(Excerpts from Fisk’s article, 02/26/06, on U.S. practices and policies in the Middle East and North Africa. Full text of the article at Information Clearing House.)
Everyone in the Middle East rewrites history, but never before have we had a US administration so wilfully, dishonestly and ruthlessly reinterpreting tragedy as success, defeat as victory, death as life – helped, I have to add, by the compliant American press. ….
Last week’s visit to Beirut by one of the blindest of George Bush’s bats – his Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice – was indicative of the cruelty that now pervades Washington. She brazenly talked about the burgeoning “democracies” of the Middle East while utterly ignoring the bloodbaths in Iraq and the growing sectarian tensions of Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps the key to her indifference can be found in her evidence to the Senate Committee on International Affairs where she denounced Iran as “the greatest strategic challenge” facing the US in the region, because Iran uses policies that “contradict the nature of the kind of Middle East sought by the United States“. …
And so myth-making and tragedy go hand in hand. Iraq‘s monumental catastrophe has become routine, shapeless, an incipient “civil war”. Note how the American framework of disaster is now being portrayed as an Iraqi vs Iraqi war, as if the huge and brutal US occupation has nothing to do with the appalling violence in Iraq. They blow up each other’s mosques? They just don’t want to get on. We told them to have a non-sectarian government and they refused. That, I suspect, will be the get-out line when the next deluge overwhelms the Americans in Iraq….
But let’s just sit back and enjoy the view. Democracy is coming to the Middle East. People are enjoying more liberties. History doesn’t matter, only the future. And the future for the people of the Middle East is becoming darker and bloodier by the day….