Despite denials from those who wish it weren’t so, the core issue destabilizing the Middle East and driving Islamic terrorism is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because it poisons our credibility and everything we try to do and gives extremists in the Muslim world credibility they wouldn’t otherwise have.
But don’t take my word for it:
"Jordan’s king said he will press President Bush to focus more attention on resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict when the two meet this week.
In a speech to Parliament Tuesday, King Abdullah II described the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as the “core” issue in the Middle East. . . .
But Abdullah and the leaders of two other U.S. allies in the Middle East – Egypt and Saudi Arabia – argue the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the most pressing crisis in the region, and fear Islamic militancy will strengthen if it is not resolved. . . . ."
You sure? U.S. involvement may pour oil on the various fires, but seeing the U.S. that the one and only and sole source of Good (right wing version) and Evil (left wing version) in the universe time and again overstates the omnipotence of the U.S.A…
Backing up one state or the other may make the U.S. look meddlesome and sour U.S.-Mid East relations. But if this is too high a price to pay for looking after American interests is an entirely different bebate. Admittedly Bush is overspending for little gain, but that’s nothing new and the Middle East as well as the U.S. both predate and will outlive him.
When it comes to destabilizing the Middle East though I consider the various local ethinic groups perfectly capable of being at each other’s throat and destabilizing their region out of their own free will. If it where not for Palestina or Operation Iraq I am convinced they would find another excuse to have a go at each other.
Before the establishment of Israel, Jewish people lived throughout the Arab world without the kind of hostility seen today. Terror was an effective tactic in ending the British mandate and establishing an Israeli state, and no doubt others in the region learned by example.
Nonetheless, I’d suggest that poorly drawn borders and easy oil revenues are the core issues in the region. Israel/Palestine has border & occupation issues, plus great economic disparity, but it’s an irritant. Hell, Palestinian troublemakers are often seen as an irritant by neighbouring Arab states. On the other hand, easy oil revenues are actively corrosive to fragile governance structures, such as those working to hold together the region’s patchwork states.
Take Israel off the table and the instability in the region isn’t all that different from pre-AIDS/ post-colonial instability in resource-rich areas of central Africa.
You sure? [/quote]
That’s what our allies in the Middle East are telling us but we refuse to listen to them.[/quote]
That’s the same allies who told you you will be “welcomed as liberators in Iraq”? Same allies who told you “the Sha will keep Persia pro-American”? Same allies who told you “give us money, we are your friends”? Same allies who told you “the Taliban are on your side, fighting the Soviet Union”? Same allies who told you “give us money, the Vietnamese loooove the ARVN”.
The core problem of the Middle East may pretty much be what Jaboney outlined. Patchwork states, easy uneven oil riches … and being stuck in the Middle Ages with Islam hardly helps either.
A core problem of U.S. foreign policy may be that too often it ignores critical voices and prefers to listens to exilantes who know pretty well what Americans want to hear, feed the rosy picture to the U.S. and then bail out when the cheques are cashed in and reality knocks at the door.
I would take it with a grain of salt that “solving the Israel-Palestine” dilemma will stabilize the Middle East and make the U.S. be loved all over the place as the King of Jordan claims. Sounds to me rather like the old scam of “We got a problem … none of yours, but will you pay for it again so you can feel all good and cozy about yourself? Pretty please.”
(Okay, I admit the “pretty please” has been replaced over the years with “or I will throw a fit and bomb something” by some players but the deal stays pretty much the same.)
That statement isn’t even remotely accurate:
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal, Feb 17, 2003
"Saudi Arabia has warned the United States against a possible war against Iraq in an exclusive interview with the BBC.
We think war is going to be a tremendous threat to the region…
“It would encourage people to think… that what they’re doing is a war of aggression rather than a war for the implementation of the United Nations resolutions.” . . .
Regime change would lead to the destruction of Iraq, and would threaten to destabilise the entire Middle East region, Prince Saud said.
