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.
A Clear Message to ISIS Leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
Monday 22 - 14:43by William Morgan
My Synopsis of Recent US Economic History: When the Cat’s Away the Mice will ..
Sunday 21 - 20:32by Richard John Stapleton
Australian state terrorism - 1 million preventable Australian deaths since 9-11
Sunday 21 - 09:22by Dr Gideon Polya
Donors will fail Gaza again
Friday 19 - 16:20by Nicola Nasser
With SIDS in limelight, Christophe Mazurier pleads for more awareness
Friday 19 - 12:39
US state terrorism, the Big Lie & 20 million preventable US deaths since 9-11
Thursday 18 - 09:52by Dr Gideon Polya
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AS OPERA BUFFA: THE GLOBAL FIGHT AGAINST ISIS
Wednesday 17 - 21:18by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Risk of UK resident dying preventably 38,000 times greater than terrorism death
Tuesday 16 - 08:50by Dr Gideon Polya
Palestinian reconciliation at crossroads
Monday 15 - 10:15by Nicola Nasser
NATION OF COWARDS
Sunday 14 - 18:52by JOHN CHUCKMAN
American Republic Army looking for recruits to defend against ISIS rebels
Sunday 14 - 15:26by William Morgan
Obama’s Iraq War & Obama’s Syrian War will both involve 12 kinds of war crimes
Friday 12 - 09:21by Dr Gideon Polya
9 key reasons why Scots should vote Yes for an Independent Scotland
Friday 5 - 04:00by Dr Gideon Polya
PENETRATING THE DARKNESS COVERING TWO MALAYSIAN AIRLINE DISASTERS
Thursday 4 - 20:07by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Kick Russia Out Of SWIFT, UK Demands
Wednesday 3 - 14:59by Tyler Durden
THINGS MY MOTHER NEVER TOLD ME
Wednesday 3 - 12:47by JOHN CHUCKMAN
letter of september to Obama
Monday 1 - 11:10by kakine
The Guardian Australia censors the Iraqi Genocide renewed by the US & Australia
Sunday 31 - 04:42by Dr Gideon Polya
Iran’s lost billions: Tejarat Aria Gostar Iranian Navid Co may have questions to
Thursday 28 - 15:13by kanopia
Christophe Mazurier lobbies for U.S. model for financing arts
Thursday 28 - 14:14by hyuem
A Nation of Monday Morning Quarterbacks
Monday 11 - 21:26by Richard John Stapleton
Nuclear Weapons Ban & BDS to save world from Nuclear, Poverty & Climate threats
Monday 11 - 09:20by Dr Gideon Polya
Top Australian columnist loses job for criticizing latest Israeli Gaza Massacre
Friday 8 - 07:52by Dr Gideon Polya
WW1, ongoing Palestinian Genocide, latest Israeli Gaza Massacre & Western lies
Tuesday 5 - 15:20by Dr Gideon Polya
Weapons System offered to Hamas and the People of Gaza
Monday 4 - 15:57by William Morgan
Israel’s Attempted Genocide Must Fail: Lessons from Genocide in ’Canada’
Monday 4 - 05:20by Denis Rancourt
BEYOND THE EURO: THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE
Saturday 2 - 15:34by Co-ordinating of the Left against the euro, Italy
letter of august to president Obama
Friday 1 - 09:36by kakine
55 anti-racist Australian MPs condemn Israel’s Gaza Massacre and war crimes
Thursday 31 - 08:31by Dr Gideon Polya
Hell, No—We won’t go! We won’t fight for Texaco!! - Rebellion in *west* Ukraine
Wednesday 30 - 21:47by Daniel Patrick Welch
Tejarat Aria Gostar Iranian Navid Co.: Why the end of sanctions against Iran may
Wednesday 30 - 17:59
"I got my eyes on your fatty"
Tuesday 29 - 04:28by BenAMarine
"If I forget about them, may God forget about me"
Monday 28 - 19:12by Daniel Patrick Welch
Refutation of false Zionist one-liners behind the latest Israeli Gaza Massacre
Saturday 26 - 00:21by Dr Gideon Polya
IS RELIGION HUMANITY’S DEADLIEST INVENTION?
Friday 25 - 12:46by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Israeli Gaza Massacre: Nobel Laureates & others call for arms embargo on Israel
Monday 21 - 02:44by Dr Gideon Polya
Escalation of Shelling in Eastern Ukraine by Kviv After Tragic Crash...
Sunday 20 - 20:11by Roger Annis
Malaysian Airlines MH17 atrocity & ongoing Apartheid Israeli Gaza Massacre
Saturday 19 - 03:56by Dr Gideon Polya
On How Reality Happens
Tuesday 15 - 15:50by Richard John Stapleton
The world must stop Apartheid Israel’s latest massacre of Palestinians in Gaza
Saturday 12 - 09:20by Dr Gideon Polya