Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Bush, Rice and the Deceptive Language - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
Select Page

A day after the stop of the “military actions”, the term resolution 1701 uses to describe the Israeli brutal aggression, President Bush talked about “The Middle East”, and then his Secretary of State wrote an article in The Washington Post on “The road to a lasting peace in The Middle East”.

However, neither perceived any necessity to condemn the killing of Arab civilians in Lebanon. Neither denounced the massacres Israel committed in many Lebanese towns and villages, only because the criminals were Israelis and the victims were Arabs. Rather, President Bush classifies these massacres as part of the war on terror.

What is noticeable is that President Bush talked about “the emerging democracies” in Iraq and Afghanistan and intentionally ignored the emerging democracy in Palestine which produced “fair and transparent” elections as President Carter testified. President Bush did not say a word about the abduction of the speaker of the Palestinian Parliament Aziz Dweik by Israel and the kinds of torture he was subjected to by Israeli secret services. President Bush and his Secretary of State failed to condemn the destruction of Palestinian democracy by Israel. This signifies that the United States adopts “democracies’ and abolishes others according to its own agenda and purposes.

In his long statement, President Bush intentionally ignored all what is going on in Palestine, and focused on “the determination of the peoples of Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan to live in peace and freedom”. He could not recognize that reality shows that the complete bias of American Policies to Olmart’s Government in its aggression and crimes has become a true obstacle in the road to “the peace, the freedom and the democracy” peoples aspire. If terrorism, as President Bush says, is “the killing of innocent people for political purposes” then the massacres and deliberate killing of civilians in Lebanon by Olmert’s government is none other than terrorism. So why doesn’t President Bush condemn it?

The problem in President Bush’s statement is the exaggerated use of the terms that have become meaningless. For, what “freedom, peace, and democracy” he talks about while he classifies Moslems as “Fascist”? We all know taht Fascism, Nazism, Racism, and many other bloody movements including terrorism were born in Europe and America. Has any Moslem ever accused westerners of being “Fascist Christians”?

The discourse of the President of world’s superpower is disconnected from the reality of the “Middle East” he talks about, as if President Bush talks about a region other than the Middle East we know and live in. It is no longer accepted that the president of world’s superpower reiterate his wishes of peaceful, safe and free life to peoples of the region while US airplanes carry the internationally banned cluster and phosphorous bombs to demolish houses and kill children.

On the other hand, Miss Rice, Secretary of State, defended UN Security Council Resolution no. 1701 and concluded that the mission today is to achieve “just, comprehensive and lasting peace”. This is what Arabs, particularly Syria, have always emphasized: lasting peace must be just and comprehensive. Shall we understand that Rice’s statement is an expression of political will to head towards peace, or is it just words similar to the words of President Bush about “freedom, peace, and democracy” used only to absorb anger and wrath here or there?

The last war on Lebanon has proven that people never give up their rights. Terming the resistance movements as “terrorist” will never deter them from continuing strife to restore the usurped land and rights. The terms Washington uses today have become of no importance, because they are of one source, which is the Israeli definition of things. Even Israeli writers and Israeli press call for self-re-questioning after the war on Lebanon, (See, for example, Haaretz Aug. 18, 2006) while American Administration refuses to abide by its own constitution and by international terms of reference and UN Security Council resolution related to this conflict. How then Arabs will receive the speeches of Bush or Rice!

The American policy in the region shows that US has no respect for the minds, dignity and feelings of Arabs and Muslims. Unless the US reconsider its extremist policy in the region and stop addressing reality with wrong and distorted concepts and approaches the results will be very dangerous and will spare none. Will this administration wake up, acknowledge the demands of “peace freedom and democracy”, and stop its support to aggressions and war criminals?

It is a historical opportunity to make “just lasting, and comprehensive peace” in a region where people aspire for freedom from foreign occupation. Will the American administration live up to the challenge this time? Or will it continue to be confined to the racist concepts it has against Arabs and cause more damage to “security, peace and democracy in the Middle East and may be in the world?

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban

Prof. Bouthaina Shaaban is political and media advisor to the Syrian presidency, and the former minister of Expatriates. She is also a writer, and has been a professor at Damascus University since 1985. She received her PhD in English Literature from Warwick University, London. She was the spokesperson for Syria. She was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.

More Posts