Foreign Policy Wrong
by Charley Reese
Last September, when President Bush declared his war on terrorism, I said that you can't kill your way out of a terrorism problem. I cited the Israelis as an example.
Does anyone want to argue with that? Israel is still wracked with terrorism, despite having reoccupied virtually all of the West Bank and having killed Palestinians at a prodigious rate. Nor have we solved our terrorism problem, even though, for the time being, the terrorists are lying low.
I also said in October that American troops would be in Afghanistan long enough to realize that Afghanistan's summers are as blazing hot as its winters are cold. That was when everyone was celebrating the "short" war. Our troops are still there. Moreover, the Bush administration doesn't have the foggiest notion of how long they will have to stay.
We are in this mess because the Bush administration foreign policy is based on lies. It is based on lies in order to avoid the politically incorrect truth that our problem with terrorism is solely the result of our outrageously unjust policy of blind support of Israel. Neither Bush nor Congress wants to admit this, so they come up with absurd lies that terrorists are jealous of our freedom and wealth.
Really now, do you suppose that a multimillionaire (Osama bin Laden) who chose to live in caves is jealous of American wealth? That makes no sense at all. The Zogby organization, which has emerged as one of the country's most competent polling organizations, recently did extensive face-to-face interviews with a cross section of people in several Arab countries. What did Zogby find?
It found that people in the Arab countries do not hate America or Americans or American culture or democracy. They just hate our foreign policy. As Zogby put it, "It's the policy, stupid."
While I could write 10 columns on the injustices of that policy, one example will suffice: We have inflicted a terrible economic siege and periodic bombings on Iraq in the name of enforcing United Nations Security Council resolutions. A former secretary of state, Madeleine Albright, said on global television that 500,000 dead Iraqi children were "worth it to enforce the resolutions."
At the same time, the state of Israel stands in open, stick-it-where-the-sun-don't-shine defiance of more than 60 U.N. Security Council resolutions. It is able to do so because the United States refuses to allow any enforcement actions to be taken against Israel.
You do see the contradiction, do you not? Enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq is OK, even if it means killing half a million Iraqi children, but no U.N. resolution can be enforced against Israel. It is not surprising that Arabs do not like that policy. Their dislike is quite rational and moral.
The only thing the Arab world, and indeed the Muslim world, asks of the United States is simple fairness. Israel's terrorism problem will never be solved as long as it continues to occupy the West Bank and Gaza. Instead of pressuring Israel to do the right thing, President Bush is trying to imitate the Israelis' failed and blood-spattered policy.
Get a video of the American film "The Patriot," with Mel Gibson. In your own mind, substitute the Palestinians for the American patriots and the Israelis for the British. You will have a correct analogy of what is going on in Palestine. Every time the Israelis kill and maim Palestinian children and commit other injustices, the Palestinian determination to fight grows 10 times stronger.
It is sad indeed that our government rejects the Palestinian freedom fighters and instead supports the oppressor, Israel. We'll pay for that stupidity in blood.
© 2002 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Extracted 08/16/02 from Charley Reese