The Splendid Failure of Occupation: Part 2 of 22
Can We Explain the War on Iraq by Reading Israel?

by B.J. Sabri

December 9, 2003

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“We are fighting an enemy that knows no rules of law that will wear civilian uniforms, that is willing to kill in order to continue the reign of fear of Saddam Hussein.” [1]

-- President George Bush


* Read Part One

Depending on where one is standing, discussing the conjecture where Israel enters into the scene involving Iraq and the Middle East, and on top of that explaining the U.S. war objectives in Iraq is overwhelming. This is not because discussing them is inherently prohibitive or difficult, but essentially, because the subject of discussion is systematically, ideologically, culturally, and politically conditioned to the point that even the most adroit analyses have become pointless, irrelevant to a reality that is proceeding on its own, and a tiring exercise in the art of intellectual frustration. 

Another aspect that makes our task even more daunting is comprehension. If we can barely understand the illiterate confabulations of George Bush, the mummified triplespeak of Don Rumsfeld, the childish justifications of Blair and Straw, and the pedantic lectures of “Proconsul” Minimus Paul Bremerus, how can we hope then to explain complex issues related to Israel, as well as a 13-year-old U.S. war on Iraq that culminated with its occupation?    

Explaining complex issues, however, is not a complicated enterprise. We just need to have a method to break down complexity into simplicity. Accordingly, to understand both the U.S. invasion of Iraq and its Middle East policy, we have to understand Zionism first. The traditional method to achieve that task is by circumnavigating the world, searching, sifting and sorting out tons of historical documents. The alternative method that I am proposing, although unusual for this subject, is a simple comparative model requiring just a few paragraphs and an open mind. The model has nothing to do with politics or ideology and consists exclusively of a logical construction of successive and consequential paradigms that end with a negation-affirmation clause based on Cubism, a 20th century artistic movement!

The cubist artist looks at an object (physical reality) from a precise perspective, but then decides to visualize seeing all of its sides and angles simultaneously. To materialize this visualization, the artist begins by visually deconstructing a physical reality (object) that is not possible to deconstruct except by imagination, and proceeds to depict, materially, its multiple features and sides. During the visual-artistic process of deconstruction, however, the object remains physically unaltered despite its deconstructed representation.

Consequently, depending on the fertility of imagination, the altered representation of a real object could go beyond its initial recognition or configuration, as in the case of a face ending up resembling a steamboat. In addition, if the artist keeps repeating his representations, or depicts new representations based on already altered representations, then the decrease in purported similarity to the object of those depicted deconstructed realities will be in direct proportion with the increase in number of representations. In other words, the last representation in a series of increasingly dissimilar representations is the most dissimilar and very different in relation to the object undergoing representation, as well as, in relation to the first representation of the same series.

Now, if one or more artists produce countless representations of the same object, can any two or more people agree on which one is the nearest to reality? The answer is no, and that is not because of agreement or disagreement, but because the cubist representation has nothing to do with the reality being depicted in the first place. Most interestingly, imagine that instead of one object, we have 10, 20 or more objects grouped together. It is beyond negation that the simultaneous representation of all these objects is going to stretch their multiple realities beyond any valid affirmation of their existence or inexistence as this collective representation is an incomprehensible abstract that no one, except the artist, knows its metaphorical meaning or supposed allegory.

The climax of this dialectical process occurs when we ask a question: what if there is no physical object whatsoever, but the artist imaginatively, speculatively, ideologically, and purposefully depicts a cubist representation that sprang from his own will to imagine, replicate, modify, and depict a reality that does not exist?

By following this reasoning and separating ideological representation from objective reality, we will be able to explain Israel as an achievement of British colonialism and Zionism without fanfare or diatribes. To be able to make this separation, just remember one thing: a deconstructed representation of a reality is not reality. Just look at the object (in our case, subject) before British and Zionists began the deconstruction of Palestinian and Arab realities. From the beginning of the Zionist intrusion in Palestine in the 1920’s until today, the reality that Israel, Zionism, and Western powers made of the Palestinian and Arab issues has gone through endless gross depictions and falsifications that the average person cannot grasp, recognize, or understand its fundamentals.       

Explanation: in 1920, Britain (the mandating colonial power of Palestine, conquered from the Ottoman Empire after WWI) illegally implanted on a land inhabited by ancient and existing people, the seeds of a future political state (Israel). The diverse groups of this state formed a congenital contradiction -- while they had no historical ties, hence no historical connection whatsoever, with the land given to them, they shared one common relation: religion, in this case, Judaism.

