The American people are largely uneducated in history when compared to our Canadian and European counterparts. Not pre-Colombian or Renaissance history, I'm talking about the years since Ronald Reagan imposed Voodoo economics on America and the world. The disaster that was the Bush Crime Family's reign of terror did not merely include the disregarding of CIA warnings pre-911, a war or two based on false pretenses and economically insane tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. No, this two term trauma also included imposing his will where it had no business. I guarantee, the first remark by at least 75% of readers will be, "when are you guys going to stop blaming Bush and let Obama take responsibility for his own actions?" Actions have consequences, and they are not always felt in the short term. Take, for example, the gutting of the mental health industry by Reagan. Since then the number of homeless Americans, especially veterans with mental illness is unacceptably high. We are still recovering from the financial meltdown of 2008, one that Ben Bernanke said was caused by financial innovation + inadequate regulation = (a) recipe for disaster. So obviously Bush's intervention in Palestine has consequences we are still feeling today, no matter what President Obama tries to do.
Bush pushed for Palestinian elections when Israel, amongst others, cautioned against this as many correctly predicted a Hamas victory. In June 2002, when Bush in a White House speech pressed for the Palestinians to “to elect new leaders” and “build a practicing democracy,” helped encourage an election in a tumultuous time when poor and desperate people often clinged to their guns and religion, as candidate Obama once said. We all know how well that comment went over, even if it couldn't have been more true. In an article in 2006, Salon correctly pegged Bush's folly. "By either creating or failing to deal with hated foreign occupations, he has sown the seeds for militant Islamist movements that gain popularity because of their nationalist credentials."
Fox News' Charles Krauthammer praised then President Bush's foreign policy "accolades" as if the Bush Doctrine was democratizing the Arab World.
America, using power harnessed to democratic ideals, could begin a transformation of the Arab world from endless tyranny and intolerance to decent governance and democratization.
History of the region is poorly portrayed by American media outlets, especially Fox News, who is an arm of the Israeli Likud Government. Unlike Netanyahu, even his own nephew is vehemently against war, and this war is not just based on religion. This conflict is actually one very much like the displacement of Native Americans based on Manifest Destiny in the nineteenth century. Up until the formation of the Jewish State, the area was occupied by roughly 85% Muslims, and it was a real place called Palestine. Many say Palestine is not a “real” country, but the folks who lived there for hundreds of years would beg to differ. The tired argument heard more times than I can count is that no neighboring Arab nation would take them. Then again, what country welcomes immigrants with open arms these days? Look how America treats our Central American refugees.
The land was abruptly divided when the Zionists formed the nation of Israel in 1948, divided by not only religious disagreements but for the simple fact the residents were forced onto reservation-like conditions after hundreds of years of living on their own land. Add things like blockades of supplies, disruption of utilities and curfews, the Palestinians were not welcomed by Israeli society but were treated, from the onset, like pariahs. The “catastrophe,” or “nakba,” of Israel’s creation, during which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were driven from their homes into exile. Seldom do we hear in the American media the perspective from the Palestinians' side. The Center for Research on Globalization, based out of Montreal, Quebec tells a different story here about Israel.
It took six months to complete, consider the toll, and understand the Nakba’s meaning. It displaced 750,000 to 800,000 people – men, women, children, the elderly and infant civilians. Many hundreds or thousands of others were killed. Sweeping destruction was carried out. It erased 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem and other cities....Golda Meir said: “There are no Palestinians” and Menachem Begin and Nobel Peace Prize recipient called Palestinians “two-legged beasts” and said Jews were the “Master Race” and “divine gods on this planet."
History clearly remembers there was another person in Nazi Germany that claimed they were also the "master race," so the irony here is pretty astounding. There are a growing number of disenchanted IDF Israelis who have grown tired of military-only solutions to problems. By taking this position, these people are often imprisoned for their pacifist beliefs. If war is the only solution, the ideology of Netanyahu and his neocon friends McCain and Graham will sadly prevail in the region.