Reese: A Real Policy For Peace
By Charley Reese
There is only one nuclear power in the Middle East: Israel.
There is only one country in the Middle East that refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty: Israel.
There is only one country in the Middle East that refuses to allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities: Israel.
There is only one country in the Middle East that stands in defiance of more than 60 United Nations resolutions: Israel.
There is only one country in the Middle East that invaded and continues to occupy land belonging to its neighbors: Israel.
I am not setting out to bash Israel, but merely to point out undeniable facts that most of the America media and American politicians studiously ignore. Is it too difficult for Americans to grasp that the United States has a blatant double standard and that the people in Arab countries justifiably resent that double standard? The Arabs do not expect or demand that the United States become the enemy of Israel. They recognize the close ties between the two countries. All they ask for is simple fairness.
It's not fair to threaten Iraq with war for allegedly violating U.N. resolutions while protecting Israel from any consequences for violating more U.N. resolutions. It's not fair to go to war to undo the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq while condoning the continued occupation by Israel of portions of Lebanon, Syria and Palestine. It's not fair to threaten Iraq and Iran about weapons of mass destruction while remaining silent about those possessed by Israel. It's not fair to harp on the crimes committed by Saddam Hussein while rationalizing the crimes committed by Israel. Do you realize that in just the past week, as of this writing, the Israelis have killed 33 Palestinians?
Do you realize that if the United States announced that its policy is to rid the entire Middle East of weapons of mass destruction, including those possessed by Israel, that the United States would receive the overwhelming support of the Arab world?
Fairness was once the characteristic of the American republic. It consists simply of doing exactly what our great founder, George Washington, recommended: treat all countries the same, showing neither favoritism nor enmity to any. Moreover, he pleaded, do not involve yourself in other people's feuds and quarrels. And finally, he warned against the evils of foreign influence in our domestic affairs.
Every single foreign-policy problem we face, including the threat of terrorism, is a result of violating those three admonitions: We don't treat all nations the same; we do involve ourselves in other people's quarrels; and we have allowed foreign influence to exert tremendous influence on our policies. Far from being the republic Washington and his contemporaries gave us, we have become an empire, very much like Rome.
There are nearly 40,000 permanent lobbyists in Washington, swarming over our 535 elected officials like flies on roadkill. We have the bizarre ritual of practically every candidate for president making a visit to the Israeli lobby and pledging undying support for a foreign country. While millions in Africa and Latin America suffer terrible poverty, not to mention 30 million of our own people, we pour billions of dollars of aid into Israel, which has a comfortably high standard of living. Again, foreign influence is the reason.
The truth is, we have no natural enemies except the North Koreans, who are taught from the cradle to hate us. Islam is not our enemy. The Arab world is not our enemy. Iran is not our enemy. Russia and China are not our enemies. Except for the North Koreans, the only enemies we have in this world are those we created with our unjust policies and actions.
President Bush fancies himself a Christian. It's too bad he isn't, but then most Christians would not be recognizable to Christ if he returned to Earth. Peace, love and justice are not very fashionable in many Christian circles these days. Many of them prefer war, provided they don't have to fight it.
© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.