Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Security Theory

Laura Mills kindly translated this article from Arabic by Fawwaz Trabulsi:
"The Burnt Sacrifice of Security

By Fuaz Tarablusi

Talk of the triumph of the security theory over the Arab-Israeli conflict is nothing new. What is new, that has been revealed by the blood of Gaza, and the burnt sacrifice of Gaza, is to what extent this triumph has become a tangible Arab matter. And this at a time that has resulted in the burnt sacrifice of Gaza, as a result of the brave resistance of its people, of more than a thousand Palestinians killed, and thousands injured and the destruction of vital parts of the Strip, only to affirm that the Israeli Army “still has a security force deterrent,” that’s what Minister of War Barak informs us! As if we didn’t know!

Everything falls under the American theory of “peace and security.” And its two foundations, “solving the conflicts” through “confidence building” or forced subjugation, and in both cases, without treating the causes. As for “confidence building,” it is revealed by the presence of the King of Saudi Arabia and the President of the Jewish state at the same conference on “a dialogue of religions.” And as for forced subjugation, it has been imposed on 300 million Arabs that they don’t have any position or role in this world other than protecting the security of a militaristic, imperialistic, colonial, expansionist state. It forced most of the people from their country and occupied and occupies a larger part of historic Palestine, using up Arab land in the Golan and southern Lebanon. And the methods here are the methods of “the creator of chaos” of killing and assassination and occupation and wars without end and state terrorism when it’s useless to impose it through politics and “culture.” And the secret in both cases is that this Arab world is afflicted by a cultural-religious “epidemic” that must be exterminated, it has resorted forcefully to “violence” and “extremism.” Believe it or not!

What has permitted this 360 degree transformation in the balance of the conflict? How did the issue of Palestine become transformed from an issue of freeing a country of the last colonized people in the world, struggling for the sake of their right to self-determination in a homeland and state for almost three quarters of a century, to become an issue of protecting colonialism by its victims? And the occupied are submissive to the yoke of its occupation?

The answer is hidden in the reality of the Arab-Israeli conflict in the trilateral relationship between the Arabs and Israel and America. “Palestine is the central Arab issue.” This saying often carries worries. Among them is the indication that this is the last source of differences between the Arabs and the West. And that it’s the key to solving the current problems of the region. And in the explanations a measure of idle talk and delusion. Be that as it may, for a hollow action has happened in a region surrounded by “the central issue” which has included all elements of life in it, patriotic and nationalistic and economic and social and cultural, before finally bypassing Palestine itself. And it’s a hollowing out where Israel and the United States exchange roles and positions.

The year 1967 didn’t have any distinctive relationship in contemporary Arab history to a joke. Israeli aggression played a principal role vis a vis Egypt in the fall of Abd al-Nasser’s regime, and the production of a response to it from the backbone of the regime itself. And Egypt was brought under American influence, through Saudi money, and the alliance with the Soviet Union was broken up, and Gamal Abd al-Nasser and his regime were not, with the Arab and international backlash that he set loose, an absolute danger to the security of Israel itself, but he constituted a danger to the colonial interests in the region fed up with the Arab regimes tied to them, especially the oil regimes. And it was he who committed a “mortal sin” when he announced that “Israel is America and America is Israel.” On the other hand, instead of leading to the arrival of the Ba’th to power in Iraq and Syria to build an Eastern front to confront Israel, realizing unity between the regions, it lead to a breach between them.

The second station on this path is the entrance of the region into a stage of a second unraveling. On account of Egypt’s departure from the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Egypt is the connection between the Arab East and the Maghrib, this led Cairo to plead for a mediating role between Israel and the Palestinians. A role which has increased its isolation to the extreme. It entered into the Oslo Agreement under the Palestinian delusion that Israel needs Palestinian participation to achieve peace, which granted Israel sole authority instead of recognizing the people’s right in self-determination, in exchange for Palestinian recognition of Israel and realizing the separation of the issue of the West Bank and Gaza from the remaining the Palestinian people (in the diaspora?) and within the borders of 1948, which led to the disastrous results that we know: the suppression of the first Intifada and the siege of Yasir Arafat, after it appeared that he couldn’t be forced to protect Israel’s security, resulting in his assassination by a slow death, and when “the honest broker” that America and Israel demanded, came the age of all the concessions possible from Mahmoud Abbas before the announcement of “his failure” to do what? To protect the security of Israel! As for (?), Oslo was the greatest excuse possible granted to most of the Arab regimes to disengage from the Palestinian issue, according to the saying “as long as the judge is satisfied,” and they are the regimes in a hurry to escape from the last point of difference that (?) without their submission to American will. Even if we assumed, for argument’s sake, that “the neutrality” of America was possible, and implored it to pressure Israel for the sake of a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and it played the role of “the honest broker,” which it never has, raises the question: what would it take for the Arab regimes to use their pressure on America? The answer: these regimes (didn’t have sufficient) lack of preparation of any components to pressure, indeed they frittered away what they originally had as far as components of power. After 1973, Arab oil was taken out of the battle as a means of pressure for the sake of a just solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict and as it is a definitive element in Arab development that allows the Arabs in general to progress finally to the twenty-first century. The principal wealth transformed the region into trillions of petrodollars invested in supporting international capitalist economies. And (pledges?) effectively achieved in its banks and companies and treasury bonds, (consuming/wearing out?) speculation in the currency bubble, this at a time when that money was not the subject of the astronomical fall and foolish luxurious consumption.

