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.
AMERICA DESERVES BETTER, BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WORLD DESERVES BETTER
Thursday 29 - 18:02by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Back to School for Fascist Dupont-Aignan
Thursday 15 - 11:32by Nouveau Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes
The Presidency: Character Matters
Friday 9 - 15:06by William John Cox
WHY HILLARY IS THE PERFECT PERSON TO SECURE OBAMA’S LEGACY
Tuesday 30 - 18:08by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Remake of Ben Hur in 2020 planned by new motion picture studio
Friday 26 - 15:50by Wallace
THE CASE FOR DONALD TRUMP
Monday 22 - 19:32by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IS DEAD
Thursday 11 - 06:42by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
DONALD TRUMP AND THE GENIUS OF IDIOCY
Friday 5 - 00:47by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
FOOLING MOST OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME IS WHAT AMERICAN POLITICS ARE ABOUT,
Friday 29 - 18:13by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A message of your fellow striking workers from France
Tuesday 12 - 20:49by Info’Com-CGT
The Right to Vote, Effectively
Friday 8 - 22:20by William John Cox
Fourth of July Lies
Sunday 3 - 19:41by June C. Terpstra
Who Should Make Political Policy, the People or the Politicians?
Friday 24 - 15:14by William John Cox
Hollow Women of the Hegemon Part II: Atrocity Enabling Harpies
Tuesday 21 - 18:49by Dr. June Terpstra
The American Republic Manifestum book is being made into a Movie
Saturday 11 - 15:54by William Morgan
Write-in Voting and Political Protest
Wednesday 1 - 15:05by William John Cox
Yves Bouvier art battle plays out in online and social media arena
Tuesday 31 - 21:12by Dean Bagley
Damaged Candidate Clinton Can’t Call Out Trump
Friday 27 - 13:53by Daniel Patrick Welch
PLEDGE OF THE NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY
Tuesday 24 - 21:53by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
LET TEXAS SECEDE
Thursday 19 - 00:53by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
LAS TRES ERRES A LA ENÉSIMA POTENCIA.-
Monday 16 - 15:35by FREDDY SUBDIAGA
Monday 16 - 15:26by FREDDY SUBDIAGA
Oligarchs Won’t Let You Vote Their Wars Away
Wednesday 11 - 20:24by Daniel Patrick Welch
AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL: JOHN KERRY - FROM HIS REMARKABLE RECENT COMMENCEMENT ADDR
Monday 9 - 20:40by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support the American Republic Manifestum
Monday 9 - 16:37by William Morgan
Transformation: A Student-Led Mass Political Movement
Monday 25 - 19:28by William John Cox
Algerian Feminists react to ’Hijab Day’ in Paris 2016
Monday 25 - 01:13
THE ILLUSION OF RIGHTS
Friday 22 - 18:45by JOHN CHUCKMAN
US is real superpredator pretending to be victim
Monday 18 - 22:23by Daniel Patrick Welch
Gaiacomm International has accidently created a fusion reaction/ignition.
Sunday 17 - 17:01by William Morgan
Clinton’s Campaign Continues to Highlight Horrible Hillary
Saturday 9 - 00:57by Daniel Patrick Welch
Armoiries racistes à Harvard : Plaidoyer pour la réflexion socio-historique
Thursday 7 - 18:56by Samuel Beaudoin Guzzo
THANK YOU MISSISSIPPI FOR YOUR HATE
Wednesday 6 - 02:02by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
The PKK in Iraq: “We are ready to fight ISIS everywhere in the world”
Monday 4 - 14:33by InfoAut
Clinton Crashes and Burns, Sanders Will Win (But hold off on the applause)
Friday 1 - 22:33by Daniel Patrick Welch
Confirming Supreme Court Justices and Electing Presidents
Friday 1 - 20:59by William John Cox
PCBS: "As Palestinians Mark Land Day, Israeli Illegally Controls More Than 85% O
Wednesday 30 - 14:06by Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics - PCBS
RUNAWAY TRAIN America’s election and its inability to alter the nation’s deadly
Friday 25 - 16:49by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Vicky Nuland, Neocon Hypocrite: Syria Pullout won’t ’let Russia off the hook’
Friday 18 - 15:59by Daniel Patrick Welch
Time to End the Clintons’ Unearned Pass on Race
Wednesday 16 - 23:22by Daniel Patrick Welch