Thursday, 31 July 2008

Waiting for World War III: Hypocrisy thy name is Khalilzad!

By Thaj Aluva
In a recent interview with an Austrian daily, Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador to the United Nations, was quoted as saying upheaval in the Middle East and Islamic Civilisation could cause another world war. He made this remark to the daily Die Presse noting that the region is going through a very difficult transformation phase and it has strengthened extremism and creates a breeding ground for terrorism. Mr. Khalilzad’s talk about world war at this juncture has to be taken seriously because of his proximity to the corridors of power in Washington. However, he might be silently calling himself a 'hypocrite' when the talk of a world war at this time completely exonerates the United States, given its disastrous role in turning the Middle East to a "place of turmoil" that it is now. Take for example, Palestine. The United States helped its pet country Israel to steal the land of Palestinians, destroy their homes and olive groves, shoot down their children in the streets, and abuse their women. Noted anti-war activist Paul Craig Roberts describes this situation in an article titled The Shame of Being an American: "The Palestinians have been walled off into ghettos, who cannot reach their farm lands or medical care or schools, who cannot drive on roads through Palestine, that have been constructed for Israelis only. Their ancient towns have been invaded by militant Zionist "settlers" under the protection of the Israeli army who beat and persecute the Palestinians and drive them out of their towns. They cannot allow their children outside their homes because they will be murdered by Israeli "settlers." The Palestinians who confront Israeli evil are called "terrorists." When Bush forced free elections on Palestine, the people voted for Hamas. Hamas is the organization that has stood up to Israel. This means, of course, that Hamas is evil, anti-Semitic, un-American and terrorist. The US and Israel responded by cutting off all funds to the new government. Democracy is permitted only if it produces the results Bush and Israel want. Israelis never practice terror. Only those who are in Israel's way are terrorists." And, Mr. Khalilzad says the world is on the brink of a world war because of the Islamic world! He further adds that some people in the Islamic world believe they should return to the time of the Prophet Mohammad (6th-7th century). It may take decades before some understand that they can remain Muslims and simultaneously join the modern world, he says. Instead of going into a discussion on why Mr. Khalilzad hates people who think that a world conceptualized by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is good for mankind, let's look at who else are contemplating a going back to earlier centuries. Take for example the Christian Zionists in the US who wields considerable influence on the US government. One prominent member of this group, John Hagee, pastor of the Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, announced in February 1997 that his church was donating over $1 million to Israel. Hagee claimed the funds would be used to help resettle Jews from the Soviet Union in the West Bank and Jerusalem. “We feel like the coming of Soviet Jews to Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy,” Hagee stated. When asked if he realized that support of Likud’s policies and the increase in Jewish settlements was at cross-purposes with US policy, Hagee answered: “I am a Bible scholar and a theologian, and from my perspective the law of God transcends the laws of the United States government and the US State Department.”If anyone thinks that these so-called Christian Zionists are only a few in the US, just read Donald Wagner, professor of religion and Middle Eastern studies at North Park University in Chicago, who wrote in a five-part article on Christian Zionism: "During the past two or three decades, the conservative Evangelical movement has been the fastest growing sector within the American Christian churches. Estimates of the number of evangelicals range from 100-130 million, out of which 20-25 percent could be classified as fundamentalist ­ some 20-26 million Americans. Of the fundamentalists, most, but not all, are inclined to support the Christian Zionist position. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center noted that 58 percent of evangelicals believe in the Battle of Armageddon, an indicator that they would be predisposed to Christian Zionism." Mr. Khalilzad should first look at his own courtyard before blaming others for the world's problems as he waits for an impending world war whose main perpetrator, history would definitely find, would be his own country. -ends- Middle East turmoil could cause world war: U.S. envoy By Reuters 08/27/07 -- VIENNA (Reuters) - Upheaval in the Middle East and Islamic civilization could cause another world war, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations was quoted as saying in an Austrian newspaper interview published on Monday. Zalmay Khalilzad told the daily Die Presse the Middle East was now so disordered that it had the potential to inflame the world as Europe did during the first half of the 20th century. "The (Middle East) is going through a very difficult transformation phase. That has strengthened extremism and creates a breeding ground for terrorism," he said in remarks translated by Reuters into English from the published German. "Europe was just as dysfunctional for a while. And some of its wars became world wars. Now the problems of the Middle East and Islamic civilization have the same potential to engulf the world," he was quoted as saying. Khalilzad, interviewed by Die Presse while attending a foreign policy seminar in the Austrian Alps, said the Islamic world would eventually join the international mainstream but this would take some time. "They started late. They don't have a consensus on their concept. Some believe they should return to the time (6th-7th century) of the Prophet Mohammad," he was quoted as saying. "It may take decades before some understand that they can remain Muslims and simultaneously join the modern world." Khalilzad was also quoted as saying Iraq would need foreign forces for security for a long time to come. "Iraq will not be in a position to stand on its own feet for a longer period," he said in the interview. Asked whether that could be 10-20 years, he said: "Yes, indeed, it could last that long. What form the help takes will depend a lot on the Iraqis. Up to now there is no accord between Iraq and the United States about a longer military presence." Khalilzad said the chaos in Iraq since U.S.-led forces overthrew Saddam Hussein in 2003 was not unavoidable but arose from mistakes in the initial period of occupation. "Historians are discussing now whether we should have sent more troops to Iraq to preserve law and order, if it was right to dissolve the Iraqi army, if we should have built an Iraqi government quicker, if there should have been such a sweeping de-Baathification program (removing Saddam-era officials)." Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited