Terrorism is a tactic, not an entity, and it is a tactic used by people who have a political grievance. Therefore, if you want to eliminate terrorism, you have to address the political problems that gave it birth.
President Bush has made no effort to do this. He has aggravated the situation and made it worse. He’s created a virtual factory for terrorists.
I am a firm believer that what you sow you reap, and it is a bad business to sow hatred, but unfortunately it seems that our president has been seduced by the great power he commands. He thinks the military and the intelligence community can solve the problem of terrorism.
He should note carefully the situation with Israel. Since 1947, the Israelis have been trying to use force instead of diplomacy to solve the Palestinian problem. And what is that problem? The Zionists, encouraged by the British, planted a colonialist country in Palestine with no regard for the rights or wishes of the Palestinian people.
Just as the Jews used terrorism to drive the British out of Palestine, the Palestinians have been forced to resort to it, and for 59 years the Israelis have been trying to kill their way out of it. It hasn’t worked. The Palestinians are still there. They kill, too. And, 100 years from now, the Palestinians will still be there, but it’s not at all certain Israel will be. I tend to agree with a former head of Israeli military intelligence who said that if the Palestinians are not given their own state, Israel will be committing national suicide.
I think he’s right. The Israelis have become so paranoid, they are walling themselves in and, of course, stealing more Palestinian land in the process. But the wall won’t help. There are Palestinians inside the wall who hold Israeli citizenship. There are Palestinians in the West Bank, in Gaza, in East Jerusalem. There are also Palestinians in refugee camps inside the West Bank and in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. So long as there is no justice for the Palestinians, there will be no peace in that region.
Thanks to a powerful Israeli lobby, our government, instead of pursuing our interests, has made itself an accessory to the crimes the Israelis commit against the Palestinians. Hence, we have become a target for terrorists, too. The president’s statement that the terrorists “hate freedom” was just a cart full of cow pies. What they hate is our Middle East policy, and it is hardly a policy that has anything to do with freedom.
When the Palestinians held a free election and didn’t elect the corrupt group of men we wanted, what did we do? We took our marbles and went home and pouted. We added to the misery of the Palestinians. We proved ourselves hypocrites, because a key element of democracy is to recognize the results of a free election. The president refuses to do that. For decades, we have denied the Palestinians the protection of international law by vetoing every United Nations resolution that sought to correct the wrongs committed by Israel. We have poured billions of dollars into Israel and made it a regional superpower complete with nuclear weapons.
In the meantime, we have invaded two Muslim nations, neither of which was at war or was a threat to us. It’s taken the Taliban some time to get reorganized, but they’ve come back. We’ve lost 236 men in Afghanistan, and if we stay, we’ll lose more. Anybody who thinks we can do what neither the British at the height of their power nor the Soviets could do is, I think, mistaken. Killing foreigners has been the national pastime in Afghanistan for centuries. The longer we stay, the more Afghans will turn against us.
We should pull out of the Middle East and adopt a fair and just attitude toward the Palestinians. Otherwise, we are risking disaster. All of America’s allies in Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Kuwait are one bullet away from a change of government. The tactical and strategic situation could change as quickly as an earthquake strikes. If Iran makes you nervous, how would you like to see an Islamist government in control of Pakistan, with its nuclear weapons and missiles? Or commanding the 70 million people in Egypt? We should get out now while, as they say in the South, the “getting is good.” That’s the only way you can win the so-called war on terrorism.