success of a free Iraq will be watched and noted
throughout the region. Millions will see that
freedom, equality, and material progress are possible
at the heart of the Middle East. Leaders in the
region will face the clearest evidence that free
institutions and open societies are the only path
to long-term national success and dignity."
is ironic statement from the government that is
the world's primary economic, diplomatic and military
backer of autocratic leaders throughout the Middle
East. Since coming to office, the Bush Administration
has actually increased military and economic assistance
to dictatorial regimes that deny their people
free institutions and open societies.
a transformed Middle East would benefit the entire
world, by undermining the ideologies that export
violence to other lands."
Then why not encourage such a transformation by
first ending U.S. support for the dictatorships
in Saudi Arabia and Egypt -- long considered America's
two most important Arab allies -- that not only
deny their people the political freedom that President
Bush claims to support, but have (not coincidentally)
produced most of Al-Qaeda's members and leadership.
as a dictatorship had great power to destabilize
the Middle East."
It did during the 1980s, when the U.S. was supporting
it. Subsequent to Iraq's defeat in the 1991 Gulf
War, however, after its military capacity was
largely destroyed and they were no longer able
to import the necessary weapons, technology and
raw materials from advanced industrialized countries,
the Iraqi dictatorship was barely a shell of its
once formidable military prowess.
as a democracy will have great power to inspire
the Middle East. The advance of democratic institutions
in Iraq is setting an example that others, including
the Palestinian people, would be wise to follow."
primary obstacle to Palestinian democracy is the
Israeli occupation -- armed and financed by the
United States -- which denies the Palestinians
their right to self-determination and their ability
to create and sustain their own democratic institutions.
Palestinian cause is betrayed by leaders who cling
to power by feeding old hatreds, and destroying
the good work of others."
Actually, Palestinian public opinion is more militant
than most of the Palestinian Authority's leadership,
which has called for resuming negotiations and
implementing the road map that would lead to a
Palestinian state encompassing the now-occupied
West Bank and Gaza Strip alongside a secure Israel
with a shared co-capital of Jerusalem. While some
demagogues -- particularly among radical Islamic
groups -- are indeed exacerbating the conflict,
the violence from the Palestinian side stems less
from "old hatreds" as it does from the very current
and ongoing occupation and colonization of their
land and the ongoing repression and harassment
of their people.
Palestinian people deserve their own state, committed
to reform, to fighting terror, and to building
why is the United States spending billions of
dollars, vetoing UN Security Council resolutions,
and shipping massive amounts of armaments to enable
Israel to maintain the very occupation that prevents
the Palestinians from establishing a viable state?
In addition, thus far President Bush has shown
no indication that his vision of a Palestinian
"state" is anything more than right-wing Israeli
prime minister Ariel Sharon's plans to offer the
Palestinians a bare 40% of the occupied territories
(less than 10% of historic Palestine), subdivided
into a series of non-contiguous cantons surrounded
second challenge we must confront together is
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
Outlaw regimes that possess nuclear, chemical
and biological weapons -- and the means to deliver
them -- would be able to use blackmail and create
chaos in entire regions. ŠWe are determined to
keep the world's most destructive weapons away
from all our shores, and out of the hands of our
common enemies. Because proliferators will use
any route or channel that is open to them, we
need the broadest possible cooperation to stop
them. Today I ask the UN Security Council to adopt
a new anti-proliferation resolution. This resolution
should call on all members of the UN to criminalize
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
to enact strict export controls consistent with
international standards; and to secure any and
all sensitive materials within their own borders."
is noteworthy how the United States exempts itself
and such Southwest Asian allies as Israel and
Pakistan from anti-proliferation resolutions while
focusing solely on governments it doesn't like.
It is also revealing that the Bush Administration
has rejected calls from Middle Eastern nations
-- ranging from allies like Jordan to adversaries
like Syria -- for the establishment of a weapons
of mass destruction-free zone for all of the Middle
East, comparable to treaties that already exist
in Latin America and the South Pacific. It is
also worth noting that the United States has also
been notoriously lax in its own export controls
of dual-use technologies.
is another humanitarian crisis, spreading and
yet hidden from view. Each year, an estimated
eight to nine hundred thousand human beings are
bought, sold, or forced across the world's borders.
Among them are hundreds of thousands of teenage
girls, and others as young as five, who fall victim
to the sex trade. This commerce in human life
generates billions of dollars each year, much
of which is used to finance organized crime. There
is a special evil in the abuse and exploitation
of the most innocent and vulnerable. The victims
of sex trade see little of life before they see
the very worst of life, an underworld of brutality
and lonely fear. Those who create these victims,
and profit from their suffering, must be severely
punished. Those who patronize this industry debase
themselves and deepen the misery of others. And
governments that tolerate this trade are tolerating
a form of slavery."
development organizations and advocates for Third
World women recognize that the sex trade and other
human trafficking has grown most dramatically
in countries where traditional economies have
collapsed as a result of neo-liberal economic
policies imposed by U.S.-backed international
financial institutions such as the International
Monetary Fund. The selling of one's daughter or
oneself becomes a matter of survival. Shifting
to a development policy that emphasizes sustainable
development and grassroots economic initiatives
(such as micro-lending programs) will do far more
to lessen this human tragedy than relying on law
an original signer of the UN charter, the United
States of America is committed to the United Nations.
And we show that commitment by working to fulfill
the UN's stated purposes, and give meaning to
why did the United States violate the UN Charter
by invading a sovereign member nation?
founding documents of the United Nations and the
founding documents of America stand in the same
tradition. Both assert that human beings should
never be reduced to objects of power or commerce,
because their dignity is inherent."
is an excellent summation of why the policies
of the Bush Administration are subject to growing
opposition both at home and abroad.
recognize a moral law that stands above men and
nations which must be defended and enforced by
men and nations. And both point the way to peace,
the peace that comes when all are free. We secure
that peace with our courage, and we must show
that courage together."
individuals and nations must demonstrate enormous
courage and struggle nonviolently against the
policies of what is being seen increasingly as
a rogue superpower whose quest for domination
so seriously threatens the rule of law, basic
moral principles, human freedom and any hope for
real peace and security
Zunes is an associate professor of Politics and
chair of the Peace & Justice Studies Program at
the University of San Francisco and the author
of 'Tinderbox: U.S. Middle East Policy and the
Roots of Terrorism' .
He serves as Middle East editor for the Foreign
Policy in Focus Project, where this analysis
September 26, 2003