WHILE President Bush was allegedly talking peace in the Palestinian town of Ramallah on Thursday, US B1 bombers and F16 fighters were raining 40,000 pounds of explosives onto the heads of the people of the town of Arab Jabur, on the outskirts of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.
This was the most concentrated air attack on a civilian target since the ending of the air attacks on Baghdad and Basra by the invading US and UK forces in May 2003.
Nine US soldiers have been killed so far, in the first two days of Operation Phantom Phoenix a major military operation in the provinces north of Baghdad.
Six of the US soldiers who were killed died in an explosion as they entered a booby-trapped house in Diyala province on Wednesday.
Despite all Bush’s talk of peace, the war in Iraq is being stepped up against an insurgency that is growing, in a situation where the US generals are pledging to withdraw up to 100,000 troops by the end of 2008.
It is an untenable situation for imperialism.
In fact, the last year of the Bush presidency far from introducing peace will see war ignited all over the Middle East as Bush desperately attempts to impose ‘his legacy’, an imperialist peace, over the dead bodies of large numbers of Arab people.
Bush’s concept of peace in Palestine is contingent on Hamas being destroyed in Gaza, the Palestinian militias in the West Bank being disarmed, and the Israel border being amended so that the Zionists can annexe a big chunk of the West Bank.
In order to have this peace, the Palestinian refugees will have to give up their right to return to their homes, a right that is even accepted in UN resolutions.
Bush states on this: ‘I believe we need to look to the establishment of a Palestinian state and new international mechanisms including compensation to resolve the refugee issue.’
The Israel Premier was over the moon with Bush, particularly focussing on the fact that ‘This last year, you decided to increase the annual support for the State of Israel for an overall package of $30 billion, which is remarkable and important, and is very helpful for the future of the State of Israel.’
Israel is being massively aided and abetted by the US, while Palestinians in Gaza are being starved, and Palestinians all over the occupied territories are being attacked by Israeli forces on a daily basis.
‘We are in conflict with radicals and extremists who are willing to murder innocent people to achieve a dark vision,’ declared Bush.
He added to the media, making clear his intentions towards Iran, ‘Iran is a threat to world peace. . . . I want to remind people, Mr Prime Minister, of what I said at the press conference, when I discussed the National Intelligence Estimate. I said then that Iran was a threat, Iran is a threat, and Iran will be a threat if the international community does not come together and prevent that nation from the development of the know-how to build a nuclear weapon.’
Just to make sure that everyone got the message, while he was in Ramallah, Bush delivered the ultimate insult to Palestinians, when he refused to stop at Arafat’s tomb inside the Muqata compound where he was meeting Abbas to pay his respects to the fallen palestinian leader, the father of modern Palestinian nationalism.
Now Bush is visiting his Gulf allies in Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on a trip aimed at building an anti-Iranian alliance.
Kuwait already is host to 15,000 US troops based in the emirate, while Bush has already threatened that if US vessels are harassed in the Strait of Hormuz the US will take all necessary measures to defend itself.
That situation has all the makings of another Gulf of Tonkin incident.
The original US provocation provided a reason for the US to bomb North Vietnam. Another such incident in the Strait of Hormuz may well provide the US with the reason to bomb Bushehr and other targets in Iran.
This is the kind of year for peace that Bush is launching. All the more reason for the people of the Middle East and the Gulf to unite to drive the imperialists and their allies out of the Gulf and the Middle East once and for all.