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Bulletins Bulletin : Published
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2003
From: cluster11
Continuing the conversation ..

Good posts from vanity and Sab. Both of you couldn't reply under original
post most likely because B2K has a bug with content limit on Post reply.
Basically the allowed size of a reply is much smaller than an original post.
So B2K just hangs and doesnt post the reply. Anyway, enuff on that, let
me get to the point.

As much as I like Vanity's optimism, its hard for me to put faith in it
because of the bloody history of that region. I want to limit this discussion
to the Palestine issue. Maybe we can expand on the current war with Iraq on
another thread (which has very little to do with palestine issue or terrorism
or perceived so-called U.S. dominance in the region).

The hawks in Washington have always leaned far right and far pro-Israel
whenever possible. However, just looking at the past history of the region,
I must say U.S. policy to the palestine issue is surprisingly mild compared to
decades back. The events of the 1940s and 1950s, when Israel forced out
millions of palestenians out of their homeland and regularly fought wars
with its neighbors, were all supported by U.S. But this was at a time when
the U.S. believed Israel was under genuine threat of getting wiped
out by its muslim neighbors. It didn't help that administration of some
neighboring countries had boasted "We will finish what Hitler started"
referring to the proposed extermination of the Jewish race by the Nazis. But
after the 1967 war when Israel basically destroyed any substantial Arab
opposition on a pre-emptive strike, it was obvious that its no longer
under extermination threat from its neigbors. Still the U.S. continued to
lean heavily toward support of Israeli's approach to military solutions in this
crisis. Consider the Yam Kippur War of '73, when Sharon's brilliant counter-attack
surrounded Egypt's third army in open desert. For days he pounded on two
whole divisions of surrendering Egyptian Army killing many thousands when on
the other hand pretending to negotiate a cease-fire. US conveniently looked
the other way until the Soviets threatened to land troops in the Suez. The '73
war was openly financed by Saudi Arab and UAE and putting oil embargo on US.
Sharon also got a mere slap in the wrist for his massacre of palestine refugees
in early '80s in Lebanon. You look at these events and you see US-Arab relation
is much much better now compared to two or three decades back. The Arab
neighbors thus conveniently resorted to criticising Israel in their
useless summits and treating their Palestenian brethrens like dirt in
reality. In Lebanon, In Jordan, in Syria, Palestenians live like the lowest
class of poor ppl possible, with no voting rights and shut out of good
job and business opportunities.

It was unthinkable in the '80s that a US President would openly talk about his
vision of an independent Palestine state and criticize illegal settlements in
the West Bank and Gaza. Sab, you were talking about providing logistic and armed
support to Palestenian fighters by the rich Arab allies. No Arab country has the
resource to get into an armed conflict with Israel. Egypt and Turkey have some
military capability to prolong a struggle if attacked but the rest will fold
in weeks. This is not Barak or Rabin in power in Israel now. Sharon the warrior
would like nothing better than an excuse to get in a war with Israel's neighbors.
The equation of power has changed a lot more in Israel's favor since '73. Frankly
Israel can take all of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan in a week if war breaks out but
what works against the Israeli ultra right-wing today are 2 factors. Big brother
America is lot more sympathetic toward Palestine and the Israeli public are less
aggressive themselves compared to decades back. Ironically, it is the
Palestenine terrorist groups who has helped the hawks like Sharon and Netanyahu
to win diplomatic grounds with those suicide kiling of innocent Israeli citizens.
They now have administrative power and lot more allies in Washington. You
can't expect Bush to clear up the mess. He has an election to win and his
'axis of evil' to deal with. He will definitely act in Palestine's favor if the
diplomatic situation tilts their way. But his approach is very different from
Clinton. He cares less about international fame and more about national strength.
He has to - with Cheney, Rummy and Wolfowitz around. Only Smart moves like a
democratic Palestine authority, a better peace plan from Arab allies and
lessen of suicide bombing can win this for the Palestenians.

No I dont buy the argument that the Palestenians are hopeless and has to do
suicide bombing. In the '80s they were much more hopeless because the Western
media wouldnt restrain Israeli tanks from flattening villages or militias from
massacaring refugee camps. These still happen but at much smaller scale than
two decades back. You remember the first Intifada? Little childrens throwing
stones at the tanks and soldiers. Palestenians attacking Israeli troops.
Today they are attacking less and less Israeli armed forces and more and more
Israeli school children and innocent citizens. This DEFINITELY does not help
their cause. Yes there are generations being brought up in refugee camps
but they are basically playing into the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad
whose main target is to knock off PLO from leadership and unwillingly
help Israeli right-wingers in the process. Only the palestenian folks can
try to put an end to this vicious cycle. And I think the assistance from
their so-called muslim brethrens like Iran and Syria have only muddled
the situation.

Despite all his conservative and sometime irrational views, Tom Clancy had
portrayed a very interesting possbility of this conflict in his book 'Sum
Of All Fears'. He visioned a Palestine uprising with complete non-violence
much like Gandhi's movement against the British. This would completely
confuse the Israeli leadership. And the right-wing elements of the Israeli
police would in such case make the dire mistakes of killing peaceful
protesters which would put Israel in a terrible dilemma. They wouldve no
choice but to give up Palestine eventually. Its all fiction but it doesn't
take a rocket scientist to figure out that path to violence has not helped
the Palestine cause in the past few decades and will not in future either.

Ok enuff rambling from me now. Please dont take it as a criticism of
any kind. I admired both Sab and Vanity;s viewpoints. Just had to let out
some of my own thoughts here. Couldnt help the long size of this post :).


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