you wondered about the plague
of crickets that recently hit the American Midwest, not
to mention the
tornadoes that have been swooping down on us, destroying
whole towns and tearing up the landscape like a MOAB
from heaven. And, say, what's up with the record
heat we've been having? Pat
Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network has the
April 30, 2003, America was positioned as the catalyst to
jump-start the so-called 'solution' to the Middle East crisis.
As U.S.-backed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was
sworn in, the 'Road Map' peace plan was set in motion.
very next day began the worst month of tornadoes in American
history, more than 500 in a single month. Normally, 1,000
tornadoes hit the United States each year, but this year,
in just eight days in May, 375 twisters ripped across the
heartland of America."
spooked yet? Then getta loada this:
in Israel, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns told
a group of left-wing activists that 'common sense' would override
the conservative and Christian viewpoints concerning the road
9th, 2003, President Bush addressed students at the University
of South Carolina. Bush called on the Palestinians to embrace
the road to peace, and see the flag of Palestine raised over
a free nation.
later, tornadoes returned and Oklahoma City again became the
bulls-eye for deadly twisters, reducing what was left of businesses
and homes to splinters and bricks."
later, come to think of it, in the early morning of May 10,
I experienced my
recent heart attack a sign of divine displeasure
if ever there was one – and it looks like I wasn't
the only one. The SARS epidemic was then at its height,
raising fears of global economic
as well as health repercussions.
tornadoes, biblical clouds of crickets – how can all that
be attributed to coincidence? I'm giving myself the heebie-jeebies
as I write this, but how else can we explain the plight of
Jeff Urban, the Sacramento Grizzlies left-handed pitcher,
won a game since May 10? The wrath of God is upon us for
betraying Israel, avers Pat Robertson, who recently said:
am telling you, ladies and gentlemen, this is suicide. If
the United States and I want you to hear me very clearly
if the United States takes a role in ripping half of Jerusalem
away from Israel and giving it to Yasser Arafat and a group
of terrorists, we are going to see the wrath of God fall on
this nation [in a way] that will make tornadoes look like
a Sunday school picnic."
lot happened on May 10, 2003. Marine
Lance Cpl. Matthew R. Smith, 20, Anderson, was killed
in Kuwait when the Humvee he was driving crashed, a reminder
of what the burden of empire entails. As the number of U.S.
casualties in Iraq sprints
past 200. and organized resistance is on the rise, the
long-term consequences of our new imperial policy are becoming
all too apparent. For Israel, it means that the religious
and ideological conceptions that are its founding myths are
in jeopardy if not entirely neutralized. Even if God did
give Israel to the Jews, it is Caesar's prerogative to take
some part of it away. Caesar, in this case, being George W.
Bush, who, in laying down the road map so soon after the Iraq
war, showed his hand with total confidence that he had the
military and diplomatic equivalent of a full house.
the U.S. as the dominant power in the Middle East, the terms
and conditions of regional survival had been totally transformed,
and the President acted swiftly to impose his imperial will.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be "solved," the Iranians
and the Syrians would be tamed, if not overthrown, and the
region would be dominated by the U.S. military presence in
Iraq, where American centurions would stand guard for the
next decade or so.
relieving Israel of the burden of the occupation, the U.S.
is arrogating the role of occupier to itself on a regional
architects of America's post-9/11 policy of imperial "preemption"
no doubt believe they are acting in Israel's interests: the
leveling of the only secular alternative to radical Islamism
and a threatening U.S. posture against Iran and Syria do serve
Israel's interests. The war was fully in accord with the "Clean
Break" policy memo earlier laid out by top administration
officials back in 1996 for then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
except that Israel had to do none of the heavy lifting.
Instead, the main military prescription – taking out Iraq
and grabbing the Syrians, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, etc., by the
neck was accomplished by the United States. But now
the bill is coming due, and, while Ariel Sharon may be willing
to pay, albeit grudgingly, and not without a lot of haggling,
his supporters may not let him.
Robertson and his flock were vociferous supporters of the
war in Iraq. It was Robertson who said, in answer to a question
about the millions of peace marchers:
think more particularly in the second Psalm the kings of the
earth are aligned against the Lord and against His anointed.
They are against Israel. They are against Christianity. They
are against Jesus."
factions and their foreign
sponsors have, for the most part, agreed to make a deal:
now the pressure is on Sharon to make real concessions. If
the Iraq war was fought to make the Middle East safe for Israel,
then Sharon must agree to the American conditions – the creation
of an independent Palestinian state where Jewish settlements
used to be. The U.S., in forcing Israel to bet its security
and its future on a very long shot deal, is merely acting
like any imperial power would: unilaterally, firmly, even
a little arrogantly.
is against Israel now? Robertson and his followers
wanted the war that gave the U.S. hegemonic power in the Middle
East. Now they must live with its consequences.
road map the effort of a great power to impose its will
on weaker, smaller nations is an imperialist act just as
much as the war in Iraq. It may yet require
the introduction of U.S. troops to enforce its terms,
as some, like Senator Richard Lugar, Tom
Friedman, and Kofi Annan, propose.
is presented to the peoples of the Middle East as the road
map to peace is, for the U.S., the road map to empire. The
tragic irony is that whatever peace is produced by our actions
will likely be as precarious and fleeting as our dream of
storms, rampaging insects, diseases run amok, and other unnatural
disasters – all this is relatively mild stuff compared to
the troubles we'll have with our newly won empire. In that
sense, the Reverend Robertson's calling down hellfire and
damnation on errant U.S. government policy is right on the
mark. To which I might add: brother, you ain't seen nothing
Please Support Antiwar.com
520 S. Murphy Avenue, #202
Sunnyvale, CA 94086
or Contribute Via our Secure
Credit Card Donation Form
Your contributions are