The explosions of September 11, 2001 achieved total cohesion between the United States and Israel around the slogan of the never-ending war on terrorism. Then came Sharon. And the occupation of Iraq completed the removal of another principal Arab country from the Arab-Israeli conflict. However, what is new here is the lack of contentment with launching two wars on the last two centers of resistance in Lebanon and Gaza and, on the contrary, the demand of the Arab regimes themselves to be entrusted with protecting the security of Israel within its borders this time.

Let’s go back to security. There no longer exist any effective armies in the region except for the Israeli army. After the shrinking of the size of the Egyptian army, and the disintegration of the Iraqi army. Indeed, the agreement on shared Arab defense has ended with the commitment of Egypt and Jordan to defend the security of Israel, not Arab security. So that some Arabs feel the danger of Iranian nuclear weapons more than they feel the danger of 400 Israeli nuclear warheads.

Security. Security. Security. “It’s not the concern of Egypt to be proud of war capabilities, but to be proud of the capabilities of the Palestinian people to live in security.” This is a significant slip of the tongue by the Egyptian foreign minister, talking about “security” not about “safety.”

And what is happening now in Palestine resembles, to a great extent, events during the great Arab revolt against British imperialism and Zionist colonialism between 1936 and 1939 when Arab leaders demanded, (?restricted series of British ?), from Palestinians related to the general strike to allow them to negotiate “without pressure” with the British authorities. The leaders of that time left with an emaciated White Paper to limit Jewish immigration, for the national movement demanded an end to the Mandate, then (observers) stopped while the British Army crushed the revolt and reinstated the occupation of Palestine anew with iron and fire.

And the security priority, its iron logic advancing without any leniency. The Arabs bear the responsibility of protecting the security of Israel under Egyptian supervision of the border crossings and preventing Gaza from obtaining weapons, now there is a transfer of the work of changing the nature of the conflict according to Tzipi Livni who informs us that Israel in reality represents the interests of the moderate Arabs, and the conflict today isn’t “Israeli-Palestinian-Arab”. But it’s a conflict between the moderates and the extremists. This is the path that the region is currently being divided up into.

Indeed, she told the truth. That a growing number of Arab regimes continue to need protection from their own people not from Israel. And the danger now is the transition from the example of 1936 to the example of 1948 for the steps (are no longer) far. (Here is) John Bolton, the strongest (turmoil) and racism among the “neo-conservatives” and former (representative) of the United States on the Security Council, calls for the three state solution – handing over Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan – instead of a two-state solution. And the pretext? That the (Palestinian Authority) has failed. Of course, in protecting the security of Israel.

Indeed, (?argued) the national (question/problem?) finally with national change and democratic and internal economic – social. And indeed the Arab people suffered a loss like the loss suffered by the Palestinian people more oppressive losses (happened) the separation between the two matters. And maybe the war that Israel is waging against a popularly elected government (endangers?) to the (furthest belief/illusion)? that the United States wants to impose its “democracy” on us. All that it really wants to impose are the Israeli military and the occupation and hegemony and (imperialism/sultanates).

The “Greater Jihad” now for the sake of Palestine is not merely the word right (?) in the presence of a tyrannical (ruler/power) but the (shedding/ripping away of) two tyrannical powers. (For that) there was the building of power for internal change in every Arab region, and entangled with that, not merely effective solidarity with Palestine, rather expressing vital Arab interests in freedom and work and control over revenue and wealth and social justice. Let’s (avoid/redeem?) 1936, and 1948 not liberation without change.

This is what Gaza and the Palestinian people are announcing from the depths of their wounds and blood."