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Thursday, March 10, 2005


the avaricious superpower

israeli peace activist and former knesset member uri avnery examines the complex factionalism that is lebanon:

It is difficult to foresee what will happen if the Syrians accede to the American ultimatum and leave Lebanon. There is no indication that the Americans are concerned with the creation of a new fabric of life for the Lebanese communities. They are satisfied with babbling about "freedom" and "democracy," as if a majority vote could create a regime acceptable to all. They do not understand that "Lebanon" is an abstract notion, since for almost all Lebanese, belonging to their own community is vastly more important than loyalty to the state. In such a situation, even an international force will be of no help.

The re-ignition of the bloody civil war is a distinct possibility.
avnery also overviews iraq, syria and iran, and sets the stage for a decline into a more profound and widespread sort of chaos than has beset the middle east in recent decades -- with american and israeli agitation in the name of simpleminded idealism over historical and political complexity at its core.

It is easy to ignite a civil war, whether out of fanaticism or out of intolerable naiveté. George Bush, the (not-so) Quiet American, runs around the world hawking his patent medicines, "freedom" and "democracy," in total ignorance of hundreds of years of history. Hard to believe, but he draws his inspiration from a book by our own Natan Sharansky, a very small genius, to say the least.

Every human being and every people has a right to freedom. Many of us have shed our blood for this aim. Democracy is an ideal that every people has to realize for itself. But when the banners of "freedom" and "democracy" are hoisted over a crusade by an avaricious and irresponsible superpower, the results can be catastrophic.

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