The Likudization Of The World: 9/11’s Real Legacy Is That Bush Has Adopted Sharon’s Rigid Views
by : Naomi Klein
Tuesday September 14, 2004 - 02:38
by Naomi Klein
There is little to argue with there. The essence of terrorism is the deliberate targeting of innocents to further political goals. Any claims its perpetrators make to fighting for justice are morally bankrupt and lead directly to the barbarity of Beslan: a carefully laid plan to slaughter hundreds of children on their first day of school.
Yet sympathy alone does not explain the outpourings of solidarity for Russia coming from Israeli politicians this week. In addition to Mr. Sharon’s pronouncements, Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom said the massacre showed "there is no difference between terror in Beersheba and terror in Beslan." And Haaretz quoted an unidentified Israeli official saying that Russians "understand now that what they have is not a local terror problem but part of the global Islamic terror threat. The Russians may listen to our suggestions this time."
The underlying message is unequivocal: Russia and Israel are engaged in the very same war, one not against Palestinians demanding their right to statehood, or against Chechens demanding their independence, but against "the global Islamic terror threat." Israel, as the elder statesman, is claiming the right to set the rules of war. Not surprisingly, the rules are the same ones Mr. Sharon uses against the intifada in the occupied territories.
His starting point is that Palestinians are only interested in annihilating Israel. From this basic belief, several others follow. First, all Israeli violence against Palestinians is an act of self-defence, necessary to the country’s very survival. Second, anyone who questions Israel’s absolute right to erase the enemy is an enemy. This applies to the United Nations, other world leaders, to journalists, to peaceniks.
Mr. Putin has clearly been taking notes, but it’s not the first time that Israel has played this mentoring role. On Sept. 12, 2001, Israeli Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked how the previous day’s terrorist attacks in New York and Washington would affect relations between Israel and the United States. "It’s very good," he said. "Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy." The attacks, Mr. Netanyahu explained, would "strengthen the bond between our two peoples, because we’ve experienced terror over so many decades, but the United States has now experienced a massive hemorrhaging of terror."
Common wisdom has it that, after Sept. 11, a new era of geopolitics was ushered in, defined by what is usually called the "Bush doctrine": pre-emptive wars, attacks on "terrorist infrastructure" (read entire countries), and an insistence that all the enemy understands is force. It would be more accurate to call this rigid world view the "Likud doctrine." What happened on Sept. 11 is that the Likud doctrine, previously used only against Palestinians, was picked up by the most powerful nation on Earth and applied on a global scale. Call it the Likudization of the world, the real legacy of Sept. 11.
Let me be absolutely clear: By Likudization, I do not mean that key members of the Bush administration are working for the interests of Israel at the expense of U.S. interests (the increasingly popular "dual loyalty" argument). What I mean is that, on Sept. 11, George W. Bush went looking for a political philosophy to guide him in his new role as "war president." He found that philosophy in the Likud doctrine, conveniently handed to him ready-made by the ardent Likudniks already ensconced in the White House. No thinking required.
Since then, the Bush White House has applied this logic with chilling consistency to its global "war on terror." It was the guiding philosophy in Afghanistan and Iraq, and may well extend to Iran and Syria. It’s not simply that Mr. Bush sees America’s role as protecting Israel from a hostile Arab world. It’s that he has cast the U.S. in the same role in which Israel casts itself, facing the same threat. In this narrative, the U.S. is fighting a never-ending battle for its survival against irrational forces that seek nothing less than its total extermination.
And now the Likudization narrative has spread to Russia. In that meeting with foreign journalists on Monday, The Guardian reported that Mr. Putin "made it clear he sees the drive for Chechen independence as the spearhead of a strategy by Chechen Islamists, helped by foreign fundamentalists, to undermine the whole of southern Russia and even stir up trouble among Muslim communities in other parts of the country. ’There are Muslims along the Volga, in Tatarstan and Bashkortostan. . . . This is all about Russia’s territorial integrity,’ he said." It used to be just Israel that was worried about being pushed into the sea.
There has, indeed, been a dramatic and dangerous rise in religious fundamentalism in the Muslim world. The problem is that, under the Likud doctrine, there is no space to ask why this is happening. We are not allowed to point out that fundamentalism breeds in failed states, where warfare has systematically targeted civilian infrastructure, allowing the mosques to start taking responsibility for everything from education to garbage collection. It has happened in Gaza, in Grozny, in Sadr City.
Mr. Sharon says terrorism is an epidemic that "has no borders, no fences," but this is not the case. Terrorism thrives within the illegitimate borders of occupation and dictatorship; it festers behind "security walls" put up by imperial powers; it crosses those borders and climbs over those fences to explode inside the countries responsible for, or complicit in, occupation and domination.
Ariel Sharon is not the commander-in-chief of the war on terror; that dubious honour stays with George Bush. But on the third anniversary of Sept. 11, he deserves to be recognized as this disastrous campaign’s spiritual/intellectual guru, a kind of trigger-happy Yoda for all the wannabe Luke Skywalkers out there, training for their epic battles in good versus evil.
If we want to see the future of where the Likud doctrine leads, we need only follow the guru home, to Israel — a country paralyzed by fear, embracing pariah policies, and in furious denial about the brutality it commits daily. It is a nation surrounded by enemies and desperate for friends, a category it narrowly defines as those who ask no questions, while generously offering the same moral amnesty in return.
That glimpse at our collective future is the only lesson the world needs to learn from Ariel Sharon.
Naomi Klein is the author of No Logo and Fences and Windows.
