The Monotheism of Force

The ongoing cycle of counter-violence and human destruction in the Middle-East has once again put to task the complex issues surrounding the region and its relationship to the fundamental question of Force and its bearers. In recent times, the unraveling situation in this region seems to be in the efficacy of force. The perpetual resort to force manifests a deepening belief in force as a method above all else. This belief inevitably stands out as a monolithic structure, and one in which force becomes monotheism. The most common denominator linking the different armed groups – including States and governments – in the region is their singular belief in the efficacy of force and their readiness to resort to it at any given point. Such willingness to use force demonstrates an idea convinced that by such force they can reshape their world in just about any way they want. This has obviously compounded the possibility of political solutions through peaceful means. 

The idea that purports the efficacy of force has been reiterated ever since the global war on ‘terrorism’ only to reveal now that it has only bred more violence. The present crisis in the Middle-East is a testament in case, and the situation that has unfolded following the war on terror has yielded catastrophic results on human life. Its tentacles are spreading ever so quickly and have been responsible for snubbing possibilities to resolve acrimony in peaceful ways. Surely, there must be ways of addressing the questions of ‘terrorism’ in ways other than the use of force. 

The current wars waged in Gaza, Lebanon and Israel has sent a chilling message to the people; that civilians and infrastructures are perceived as legitimate military targets, which contradicts all international and humanitarian law. What this implies and what affect it will have in subsequent military confrontation are issues and actions that must first and foremost be put in the perspective of global politics. These questions inevitably lead us to the monotheism of force.   

Growing militarization of national and foreign policies have increased government dependency on force to secure political and diplomatic victories. It is therefore important to put in perspective the political decision of the Israeli government to launch a major strategic military response to the small-scale attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah. Its ability to legitimize her military offensive will determine the success of its real intended goals, which Robert Dreyfuss says is, to neutralize Hamas and the remaining institutions of Palestinian self-rule and to decapitate and destroy Hezbollah, politically and militarily in Lebanon. It has also become quite clear that Israel would never have launched this war without having made the calculation that inspite of possibilities of angering and possibly inviting the wrath of Islamic countries and perhaps even world opinion, that it would still win the support of the United States of America. This calculation has proved correct with President Bush repeatedly endorsing that Israel has the right to defend herself, and invariably coaxing Israel to forge ahead relentlessly.

In her actions Israel has linked the Palestinian and Lebanese episodes with the question of Iran, the unraveling war in Iraq, the role of Syria in Lebanon and broadly the Arab-Israeli conflict into one big mass. More now than ever before, it is likely that the Israel-Palestine issue will always be linked with the Israeli-Arab issue, over which the United States will face political dilemmas and possibly jeopardizing its pivotal role in the Israel-Palestine peace process. This latest crisis may perhaps have shifted the power of balance, bringing President Bush once more to the center of world politics. While Dreyfuss says it would be ideal for the US to take pro-active steps to end this war, to open dialogue with Iran and Syria and reinitiate the Israel-Palestine peace process, these positive steps maybe deemed as putting the war on terror in jeopardy. The problem is that use of force has become the yardstick of success and has come to acquire the position of monotheism in foreign policies.