Mission Creep

Sharon's 100-day war extended to 100 years

by Ahmed Amr

June 27, 2002



About 500 days ago, Sharon came to power in Israel promising to 'let the Army win'. He deluded enough Israelis with a hundred-day plan to make the Palestinians 'quiet'. The Bush administration signed on for Sharon's military 'solution' and gave him repeated 100 day extensions. According to Robert Novak, Sharon is now asking for another extension. Not for another hundred days. This time, he wants another hundred years. Behind closed doors, a group of American senators listened to Sharon's scenario for a century of war, nodded their agreement and did not bother to share the information with the American people.


After Sharon delivered his 'vision' to the Senators, he had the audacity to promise Bush 'not to attack him' should the President announce a proposal for a 'provisional' Palestinian state. These days, given the balance of power, when a demented Israeli serial war criminal promises an American president that he will be safe from political retaliation from Tel Aviv, it is considered a major step forward in building American political parity with Israel.


The Novak article, 'Sharon and the Senators', included the following revelation about Sharon's plans for the future. "Speaking off the record to mostly uncritical American politicians, the old soldier-statesman was even more blunt than he is in public. Sharon pointed to no Israeli-Palestinian deal for at least 10 years and talked of a hundred years struggle with Arabs. Warning of Egyptian and Saudi duplicity, he informed the senators that removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq would be the best way to deal with Palestinians."


To get a little bit of perspective of Sharon's 'vision' for the next ten decades, it is worth recalling the following quote from Ronald Reagan's autobiography of the time Sharon went on one of his killing sprees in 1982. " Despite our appeals for restraint, the Israelis on August 12 opened a new and even more brutal attack on civilian neighborhoods in Beirut that sickened me and many others in the White House. This provoked me into an angry demand for an end to the bloodletting ... (in a call to Begin) I used the word 'Holocaust' deliberately and said the symbol of his country was becoming 'a picture of a seven month old baby with its arms blown off.'" (Reagan, pp. 425-26).


Not to be outdone by Sharon, Efi Eitam of the National Religious Party expressed alarm that the fence being built to encircle the Palestinians bantustans would lead to the 'establishment of national boundaries'. Boundaries are things Israelis avoid because they always seem to need more native Palestinian lands for exclusive Jewish settlements.


Now, how much of all this information did Thomas Friedman and the other derelicts at the New York Times pick up and ignore. Sharon promises one hundred years of conflict in the Middle East and Thomas Fraudulent pretends not to have noticed.


Thomas Friedman is not a journalist. Reporting the facts to the public is not his chosen craft. When you sign up to work on the Middle East news desk at the New York Times, the instructions on how to cover up the story come straight down from shadowy figure who owns and operates the joint; a relatively unknown media tycoon from the Sulzberger clan.


Sharon's mission creep from 100 days to 100 years is a big story. If we had more real journalists in America, you might have heard more about it. On the off chance that Thomas Fraudulent ever wants to try his hands at honest journalism, I suggest he resign from the New York Times and start seriously exploring Sharon's visions for the future. To give him an assist, I have taken the liberty of writing his letter of resignation.


To Arthur Sulzberger, the publisher of The New York Times, the daily ruse.


Arthur, you blew it. What were you thinking when you let Safire boast that he was the public relations man for Ariel Sharon? Everybody suspects that Safire wrote that 'Sharon' op-ed article last week. Now, how am I supposed to show up in Cairo, Amman and Beirut and still have a cover as a New York Times 'journalist' who writes across the page from the Israeli army's public relations prima donna? So, Safire gets to brag about writing speeches for both Sharon and Nixon. If this keeps up, I am going to start paying serious attention to Latin America.


Besides, if anybody should be boasting about the public relations work for the Sharon account, it should be me. I have been walking behind this elephant for twenty years, cleaning up his debris and creating plausible deniability for his crimes. Who cleaned up his record at Sabra and Shatila? Moi. Who kept the Qibya slaughter under wraps? Moi. Who spearheaded the successful campaign to kill the Jenin probes? Moi. But who gets all the applause from 'our crowd'? Safire.


The difference between Safire and Moi, is that I know how to keep my trap shut about the public relations aspects of my mission. I didn't have to go to the Boston Globe division of the New York Times Publishing Company and publicly boast of my loyalty to the Mossad. Let me get to the point. I can no longer tolerate working conditions that allow Safire to appear to be more Likudnik than Moi. It doesn't look good in front of the staff and I get smaller portions in the cafeteria.


Before I go, I must be candid enough to warn you that this Safire affair with Sharon will come back to bite us. Over the years, we have done a splendid job of creating a public profile of an 'American' paper that is more than just an arm of an ethnic lobby. We kept a certain 'distance' from our Likudnik brethren. But now, the cat is out of the bag and you can thank Safire for that.


Arthur, you just fail to grasp the power of the Internet, the horsepower of the Lexus and the vitamin contents of an olive tree. These alternative Internet journalists will be like flies at a Chattanooga honey festival in mid August.


I don't want to blame all this on Safire. Bill is a Yiddish saint compared to Max Frankel. Have you actually gone through his autobiography? It is full of intimate inner circle secrets. I know you don't read a lot, but you should really go through his autobiography "The Times of my life". Did you see what he wrote about your daddy?


"Punch Sulzberger unconsciously abetted this movement. He felt born to the publisher's chair and had none of his father's hang-ups about being Jewish. Israel's ambassadors to the United Nations lived just a few floors below his Fifth Avenue apartment and always enjoyed easy access to him and to his table at The Times. Within a few years of Punch's ascendancy, there came a time when not only the executive editor -- A. M. Rosenthal -- and I but ALL the top editors listed on the paper's masthead were Jews." (The Times of my life, pages 400-401).


Just to spite me, Abe Rosenthal is now writing for the Jerusalem Post. Why are they all conspiring to blow my cover? Is this good for the Jews?


Arthur, since every one else is letting it all hang out, I must make a confession. I always wanted to be a real journalist. You know. The kind that actually looks into a story and gives an honest balanced accounting of events. All these years, working with 'our gang', I have had this dream of going into journalism when I finally grew up. I want to be like Robert Fisk or Charlie Reese. I have this plan. I will change my name to Ramon Balabouchi Estranto, get plastic surgery in Argentina and start impersonating the President of Peru writing memos to Costa Ricans. Could you include Spanish Lessons and an allowance for plastic surgery in my severance package?


Tell Safire he can gloat about working for Sharon till he is finished with his hundred-year war. If you ever decide to take a stab at establishing a real paper, look me up in Lima. Adios. Ramon (aka Thomas Fraudulent).


Ahmed Amr is the editor of the online news/opinion publication NileMedia: http://www.NileMedia.com. NileMedia is an independently operated cyber magazine that seeks to elevate the coverage of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict to a level that can withstand the light of day. Ahmed Amr encourages your comments: NileMedia@aol.com