If the choice is you destroy Iraq in order to get Saddam Hussein, it is a self-defeating policy, isn’t it? I mean, you destroy a country to get a person out - it doesn’t work
"If change of regime comes with the destruction of Iraq, then you are solving one problem and creating five more problems.
“That is the consideration that we have to make, because we are living in the region. We will suffer the consequences of any military action.”
Regime change can only be a possibility if it is done “indigenously”, he said.
“There has never been in the history of the world a country in which a regime change happened at the bayonets of guns that has led to stability. . . .”
That statement isn’t even remotely accurate:[/quote]
Wasn’t a statement, was a question
Question mark → ?
Anyhow, you already outlined it yourself in your post. Lot’s of warning voices, al-Faisal just being one of many. But who was listened to instead?
Shows again to be critical of those offering you “the magic pill solving all your problems”:
- Rummy told this will go all well and concerns are all overrated … and I was sceptical.
- Exile Iraqis told this will go over so well and Americans will be loved … and I was sceptical.
- Kind of Jordan now claims all will be well if the U.S. swoops in and cleans up the Israel/Palestina mess.
Yeah … right. And the boys will be home for Christmas.
You like more historical examples of this pattern spook? Vietnam, Market Garden, Barbarossa, Schlieffen Plan, American Civil War … will all be over in a gee-whizz, easy, cakewalk, practically already won yesterday, latest by Sunday this week.
Let’s say … I remain sceptical about the king’s assessment, okay? Am already constipated from all these “magic pills”.
"Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was key to improving the situation in Iraq, Sabah said. “Even if we hope that circumstances will soon allow the Americans to accelerate the reconstruction of Iraq, for Kuwait the priority today must be settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he said. "That must be the priority of the international community.
“Without a fair and durable solution of the Palestinian question, frustration in the region will continue. The situation can explode at any moment. That would create a climate even more favorable for terrorism.”
– Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah
Q. If the Israeli-Palestinian land dispute were equitably resolved tomorrow, and an apparently (will take time to know) Palestinian state established, would that be the beginning of the end to Arab-Jewish hostilities, or would religion/ economic disparities/ history continue to poison relations? Would the instability in Lebanon be lessened? Would Iraq be any more settled?
It’d be great to have that festering boil lanced, but in itself, it’s not a prescription for health.
[quote=“Jaboney”]Q. If the Israeli-Palestinian land dispute were equitably resolved tomorrow, and an apparently (will take time to know) Palestinian state established, would that be the beginning of the end to Arab-Jewish hostilities, or would religion/ economic disparities/ history continue to poison relations? Would the instability in Lebanon be lessened? Would Iraq be any more settled?
It’d be great to have that festering boil lanced, but in itself, it’s not a prescription for health.[/quote]
The leaders of every pro-Western country in the Middle East – Saudia Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and Egypt – say solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the key to bringing peace and stability to the region. One would think the disastrous policies of the U.S. and Europe in the Middle East the last few years would have taught westerners some humility and a willingness to try other approaches but apparently that’s not the case.
It looks like we’ll just have to keep learning the hard way.
LOL. If you’re lumping me in with supporters of the last few years’ policy makers, that’s a good one, spook.
I’m sure that the leaders of every pro- and anti-Western country in the Middle East would love to see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict taken care of. So would I; so would you.
I’m also sure that economic and social development within those countries–developments above and beyond easy oil gains–would do more for peace and stability than would events over the horizon, however infuriating.
Do you remember that earlier this year there was a comparative economic report that revealed the extent to which these countries lag behind the West in economic development? I believe it showed that their combined GNP is equivalent to that of Spain. With the exception of Syria, most of the trouble makers in the region are non-state actors exploiting young, unemployed men with negligible prospects. Imagine what a difference economic and social developments–with concomitant improvements in governance–would make.
