Posted by mike on April 16, 2002 at 20:57:23:
In Reply to: Hoping for a variety of opinions on this "memo"? posted by Sheila on April 16, 2002 at 02:42:46:
"Talking Points believes many in Palestine want an all-out war between the Arab world and America and Israel. They want they want massive violence, and a showdown that would cost thousands of lives."
Of course the suicide bombs constitute murder as does the Israeli murders in Jenin and elsewhere. I think most of the muder is now bred from revenge rather than an organised attempt to spread the conflict to other parts of the world. Unfortuanetly Mr.O' Reilly sometimes uses the tragic events as scare tactics with which to shock middle America. The heart of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict still remains the question of land and territory, even given Sep. 11th it is not about some larger Muslim/Christian war. I think some adrenalin addicted journalists have the reprehensible wish that something like that would happen just so they can cover it.
"And these people are out of control. Arafat can't stop them, and not one Arab leader condemned the suicide bombing today, not one."
Of course Arafat cannot control them, he is stuck in a friggin' basement! And the other Arab leaders have radical elements at home so condemnation of suicide bombers is not without its consequences in Cairo as it may be in Washington or London. Mr.O'Reilly is not naieve but he chooses to ignore some obvious considerations.
"President Bush also has an extreme problem with Saudi Arabia. America gets 8 percent of its oil from that country, and that country is now raising millions of dollars to support the families of the suicide bombers. That's directly supporting terrorism, the same thing that Taliban did."
I agree with Mr.O'Reilly here but the power of Saudi has been enhanced by the US not dimished by it. The US in 2001 spent $50 billion in the mid east region protecting $19 billion in crude oil imports. A lot of this money went to regimes (including the Saudi) that are undemocratic and unaccountable to their own people let alone democratic or accountable when it comes to dealing with other countries.
"All Americans should understand the gravity of this situation. Secretary Powell has to exert pressure on both Israel and on Arafat to come to some kind of agreement on peace talks. If the secretary cannot do that, a wider war is almost a certainty."
I agree with Mr.O'Reilly here that the situation is grave. Is a wider war "almost a certainty"? I hope I am right in saying that I think this is a stretch, we will continue to see terrorist acts in the US unfortunately and elsewhere but I do not believe that we will see a bill of war issued by a middle east country on a western country. Of course the US could declare war on Iraq?
The seeds of war are more likley to be planted in Washington than in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv.