U.S. Middle East Policy or lack thereof
Mon Aug 7, 2006 16:48

I just got this one from my buddy, Doctor Tony. According to him, it appeared in yesterday’s St. Petersburg Times (08/06/06). It’s amazing.

One wonders how it got by the arse kissers… I showed it to some of my donut eating friends from a regional Polonian-American club and they were shocked. Two of the three guys said that everything they send in is rejected… Have fun. It’s a good read –and from a major paper!


U.S. Middle East Policy or lack thereof
Submitted by Letters to the ... on Fri, 2006-07-28 08:29. Letters

Once again it seems as if the rest of the world has gotten it all wrong concerning our country's position with respect to the Israeli incursion into south Lebanon. The outcry from so many naive governments, including that of many of our allies, seems to be focused on the humanitarian plight of the innocent civilians caught up in what many people seem to view as a gross over reaction on the part of the Israeli government. These shortsighted critics just don't seem to realize that the deaths of a mere few hundred Lebanese civilians as well as the near destruction of a country is but a small price to pay for the vindication of Israel's policy that the life of one Israeli soldier can only be recompensed by the death and destruction ("shock and awe ?") necessarily caused by a justifiably overwhelming and indiscriminate military retribution. That this could be the view of Israel is understandable if not justifiable, but that it is also apparently the view of our own nation's leaders is both frightening and shameful.

Israel's policy of wholesale destruction and relentless killing of hundreds of innocent civilians enjoys but one wholehearted supporter, the United States. The decision by our country's leadership to disavow an immediate suspension of the violence on the pretense of awaiting for the solution of the underlying causes of the problem as a way of creating a "lasting and sustainable peace" is nothing short of the granting of a license to kill. The condition of awaiting for a solution of the underlying causes is nothing more than a poorly veiled attempt to hold the Lebanese people hostage until they throw out Hezbollah. It is the granting of a license to terrorize an entire population as the price of not electing political leadership which is attuned to our own view of how things should be. The truth has now leaked out in torrents that we only espouse democracy if the people of a nation elect leaders of our own liking and of our own persuasion. And if they do not, then they deserve to be humiliated, if not destroyed. Of course the Hezbollah fanatics are complicit in this sorry scene if for no other reason than they seek to pursue their goals of the destruction of Israel. Both sides, for different reasons, offer up justifications and rationalizations for the destruction of Lebanon. Insofar however as Israel utilizes U.S. weapons and technology in its campaign of carnage, the United States is seen as complicit in that part of the unfolding tragedy. Our leaders do not see this ?

Of course, it is not Israel's policy that concerns me as it is that of our own nation's leadership. The reasons why one nation abhors another and imposes war on the chosen enemy is as old as humanity itself. The identities of the protagonists may change, i.e., Armenians, Turks, Kurds, Israelis, Arabs, Tamils, Communists, Fascists, etc., but the result is often the same. One nation conducts near genocidal campaigns on another for reasons that most of us who are not directly involved in the dispute cannot fathom. Often, other nations, including our own, have had cultural, economic or political ties with either or both of the conflicted parties. And, often too late to help the innocent victims, the enlightened views of those other nations have acted to either stem the carnage or, at least, record the injustices for the benefit of posterity. It is that enlightened opportunity for leadership that eludes our nation's political leaders, especially in matters of the Middle East.

Either our country's leaders are deaf and blind to the reality of our complicity in the destruction of Lebanon or they are absolutely convinced that anything the nation of Israel conducts is indeed, justified by political expedience as well as by the Almighty itself. Perhaps I am being unkind to our political leaders since, after all, they represent our own voices. Is it then, that our leaders' views are constrained by our own - yours and mine - cultural xenophobia and consumer-induced stupor, so that world events are evaluated by whether or not our nation's response helps us continue living the way in which we have all been accustomed. Perhaps the over abiding question is what has happened to our country's ability to raise up effective and responsible leaders. It is hard to accept that as our country commences its third centennial the best that it can offer is a president whose reputation for intellectual curiosity and integrity is nil, that the nation's strongest political leadership is embodied by men and women whose principal talent is the ability to gauge which way the majority of its citizens is leaning in order to claim that inclination as the core of his or her personal philosophy.

Our founding fathers would cringe at the current state of affairs in our country. Our country no longer produces leaders and thinkers. Instead we produce poll takers and manipulators. A president can be impeached not on account of his statesmanship or lack thereof but on account of his sexual miscues. I only hope that miscreants do not peer too deeply into the private lives of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Paine, to name but a few. We will be shocked to discover that all these men were flawed and that we have been duped into believing that they were heroes and thinkers. This is not a diatribe against the Republican Party. No indeed, as many Democratic Party standard bearers manifest the identical inclinations to engage in meaningless sophistry in the guise of policy. It is only in the voices of certain press columnists, be they branded as conservative, liberal or any other persuasion that we see some strength of intellect and conviction of conscience. In my wildest fascinations I dream of a fictional exchange of beings between George W. Bush and George Will. It would be utterly delicious to read the rantings of George Bush the columnist as he attempted to fathom the articulate policies espoused by President George Will.
Commentators throughout the world call for the United States to play an active role in demanding a truce and the implementation of a just and sustainable plan for peace in the Middle East. I fear there is no one in our current political community who can take the lead in such a noble and deadly necessary effort. Our president has yet to utter a meaningful and enlightened statement on this issue, no matter the degree of chaos that describes the world's state of affairs. He is viewed even by members of his own party as an embarrassment and his ineptitude has far outdistanced the pedigree of belonging to one of the pre-eminent political families in the nation.

In addition, our congressional leaders, with rare exceptions, are unwilling or unable to pronounce any message which might be interpreted as a challenge to Israel's public policy. It is not that the Israel lobby is so strong. It is no stronger than the gun lobby or the sugar lobby or any other such narrow focus interest group. The problem seems to be that our political leadership is spineless in terms of articulating and then defending principal which serves the nations best interests in the long term. Our current political leaders seem to be content to be crew of a rudderless vessel in the midst of the tempest. Unfortunately, the prediction calls for a sustained period of political turmoil, abroad as well as at home... and there is no one at the tiller.

Ramon Carrion, Safety Harbor

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