In essence, Britain single-handedly affected a monumental replacement of one similar people, with diverse groups of people. The first is nationally homogeneous groups (modern Palestinians) comprising modern descendents form ancient people with similar backgrounds and multi-millennial ties to the land including Philistines, Canaanites, Hebrews, Samaritans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Arabs, Sabaeans, Aramaeans, and Syrians. The homogenization of all these groups through Judaization, Christianization, and Islamization, and, with the bonding cement of massive Arabization through Islam, notwithstanding the continuation of religious affiliation, took over 1400 years to accomplish.

On the other hand, the second group who supplanted or replaced these homogenous groups of ancient people are nationally heterogeneous groups (mainly Eastern Europeans whose ancestors converted to Judaism during the 11th - 13th centuries, including Hungarians, Romanians, Poles, Ukrainians, Russians, etc.) with no ancestral continuity or claim to the land given to them. (Jews descending from Arab, Ethiopians, Persians etc., who also have no ties to the land, moved to the exclusive state for Jews after European Zionists, thanks to Britain, the U.S., and the USSR who sanctioned the creation of Israel in 1948.)

Regardless of the motivations that lead to this transfer, colonialist-imperialist Britain and Zionism played with fire that is still burning and devouring the Middle East. Incidentally, what Britain and Zionism did in Palestine was identical to what British settlers and their American successors did to Native Nations in North America. Except that the Native Nations ceased fighting to recover historical rights, the Palestinians are still fighting!

In the end, the Zionist claim to Palestine is as absurd as the hypothetical claim of all converts to Buddhism on Tibet or India, or as the claim of all converts to Islam, be they non-Arab Muslims or non-Saudi Arabs to Saudi Arabia where Islam took root. Consequently Israel, being implanted illegally and anti-historically amidst the Arabs, has to negate the Palestinian existence and dominate the Arabs (by means of U.S. and European weapons, money, and direct intervention), to assert its primacy and power in a way to overcome its sense of historical incongruity and illegitimacy. Reason: as Palestinians invoke the restoration of historical rights, Israel feeling its incongruity, denies them that privilege, as it may curtail or delete its own acquired privilege of power and political existence. This has become especially true after the transformation of Zionism from a movement to unify Jews regardless of nationality to a full-fledged imperialism in cohabitation with the U.S.

In the very end, the fact that Israel’s supporters and Zionists who have been in gradual but firm control of the United States since the end of WWII, can explain the persistent and implacable U.S. policies against all issues that concern the Arabs. Indeed, prior to WWII, the U.S. and U.S. politicians hardly took any adversarial positions against the Arabs. As for oil and strategic positioning of hyper-imperialism on Arab soil, and the further passage of Zionism to super-militarized imperialism, these are beside the point, and are another matter.

I must emphasize that looking critically at Zionism is not, nor does it coincide with “anti-Semitism”. This is Zionist rubbish, and I can verify this assertion immediately with simple analogies. The fact that I oppose the fascist regime of Saddam Hussein and its legacy does not make me anti-Iraqi, or anti-Arab; and the fact that I oppose the brand of Islam espoused by Bin Laden does not make me anti-Muslim. Likewise, the fact that I oppose Israel’s policy and Zionism does not make me “anti-Jewish” or make me assume hostility toward Jewish traditions, religious holidays, culture, rituals, and the rich history of the all communities who converted to Judaism; that is miserable bigotry and utter cultural ignorance. Notice that I used the term “anti-Jewish” and not anti-Semitic and that is for a reason I shall explain shortly. Also, please pay attention to another matter: the only two states that dub people opposing their policies with the prefix “anti” are Israel and the United States. That is not a coincidence, as we shall see why this is so. 

I have never heard Japan calling its political opponents “anti-Nipponese”, Greece calling its opponents “anti-Hellenic”, or France calling its opponents “anti-French”! It is of interest to notice that the British never accused the IRA fighters for being, “anti-Protestant” or “anti-English. Britain never called Mahatma Gandhi or Mohammad Jinnah (founder of Pakistan) as “anti-English”. In the end, those who invented the term, “anti-Semitic”, are the same who invented the term, “anti-Americanism” to create the illusion of a shared discrimination,  to the point that opposing Israel’s policies is now dubbed “anti-American”.

The apogee of all things frivolous, however, is the charge that an American who opposes the Zionization of U.S. institutions and foreign policy is labeled “anti-American”. Under this ludicrous absurdity, if I were to scold myself for having done something stupid, would I then accuse myself for being, “anti-me”! To conclude, life and existence of nations are not subject to ideological games based on “anti” or “pro”; consequently, it is overdue that we evaluate the ideological use of the prefix, “anti”, as its nonsense goes beyond any useful logic. To uphold this point, if the use of “anti” is a standard and sensible way to describe dissention, are we then entitled to accuse the Bush Administration of, “anti-Arabism”, and “anti-Iraqism” according to the popular adage, “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”?  

