Colin Powell continues the charade of the U.S. backed “Road Map to Peace” in Palestine. Powell’s instructions to the Palestinian side is to disarm your “militants”. He has no equivalent advice for the Israelis who are armed to the teeth with the most technologically advanced armaments in the world. The Palestinian “militants” are armed with rifles against helicopters, rocks against tanks, Molotov cocktails against F-16 jet fighters, and suicide belts against brigades of heavily armed soldiers. The Palestinians are resisting a brutal occupation of their land, against U.N. resolutions and against world opinion, and Powell’s first mark on the road map to peace is for Palestinians to disarm!
At what point would Powell advise the Israelis to disarm? At what point should the Israelis withdraw and return the Palestinian lands to their rightful owners? At what point would Powell ask the Israelis to remove the countless illegal settlements? At what point on the map would the Israelis be asked to provide funding to the Palestinians to rebuild the massively damaged infrastructure due to spiteful Israeli revenge for Palestinian self-defense?
Powell clearly advocated the pre-emptive war by the U.S. against Iraq in the theory of armed self-defense. Do the Palestinians have the right to self-defense against a militarily far superior oppressor? With what means do the Palestinians get to defend themselves — poetry, prayer, pacifisms?
Clearly, this peace plan, this road map is a road map to submission. This is a road map that calls for the Palestinian people to lay themselves down on the road and allow the Israelis and their military to drive right over them, just like the Israelis drove over Rachel Corrie, the American peace activist and just like the American bulldozers drove over Iraqi troops in their trenches in the first Gulf War. Americans drove over those Iraqis by the hundred or the thousand, pushing dirt over them and burying the evidence. That is the road and the trip that seems to be planned for Palestinians in this road map to peace.
The resultant peace will be the peace of the dead, or the peace of the repressed who are driven to a death-like state of non-resistance. That is the Road Map to Peace. It is not a peace based on justice and human rights and dignity. It is the peace based on power on one side and imposed powerlessness on the other.
A very peaceful place in the United States is the little cemetery up on Pine Ridge, South Dakota. This is where a band of Lakota Indians under Chief Big Foot are now buried, after being massacred by the U.S. Army while encamped under a U.S. flag in the snow. The U.S. military surrounded a mostly defenseless band of Lakotas while they were starving and huddled for warmth under the U.S. flag. No mercy was shown. The Indians were slaughtered with weaponry advanced for its time. The U.S. casualties in that “battle” were self-imposed, “friendly fire” incidents in which U.S. soldiers shot each other in their lust for killing the Indians. But now the place is a place of peace. One stands there looking at the old gravestones and feels the prairie wind blowing. One feels the peace of the dead — no longer suffering under the oppression of the heavily armed.
One would not blame the Palestinians for resisting an unfair peace, based on a road map of repression.
No Palestinian citizen should fool himself or herself into thinking that Colin Powell or George Bush or Paul Wolfowitz cares one iota about their welfare. These men want peace in Palestine according to their own agendas, not those of an independent Palestinian people who crave peace based on justice. Justice is not part of the American formula for peace. That is why this peace proposal is unpalatable.
Toss this road map aside. Let’s discard it, if not burn it. There has got to be a better way. Let’s hear what the victims of the injustice have to say. For now, the best proposal to get started would be to disarm and defend the Israelis. Let’s stop all American subsidies to that terrorist state. Let’s take those funds and give them to the Palestinians. Then, a pure peace process could begin.
The writer is a member of several falconry and ornithological clubs and organizations. He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from California, USA.