, only to be chucked out by the French, after they had procured a Mandate over that possession.
Britain obligingly fashioned an alternative realm for the frustrated Feisal by artificially stitching together the three Ottoman vilayets (regions) of Baghdad, Basra and Mosul, despite the absence of common ethnic or religious bonds. Upon these Britain imposed Sunni Hashemite rule, against which the natives kept rebelling. In 1958 the Hashemites were ignominiously deposed. Subsequent ruthless Sunni tyrants kept the pressure-cooker lid tightly sealed, until benevolent Americans – perceiving democracy to be natural even in democrat-deficient environments – lifted it.
Also in 1921 an intrinsically related British treachery ripped 77% of the Palestine Mandate – designated as the National Home for the Jewish People – and handed it to Feisal’s brother, Abdullah. He automatically sought the title of Emir of Palestine, but London made him settle for Transjordan.
No Transjordanian nation appears in human chronicles (but then again, neither does a Palestinian). Artificially-conceived during the first partition of Palestine, Transjordan expanded into Jordan when in 1953 it unilaterally annexed the “West Bank.” Its headliners consistently stressed that “Jordan is Palestine” and so did Palestinian hotshots, including Arafat. The PLO Covenant indeed covets all of Jordan precisely because it’s Palestine. In time it became expedient, propaganda-wise, to claim that Palestine exists exclusively west of the Jordan River, justifying the campaign to wrest more territory from Israel in order to launch … a second Arab-Palestinian state.
Fearing that his Palestinian subjects would collude with the PLO to overthrow their imported Hashemite monarchy, then-King Hussein (Emir Abdullah’s grandson) kicked out the PLO in Black September, 1970. Too bad. Had Hussein failed, Arafat’s heirs would today run Amman instead of Abdullah II and nobody could dispute that Palestine is divided among Jews and Arabs, with Arabs owning nearly four-fifths thereof.
Bush’s grand historic “vision” is founded on abetting the falsehood of Palestinian disenfranchisement so as to help America suck up to anxious Arab autocrats (including those double-dealing Saudis). Washington’s current hope is that the unholy mess His Majesty’s meddlers left in Iraq might be alleviated by exacerbating the mess they created in the Jewish homeland’s barren badlands, which the international community earmarked for Jewish resettlement.
Hard to unsnarl the twisted strands of British-Hashemite-Iraqi-Jordanian-Palestinian-American duplicity/folly? Don’t ask Bush to figure it out. His frantic bottom line is to conjure something at Israel’s expense. By the time his quick-fix threatens the Jewish state’s very survival, he’d be retired in Texas and it won’t be his lookout any more. No skin off his nose – only ours.