ISRAEL’S 1967 ATTACK ON INTELLIGENCE SHIP U.S.S. LIBERTY - THE ONLY MYSTERY
Thursday 20 - 20:06by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Denmark eaten down to the bone, what’s next?
Wednesday 19 - 16:22by Henrik Petersen
A Financial Toll Tax: Transform, Not Reform, the U.S. Tax System
Monday 17 - 22:55by William John Cox
COMPLETE DEGRADATION OF A SELF-STYLED GREAT NATION
Saturday 8 - 16:35by JOHN CHUCKMAN
ATTACKING PEOPLE WITH FLEETS OF MISSILES BEFORE YOU HAVE ANY FACTS
Friday 7 - 20:34by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Syrian rebels used Sarin nerve gas, not Assad’s regime: U.N. official
Thursday 6 - 23:09by Shaun Waterman
TRUMP’S FRIGHTENING TURNAROUND ON SYRIA – A STRONG SIGNAL ABOUT WHO REALLY RUNS
Thursday 6 - 17:22by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AMERICA’S POLITICS WITHOUT MEANING - THE FUNDAMENTAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE COUNTRY
Thursday 30 - 17:37by JOHN CHUCKMAN
ISIS THREATENS IRAN FOR A HILARIOUS REASON – WHAT ISIS AND AL-NUSRA REALLY ARE
Wednesday 29 - 18:56by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Invisible people: cashless societies don’t kill poverty, but the poorest ones
Wednesday 29 - 17:12by Morgan Connors
THE COMING MULTI-POLAR WORLD AND AMERICA’S IMPERIAL DECLINE - A DANGEROUS TIME
Monday 27 - 16:58by JOHN CHUCKMAN
HOW GOVERNMENT EXPLOITS MURDER FOR ITS OWN ENDS - THE TRUTH ABOUT LONDON
Monday 27 - 16:56by JOHN CHUCKMAN
AMERICA’S CIVILIAN SLAUGHTER IN MOSUL - JUST AN AMERICAN BOMBING TRADITION
Monday 27 - 16:53by JOHN CHUCKMAN
WHY DO ONE-THIRD OF ISRAEL’S PEOPLE WANT TO LEAVE AS DISCOVERED IN A RECENT POLL
Monday 27 - 16:51by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE UNFORGIVABLE EVIL
Saturday 25 - 01:55by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Report
Trump repeal of the Affordable Care Act will kill 43,000 Americans over 8 years
Saturday 18 - 00:32by Dr Gideon Polya
Free university education - tertiary education can and should be free for all
Thursday 9 - 06:29by Dr Gideon Polya
QUOTING AMERICA’S FOUNDING FATHERS ON IMMIGRATION OR ANYTHING
Tuesday 7 - 18:51by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE POINTLESS ARGUMENT OVER WHO WAS FIRST IN THE HOLY LAND
Tuesday 7 - 18:49by JOHN CHUCKMAN
YES OBAMA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CRIMEA AND THE MESS IN UKRAINE
Tuesday 7 - 18:48by JOHN CHUCKMAN
8th. March -----The Modi-fied International Women’s Day In Gujarat
Tuesday 7 - 15:20by Dwarika Nath Rath
ON THE GREAT MYSTERY OF INTENSE HOSTILITY TOWARDS LIBERALS IN AMERICA - OBAMA
Monday 6 - 19:30by JOHN CHUCKMAN
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PRESS BIAS, FAKE NEWS, DISHONEST JOURNALISM
Sunday 26 - 17:52by JOHN CHUCKMAN
TWO STATES OR ONE STATE? THE STARK REALITY IS THAT BOTH SOLUTIONS ARE IMPOSSIBL
Wednesday 22 - 18:16by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Open Letter to Australian MPs re Apartheid Israel PM Netanyahu’s Australia visit
Tuesday 21 - 00:18by Dr Gideon Polya
How Eric Arnoux and Fabrice Molinaro target the First Ammendment
Thursday 9 - 18:40by Billy1975
THE CHANCE FOR GREATNESS, BUT IT IS SO EASILY LOST
Saturday 28 - 20:19by JOHN CHUCKMAN
TRUMP: AMERICA’S HITLER
Saturday 28 - 04:07by David R. Hoffman
LUNATIC EXCESSES IN THE WASHINGTON MARCH - WHILE IGNORING MASS MURDER
Monday 23 - 19:19by JOHN CHUCKMAN
JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SO-CALLED DOSSIER
Monday 16 - 15:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The Rotten Apple in The Prince’s Crown
Friday 13 - 18:44by RegisFranck
Christophe Mazurier takes part in the Hero World Challenge
Friday 13 - 11:43
OF WIZARDS AND WASHINGTON AND THE DREARY, UNRELENTING REALITY OF AMERICAN POLITI
Thursday 12 - 15:01by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A DAY THAT WILL LIVE IN INFAMY
Monday 9 - 06:23by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
Sunday 8 - 15:00by Judah Ben Hur, Amb. Republican Candidate for President 2020
DARK DAY DEMOCRACY: THE ACCIDENTAL PRESIDENT
Saturday 7 - 21:41by JACK RANDOM
President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
Saturday 7 - 15:04by President Donald Trump and Ambassador Judah Ben Hur
THE INSANE CIRCUS NOW GOING ON IN WASHINGTON – A SAD PARODY OF JOSEPH MCCARTHY
Friday 6 - 17:15by JOHN CHUCKMAN
The New Cultural Frontier as shown by Christophe Mazurier
Tuesday 27 - 14:29
UN Security Council Resolution 2334 – Beginning Of The End For Apartheid Israel?
Monday 26 - 23:37by Dr Gideon Polya