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History has no mercy,
This review is from: From Oslo to Iraq and the Roadmap (Paperback)
Edward W. Said's basic principles are that 'human beings make history' and that 'reliable information is the greatest enemy of oppression and secret justice.'
His comments written between 2000 and 2003 are hammerings on the same nails: the Israel-Palestine conflict, the US state of the union and the Arab world.
For the Israel-Palestine conflict he sees no military solution. He castigates relentlessly Israel's discriminatory policies against the native Palestinians, based on religious and ethnic grounds. Its policies forbid native people to own or keep land. It violates basic human rights by killing civilians and stone-throwers. But, he also condemns severily suicide-bombings.
His analysis of the Oslo and Camp David agreements, as well as the roadmap, shows that they are disastrous for the Palestinians. However, his own solution - one secular state of jews and Palestinians - will never be accepted, because demographic trends favour one party.
Said is extremely harsh for the Palestinian authorities, which he calls autocratic, corrupt and hypocrite (only interested in their own power).
Said calls the US a country of lawyers, not laws. Its election system is a 'frightening antiquated, inequitable and undemocratic hodgepodge of rules and regulations designed to keep the poor and the disadvantaged out.' In order to maintain the disproportionalities in wealth (2 % of the population owns 80 % of the total wealth), the majority of the population must be kept under control ideologically through the media and / or be kept out of the system.
The US defense budget attains monstrous heights while 40 million citizens have no health insurance.
For Said, the US is a lethal combination of money and power, controlled by the great corporations and lobbying groups.
The US Middle East policy, e.g. Iraq - an old-fashioned colonial occupation -, is based on the security of Israel and the control of plentiful supplies of inexpensive oil.
The Arab world is in an abysmal state. Most countries wallow in corruption, have undemocratic rules and a fatally flawed education system that still has not faced up to the realities of a secular world. The result is illiteracy, poverty, unemployment, unproductivity, and greater degrees of tyranny and mafia-style rule.
The book ends with a glimmer of hope for an independent Palestinian state.
Said's proud, remarkably free and vehement secular voice will be tragically missed, not only by the Palestinians.