In the interim, the World Bank has come up with a framework for a Middle Eastern Free Trade Area, which would be financed by the World Bank and built on Palestinian land around the wall to encourage export-oriented economic development. But with Israel ineligible for World Bank loans, the plan seems to translate into Palestinians paying for the modernization of checkpoints around a wall that they've always opposed, a wall that will help lock in and exploit their labor.
Sources: "Cementing Israeli Apartheid: The Role of World Bank," Jamal Juma', Left Turn, issue 18; "US Free Trade Agreements Split Arab Opinion," Linda Heard, Aljazeera, March 9, 2005
10. EXPANDED AIR WAR IN IRAQ KILLS MORE CIVILIANS
At the end of 2005, US Central Command Air Force statistics showed an increase in American air missions, a trend that was accompanied by a rise in civilian deaths thanks to increased bombing of Iraqi cities. But with US bombings and the killing of innocent civilians acting as a highly effective recruiting tool among Iraqi militants, the US war on Iraq seemed to increasingly be following the path of the war in Vietnam. As Seymour Hersh reported in the New Yorker at the end of 2005, a key component in the federal government's troop-reduction plan was the replacement of departing US troops with US air power.
Meanwhile, Hersh's sources within the military have expressed fears that if Iraqis are allowed to call in the targets of these aerial strikes, they could abuse that power to settle old scores. With Iraq devolving into a full-blown Sunni-Shiite civil war and the United States increasingly drawn into the sectarian violence, reporters like Hersh and Dahr Jamail fear that the only exit strategy for the United States is to increase the air power even more as the troops pull out, causing the cycle of sectarian violence to escalate further.
Sources: "Up in the Air," Seymour M. Hersh, New Yorker, December 2005; "An Increasingly Aerial Occupation," Dahr Jamail, TomDispatch.com, December 2005 SFBG
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