Which isn’t to say Israel-Palestine isn’t a major issue; I simply do not believe it to be the major issue, nor the key to resolving the legion of other serious regional issues.
spook, it’s simpler than that.
npr.org/templates/story/stor … Id=6543594
Interview with Jimmy Carter about his new book ‘Palestine: Peace not Apartheid’.
[quote=“Jaboney”] . . . Do you remember that earlier this year there was a comparative economic report that revealed the extent to which these countries lag behind the West in economic development? I believe it showed that their combined GNP is equivalent to that of Spain. With the exception of Syria, most of the trouble makers in the region are non-state actors exploiting young, unemployed men with negligible prospects. Imagine what a difference economic and social developments–with concomitant improvements in governance–would make.
Which isn’t to say Israel-Palestine isn’t a major issue; I simply do not believe it to be the major issue, nor the key to resolving the legion of other serious regional issues.[/quote]
Your argument – that economic disparities are the real source of instability and extremism in the region – is essentially the argument of the Bush White House and has been made many times on these pages by Bush supporters.
From v’s citation, Jimmy Carter:
“The bottom line is this: Peace will come to Israel and the Middle East only when the Israeli government is willing to comply with international law, with the Roadmap for Peace, with official American policy, with the wishes of a majority of its own citizens—and honor its own previous commitments— by accepting its legal borders. All Arab neighbors must pledge to honor Israel’s right to live in peace under these conditions. The United States is squandering international prestige and goodwill and intensifying global anti-American terrorism by unofficially condoning or abetting the Israeli confiscation and colonization of Palestinian territories. It will be a tragedy—for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and the world—if peace is rejected and a system of oppression, apartheid, and sustained violence is permitted to prevail.”
Why don’t the Palestinians learn to live in peace? I personally do not care one fig for them or their grievances. They have had so many chances. I think that with ethnic cleansing of the West Bank and Gaza Strip should be on the table. IF there are going to be hard choices about hard bargains then let’s put then ALL on the table. IF Egypt and Jordan and the Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria were to face 3 million Palestinians being resettled, I think that we would see a willingness to “learn” on their part as well. But currently, the Palestinians have nothing to lose. Their intransigence and support for terrorism cost them nothing. They get to start from Square 1 whenever they lose as the land is always given back. Or at least it has been since the 1950s. Mistake. There has to be a cost and it should be announced and imposed. Today, take a bit more of the West Bank, tomorrow a bit more of the Gaza Strip and see what happens. I am sure that the “Arab Street” will rise up but when it loses again and again and again maybe it too will “learn” and that is what is so important right spook, is that we should all learn? haha
I’m at work and haven’t seen this yet, but it sounds interesting. [quote=“CBC: Henry Champ”]it is safe to say the 82-year-old former president and the largely 20-something student body dealt with Carter’s new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid, with more civility and thought than has been swirling around the publication so far.
To its credit, Brandeis, the only non-sectarian Jewish University in the U.S. took steps to calm the atmosphere.
Attendance of 1,700 in the hall was limited to Brandeis students and faculty. A debate proposed by Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz was denied. A documentary filmmaker was also refused access.
Most important, the questions were pre-screened.
Normally I would be a vigorous opponent of that condition, but on this night it worked. As the commentator said, “There are not too many matzo balls coming your way.”
You can judge for yourself, as a video of the speech is available on the Brandeis website.[/quote]
The Sunni-Shia divide has been the greatest source of violence in the Middle East since the late 7th century. Throw in oil, contrived political borders, kufaar occupying Muslim lands (Israel, Iraq, Afghanistan), Islamism, pan-Arabism, and old-fashioned would-be tyrants vying for power, and you’ve got yourself a real party!
I think the biggest underlying problem is the rise of ocean-going sea travel which bypasses traditional overland trade routes in the Middle East and Central Asia. If only we could solve that, then the Islamic world would be at peace with one another, reserving their enmity for acts of colonial aggression against Europe and Asia.