How could something like that happen?

When in 1781 the German historian and linguist August Schlözer, invented the term “Semitic” or “Shemitic” to name a group of similar languages spoken In Arabia, Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine, then afterwards spread to Egypt, Ethiopia, and North Africa, his purpose was to indicate an etymological and grammatical affinity. Being a student of theology, he based his nomination on the mythological-biblical assumption that all those who spoke these languages descended directly from Shem, son of Noah, hence the name “Shemitic”, later pronounced just “Semitic”, by dropping the “h”. Schlözer divided Semitic languages in Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western. These languages included, Babylonian, Assyrian, Amorite, Aramaic, Canaanite, Moabite, Hebrew, Phoenician, Punic, Sabaean, Arabic, Ethiopic, Amharic, Nabataean, Samaritan, Mishnaic, Talmudic Palestinian, Talmudic Babylonian, and many other derivations.

Well, Schlözer had no idea whatsoever, that beginning in 1881 the term, “Semitic” would acquire new meaning. In 1897, the Austrian, Theodore Herzl, founder of the Zionist doctrine, and his successors definitively appropriated themselves with that term exclusively to differentiate people of Jewish faith, regardless of ethnicity or history, from any other race or people on earth for reasons that have nothing to do with language structure, grammar, or vocabulary. The true reason was to establish an exclusive Jewish homeland in Palestine to escape European Christian discrimination.

The appropriation of the word “Semitic” did not stop there, as later on it acquired more derivatives, nouns, adjectives, and  even a famous antonym: “anti-Semitic”, indicating a visceral aversion to everything Jewish. Here are some contradictions. Zionists abused both Judaism and anthropology by implying that because Shem is a biblical character, it follows that the Semitic description of Schlözer belongs only to them. Keep in mind that the character of Shem and the universal flood in Genesis are a derivation from Babylonian mythology as in the epic of Gilgamesh. Another contradiction belongs to the Muslim Arabs as they took the bait of “Semitism”, based on their veneration of Jewish scriptures, so now they are Semite too! If Semitism is a misnomer, anti-Semitism is not. “Anti-Semitism” is a deliberate and powerful political instrument of blackmail aimed at silencing and stigmatizing opponents of Israel.  

Here are two critical contradictions that cogently annul the charge of “anti-Semitism” against such opponents:

First: Imagine an alien spaceship carrying extra-terrestrials landed on Earth. Imagine that these extra-terrestrials want to learn a few facts about our troubled planet, as they know absolutely nothing about its culture or history. Now, imagine that a team of unbiased international scholars and scientists explain the situation in the Middle East to our visitors. At this point, if our intergalactic neighbors criticize Israel and its pretentious Zionist ideology, would U.S. Zionists and Israel accuse our guests of “anti-Semitism”?  

Second, suppose I were to convert, genuinely and sincerely, to Judaism and even learn Hebrew, but still maintain my opposition to Zionism because of its narrow ideology, racism, segregation, manipulation of history, and the injustice it inflicted on Palestinians, how then would Ariel Sharon would label me, “anti-Semitic”, “anti-Israeli”, “anti-Jewish, or “anti-Zionist”?

Sharon cannot label me as “anti-Jewish”, because I am now Jewish. That leaves me with three labels. He cannot label me as “anti-Semitic”, because I am an Arab, and Schlözer said that I am entitled to my Semitism because of my language! If Sharon still insists on his position, then I would reply that if I were not a Semite, then neither is he! This is why: he cannot substantiate any genealogical links that tie him directly to a mythological or material character named Shem, and neither can I. That leaves me with two labels. He cannot label me as “anti-Israeli”, because, being a Jewish convert, the Zionist “Law of Return” permits me to go to Israel, and it grants me full Israeli citizenship (unless Israel orders that a modern Arab cannot convert to Judaism! Reminder: at the time of early Islam, there were many Arab tribes adhering to Judaism, who survived as such until present time). That leaves me with one label – “anti-Zionist”. Am I “anti-Zionist”?  

Before responding, I have to specify one thing. As I stated before, the prefix “anti” is misleading, therefore, I consider the term “anti-Zionism” erroneous. Zionism, being only a political movement, can have adherents and adversaries in the guise of Communism, Liberalism, etc.; therefore, based on evaluation of its ideological premises, adherence to, or rejection of it, is a matter of freethinking and choice. Consequently, being an adversary to Zionism is not derogatory, insulting, or anything else. In this case, one can accept Zionism or reject it; therefore, based on its history and consequences on the Arab World and on Iraq, the answer to my question is yes, I oppose Zionism because it opposes me, and because it bases its existence on my extinction. Therefore, even though I accept the existence of Israel as a historical reality, I still oppose the Zionist policies of the Israeli State that were conceived to cancel or rule over my indestructible and universal human rights, whether I am an American, Iraqi, Israeli, Palestinian, or Nepalese.

