THE LOGIC OF IMPERIAL POLICY

By William Markiewicz

Why does Bush insist that Israel freely continue its colonization policy in the occupied territories in opposition to basic international traditions of adhering to signed agreements? After all, in whose interest is it to set such a precedent? As everybody knows, the Oslo agreements, now the subject of cynical nose-thumbing, led to a Nobel Prize for Begin and Sadat.

And what if Bush doesn't do it to please Israeli extremists and American Christian fundamentalists? What if he's following his own Realpolitik? For an imperial leader, only his own agenda counts. For this imperial power holder, peace in the Middle East may not be in his interest. He may prefer to heat up adversity among opponents (divida et impera). The moment may come when he declares that, in the interest of the USA and the world, a new vision must be established. He may invent some twist in which unilateral support for Israel would be replaced by unilateral -- or almost -- support for Arabs. He may declare, for a change: "Look, we all must make concessions. Just take an example from me; I am the first to compromise (sic). Start real talks - or else."

In the poisonous atmosphere for which he is responsible, an invitation for real talks will be irrelevant. When might those changes happen? In any case, it may happen when Bush starts to feel very uncomfortable with his eternal opposition to the external world. It may happen when he gets tired of his drive toward total power, which for him may be too slow in coming. Israel shouldn't wait to be sucked into being a pawn but should take some distance from this uncomfortable protector and take initiative on its own to quickly decolonize the occupied territories.

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