Sunday, September 30, 2007

John Bolton, the former ambassador to the United States is advocating the bombing of Iran. An accurate assessment of what the United States needs to do but fortunately it is too little, too late. I honestly cannot see any of America's plans for the region succeeding and once it is out of Iraq, I think it will never be able to come back to the Middle East. This would be a good thing, since the presence of Israel in the region remains one of the principle causes for it's lack of development, followed closely by poor governance and corruption. A weakened and less influential United States would be conducive to a lot more stability in the region. I like his criticism of individuals who believe they "have passed beyond history", a very good line.

9 comments:

julius said...

That seems to be somewhat of a canard, blaming the existence of Israel for the lack of development in the entire Middle East. Perhaps you could explain how and why. On the face of it, it seems ridiculous that a country occupying a tiny proportion of the region should be responsible for the developmental failure of every country from Morocco to Iran. Can you explain your reasoning here?

Wassim said...

Julius,
Perhaps you'd like to explain why the world's super powers are so interested in this country occupying one tiny proportion of the region. Why the presidents of the worlds only "superpower" need to voice their unconditional support for that country before they are even elected. On the face of it my claim does seem ridiculous, but we are living in ridiculous times won't you agree? I think you know "why".

julius said...

Come on, Wassim. I really don't know why. I wouldn't have asked otherwise. Saying we live in 'ridiculous' times is not an answer. I'd like to know the rationale behind the assertion.

As to why America supports Israel so strongly? I think the question was rhetorical, but I'll bite. There are a number of reasons. 1. Military/Technology relationship. 2. Trust: Israel is America's puppy dog, it does whatever they say. 3. Evangelical support. 4. Israel Lobby.

Wassim said...

Hi Julius,
Sorry for the late reply. Well I haven't really said that it is responsible for the lack of development from Morocco to Iran, you did. Maybe it is from Egypt to Iran :)

Well the region has it's fair share of developmental problems, but being in a state of war since 1948, coupled with outside interference from the Soviet Union and the United States, as well as our current lovely range of dictators and despots makes it hard for any meaningful development to take place. Where you and I will probably disagree is on the obligation of ejecting Zionism from Palestine, something non-negotiable from my point of view as a Muslim and an Arab and which serves as a bedrock for my argument. So yes, the presence of Israel is the prime cause for the lack of development in the region, in fact, most of the other problems I mentioned in the post stem from this.

julius said...

Thanks, Wassim. You're right, I don't think it's even realistic to attempt remove Israel from the picture. That said, do you think that if Israel were to disappear tomorrow, would there suddenly be democratic and developmental revolutions in the Arab world?
And with the situation as it is, wouldn't it be better to promote democratic and economic development instead of sitting and stagnating? After all, if the Arab world was better developed, it would probably have a much easier time dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian issue. Your argument makes it seem as if the existence of Israel is simply an excuse to avoid improving the Arab world.

Wassim said...

Well the seeds for our disagreement appear to be sown and growing nicely :-)

I think similar debates were made in the Soviet Union and ended with an axe through Trotsky's skull. There is an argument to say that if the Bolsheviks continued exporting their revolution rather than have it snuffed out by Stalin, then the world would be a very different place.

As for the idea of an excuse, you can't build up someones health when they already have a stake stuck through their thigh. You need to remove the foreign object to prevent infection, then you start to heal. What you are proposing would just allow gangrene to spread and kill the body.

julius said...

Thanks, Wassim. I'm not sure that analogy works. It's a little trite. To say "don't expect us to do anything until Israel is eradicated" doesn't seem like a tenable plan. I think it's realistic to expect that Israel will remain where it is, though work should be done to push it back to its 67 borders. At some point, a sense of compromise has enter the picture, no?

Wassim said...

Hi Julius,
Well that's not quite what I said anyway, if you remember in my post I said it was the main reason for the lack of development and I never mentioned that we should wait till it is eradicated.

With regards to tenable plans, the takeover of Palestine by Zionism wasn't considered a "tenable" plan by many either, yet they managed to pull a fast one on history. I don't think we should be limited by such challenges. Still, where I think compromise is and where you do are different too. There can be no compromise with a Zionist government, as there was none with Apartheid or Nazism earlier, but there can be with a secular,democratic government where all are given back their land and possessions and a right of return for Palestinians is sanctified.

julius said...

Hi Wassim:
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by saying that the Zionists "managed to pull a fast one on history." To my understanding, the Zionists developed a plan, built institutions, achieved a critical mass, engaged in diplomacy and declared themselves independent when they were able, a process that took about 50 years.
I think total refusal to compromise with a Zionist government will result in more suffering and no state for Palestinians. Comparisons with Apartheid South Africa and Nazi Germany are facile. The situation in the middle east is far different.