Well, history went in that direction and now we have a hard reality imposed by weapons. Is there a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question, hence to the problems of the Middle East? Yes. Either a truly independent Palestinian state, or a multi ethnic, pluralistic, demilitarized, non-racist and democratic Israeli-Palestinian state, open for all denominations and not only for people of Jewish faith. A phantom Palestinian state whose people cannot return to it, that has no rights to its surface and underground water, skies, and resources, is essentially a slave state and is a prescription for continuing disasters.

Does the multi-ethnic model sound like Canada or the U.S.? Is that not a feasible and logical model? If it is so, why then does Israel reject it? Can Zionism co-exist with the Arabs? It can but only if this co-existence means disparity, i.e., Israeli superiority. Israel and U.S. Zionists have passed the point of romantic Zionism preaching safe havens for people escaping from Christian persecution.

Zionism today is an international movement not exclusive or confined to specific groups but open to any one in search of unaccountable power or the achievement of something through the intercession of Zionism. Example of this is when U.S. Zionist figures promised that they would help Poland join NATO, if Poland agrees to buy Israeli weapons. Another one was when the same figures asked Franjo Tudjman of Croatia to delete a chapter in a book he had written in the 1950s where he spoke against Zionism, if he wanted the U.S. to lift sanctions on his country. Today you can say Zionist Arab, a Zionist Indian, a Zionist Iraqi, and so on. Most importantly, Zionism is now an integral part of a new type of historical force -- hyper-imperialism -- where Christian Fundamentalism, as well as powerful corporations are fueling its expansionism and aggressive policies toward the world and the Arabs. This, however, is another issue.  

Talking about Zionism inevitably brings us back to Iraq, where in 1999, Thomas Friedman (the New York Times), arrogantly bragged that Iraq belongs to the U.S. (meaning Israel) that it can do with it anything it wants. More than Egypt, Syria, or any other Arab country, Iraq presented Israel with a serious migraine headache. Iraq was the only Arab country that had the means to build an effective modern army and maybe unconventional weapons. Besides, Saddam Hussein was the only daring Arab leader to envision countering Israeli hegemony in the region. His idea was right, but his methods were immature and sinister.

There were two irreparable structural flaws in Saddam’s vision. First, a ruthless, and bloody fascist dictatorship based on the personality cult of Saddam that excluded the people and denied them freedom could never accomplish the task of transforming Iraq militarily or socially according to an advanced geostrategic thinking. Second, he allied himself with Washington, Saudi Arabia, and Israel’s goals in the region, mortgaged his country to the whims of sophisticated imperialism with an agenda and mechanism to implement it; and, finally, he made wars where none were required thus destroying his country in the process.

What Saddam, a vacuous dictator who loved to model in multi-national garments more than studying world history, could have never understood is that after Egypt capitulated to Israel, Israel would have never allowed any other Arab power to challenge it militarily. Under this condition, his monumental Iranian blunder paved the way for endless future disasters for Iraq. Indeed, after Saddam’s American proxy war with Iran, after the US, Israel, and the West oversized him during that war, and after he invaded Kuwait, U.S. Zionists and imperialists seized the opportunity to re-size him and end Iraq permanently.

Next, in part three, we shall investigate current Iraq in relation to the U.N. system, the attack against its headquarters in Baghdad, and how the U.N. responded to it. We shall also address the human costs of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. In addition, we are going to see how the intriguing Iraqi situation leads us to Annan, personally. In part four, we are going to dissect three issues that Annan recently raised: genocide, WMD, and terrorism

Next, Part 3: Annan, the U.N. attack, and other stories.

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. He can be reached at: bjsabri@yahoo.com.

Other Articles by B. J. Sabri


* The Splendid Failure of Occupation: Part 1
* Beyond Empty Triumphalism
The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part One

* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Two

* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Three

* The Hyper-Imperialist Paradigm, Part Four

* Reporting from the Colonialist Side of the Brain

* Thomas Friedman: The Insidious Prophet of Petty Fascism

* Nomen Nudum, Or, Hyper-Imperialists On a Rampage

* Which Prototype is Bush Following: Nero, Holagu, Malthus, Hitler, or Sharon?

* From Guernica to Baghdad Via Dresden and Hiroshima

* Barbaric Era, Year 2003

* When Hercules is Intoxicated, Furious, and Unchained

* War on Iraq and the Pregnant Chads Factor

* Nuclear Blues and the Iraqi Question






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