The Road Map to Peace
                          by Richard Fricker

                       It’s been ten years since Gary Hengstler and I sat in the bar at the
                      American Colony Hotel in Jerusalem putting together a piece on what a
                      Palestinian judicial system might look like, someday. Hengstler was
                      publisher of the American Bar Association Journal and I frequently
                      freelanced for the ABAJ, winning several awards.
                              Hengstler has since left the ABAJ. I got bounced for writing about things
                      such as the INSLAW/PROMIS affair. I used “Reganite” to describe former UPI
                      and Hadron president Earl Brian. Norton Webster, a Cleveland lawyer and then
                      chair of the ABAJ board, said that showed bias and killed the INSLAW piece,
                      which eventually appeared in the premier issue of WIRED.
                               What Hengstler and I found was a mix of fatigue, hope and cynicism.
                      Surprisingly the hope seemed to come for the Israeli sector. They were tired
                      and worn by the fighting, which wasn’t going to end with a victory for anyone.
                              There was in fact some hope from almost every sector, almost. As we all
                      know, Oslo failed.
                              Ten years later George W. Bush is stomping around the global stage thinking
                      his “roadmap to peace” will untie the east Gordian Knot . The clown from
                      Crawford can’t understand why people won’t play so he can win.
                              Anyone in Jerusalem ten years ago, and there’re plenty who were, could
                      or should have told this diplomatic bumpkin that Ariel Sharon is NOT his
                      friend, is NOT in the peace business and is as much a part of the problem as
                      Yassir Arafat ever was, or will be.
                              It was NOT a Palestinian helicopter that launched seven rockets into a
                      crowd in occupied territory killing bystanders and reigniting the fighting.
                      Watching CNN one can’t help but wonder if Hamas knew something when
                      they walked away from negotiations ....that Sharon’s idea of peace is very
                      different from the Bush idea of peace, which is ---we do it George‘s way.
                      Hamas also knows, Bush can’t walk away from Sharon.
                              Just because you can lie yourself into a meaningless military invasion
                      proportional to Slipperyrock playing the Green Bay Packers does not mean you
                      are smart or even lucky, and it damn sure does not mean God is on your side.
                      It can, however, provide a rather exaggerated view of one’s self.
                              What brought to mind Jerusalem of 1993 wasn’t the “roadmap to peace.”
                      It was Sharon making Bush his personal bitch barking threats of “war on
                      terrorism” to the Palestinians, then provoking more violence with helicopter
                      attacks on the Hamas.
                              Here’s how it works. Back in 1993, before the ink dried on the Oslo
                      accords, Sharon and then traveling companion Bennie Netanyahu made no
                      secret that they intended to sabotage the Oslo peace plan. These guys were on
                      television and in all the press howling that they would never support the
                      agreement. Funny how the O’Reillys and Matthews of the world forget
                      that part, Al Franken you’re on.
                              That is not to say Arafat wasn’t dining on roasted dove. Arafat can be
                      and often is a pain in the collective butt, and is not without his own self
                      serving agenda. But, he is also an old fox and he knew the Lukuid would
                      never allow peace to break out as long as there is an Arab within shouting
                      distance of the Wailing Wall.
                              History will record that they did in fact provoke the situation, I
                      especially like Sharon’s----just an old Jew going to pray, with an armed
                      escort into the heart of Palestinian territory, which is what started this
                      latest round of violence.
                              Havoc on the civilian population should be condoned. But, from the
                      Palestinians point of view havoc is a way of life, a life controlled by Israelis
                      who make the rules, have the helicopters, rockets and for the most
                      part a U.S. President willing to do black face in Harlem for an KKK
                      fundraiser to further his political agenda. That presupposes he is
                      capable of actually formulating an agenda.
                              Again 1993 creeps to mind, United Nations workers would drop by the
                      American Colony trying to create interest in the Israelis using medicine to
                      encourage mothers to be informers in order to get medical treatment for
                      their children. When the information was tested in Gaza it was found to
                      be true, but America was not interested in stories about Israeli abuse of
                      Arabs. They can however dine for hours on stories of Arab atrocities on
                      defenseless Israelis.
                              One seldom sees stories about American “settlers” living in Israel on land
                      taken from Palestinians for reasons of “national security.“ Typically the
                      Palestinian home is bulldozed and rebuilt a fully modern Israeli home.
                      Nor has it been widely discussed that every facet of  Palestinian life is
                      in some way governed by Israelis, even  Palestinians living abroad can not
                      out distance Israeli law.
                              Bush does not understand this and that is why he was knocked on his
                      Caligulan ass when Sharon launched his attack. Equally, Bush does not
                      understand that the attack was Sharon’s way of letting him know who
                      folds the laundry in this relationship.
                              Sharon’s attack provides Hamas all they need to wreck the “roadmap
                      to peace.” He can now, is now, saying the Palestinian Authority must rid
                      the land of terrorism, until he is satisfied.
                              Bush can stomp, rant, rave, make phone calls, ask Ashcroft to confer
                      with the deity or divine entrails, he can do all sorts of things. But, his
                      global credibility on Iraq is gone via the WMD’s that never were, it is now
                      openly discussed that he lied to his own people, no one really believes in his
                      economic plan and now Sharon has literally torpedoed his peace plan.
                      All the Arab world knows, as Hamas knows, he can not separate from Sharon
                      because the Israeli lobby is too great. What was apparent in 1993 is apparent
                      in 2003, Sharon has a vision of peace, and Bush will join if  properly
                      encouraged by Arab “terrorist.” Yes, Sharon has a solution, a final solution.

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