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Hopeless [David Warren]
Ottawa Citizen ^ | June 7, 2003 | David Warren

Posted on 06/12/2003 3:43:07 AM PDT by tictoc

I have previously described the peace plan President Bush is now advancing as the "road map to hell", and I did not do so lightly. Those who have been reading me will be aware that I am not ill-disposed towards the U.S. President, and I have tried to convey what I think are the large, but essentially reasonable, premises upon which he is acting. A large solution is necessary to a very large problem; and what became fully visible on Sept. 11th, 2001, cannot be fixed with silver bullets.

Here, before we take another step, is a bitter truth, especially unpalatable to those with small and compressive minds, who want to blame a person, a party, a class, even a people, for everything wrong in the world. Now it happens there is something wrong that has grown so large that it cannot possibly be ignored, and yet also cannot be fixed by any conceivable exertion of human will. In politics and diplomacy, such a problem typically resolves itself in a large conflagration.

Example, you may argue that Neville Chamberlain should have behaved differently at Munich in September, 1938; that he should never have attempted a peace treaty with Hitler, on any terms; and in retrospect, I agree. But the person who thinks the Second World War could have been avoided by anything Chamberlain, or any other elected politician might have done, is a fool. It was too late for that; the mistakes that had led Hitler to power had long since been committed, and were too numerous and consequential to be undone. Those who blame everything on the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, equally miss the point: no Versailles could "justify" the rise of Nazism, which had much deeper causes, as well as much shallower. It had happened, and once it had happened, and had developed past a certain indeterminable point, there was no way out. No matter which direction was chosen, there would be catastrophe.

I fear that is the situation today in the Middle East. Our eyes may be fixed on the issue of Israel/Palestine, and Mr. Bush is addressing it for the very reason that the eyes are fixed there (rather than on, say, the Congo, where millions seem to have been killed, but in wars of only local consequence). Israel/Palestine is a proxy battle; the fuse but not the bomb. Mr. Bush's thinking is: "Put out the fuse and we may then disarm the bomb at our leisure." But he's too late; even Clinton was too late.

That dull sense at the pit of the stomach -- "no escape" -- came to me yesterday as I read the Reuters report that Hamas was refusing even to talk with the new Palestinian premier, Mahmoud Abbas. I could not tell you in 850 words how we came to this situation, only give you the far simpler news, of what the situation is.

It is terminal. It doesn't matter whether Mr. Abbas is sincere in his promise to end the Intifadah, and pursue a negotiated settlement that will lead to the creation of a democratic and constitutional Palestinian state. He hasn't the power to deliver on it anyway. Others have the power, and entirely lack the will. The whole Palestinian society is in the hands of terrorists, and it doesn't matter how many individual Palestinians approve or disapprove. Those who may actually want peace with Israel have neither the leadership nor the physical means to defeat Hamas, Islami Jihad, Hizbollah, Fatah, or even their dancing-master, Yasser Arafat. And nothing short of a Palestinian civil war could possibly remove them.

That is the fuse, but the bomb must also be considered. The entire Arab world, and most of the Muslim beyond it, is too deeply and emotionally invested in that proxy war against Israel, to embrace what must be done to avoid the catastrophe, which I fear lies ahead. As we now learn, even King Abdullah of Jordan very nearly withdrew as host of the summit between Ariel Sharon, Mr. Abbas, and Mr. Bush. He is the best-disposed of all the Arab leaders towards a permanent peace acknowledging Israel's existence, within whatever borders and terms can be agreed. The political heat from below and around was nearly too much, even for him. It must quickly become too much.

I cannot predict how things will fall out, incident by incident. Israel itself could soon face something suggestive of civil war, when it tries to remove heavily armed settlers, whether legal or illegal, from West Bank settlements; but I believe as Mr. Sharon says he does that the Israeli political order can withstand this, and deliver on very painful agreements. It won't matter, however: for the Palestinians cannot. And those who will not, can count on the backing of the whole "Arab nation". As the pressure rises, from Washington and elsewhere, to do the impossible, the point of combustion must be reached.

I'm sorry, I can't see any way out: no solution, no alternative course, that does not rest on some sort of fantasy -- everyone is trapped. The more peace is sought, the more war becomes inevitable; and yet peace must be sought.



TOPICS: Israel
KEYWORDS: israel; palestine

1 posted on 06/12/2003 3:43:08 AM PDT by tictoc
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To: tictoc
I agree,with sorrow.
2 posted on 06/12/2003 3:48:49 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: risk; yonif; Bobby777
Another voice.
3 posted on 06/12/2003 3:50:46 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: MEG33; tictoc
It is only through a willingness to pay any price, that we may continue to be free.

I believe Adlai Stevenson paraphrased Goethe from Faust saying:

What you have inherited from your fathers, earn over again for yourselves or it will not be yours.
Now is such a time. WW2 was not as bad as it gets; it was just another manifestation of man's inhumanity to man. It will happen again and again, and we must be prepared to meet the threat directly.

Take heart, my friends. We are born of great men and women who knew how to rise to the call of freedom. We will, too.

4 posted on 06/12/2003 4:10:55 AM PDT by risk
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To: MEG33
I agree, too. And every time that peace has been pushed by a third party (us) the attemt has always come unraveled.

What I see as the only way of peace happening is if the cooler heads in BOTH camps join together to form a united front against the radical and terrorist elements on both sides.

But there is such distrust between them that I don't see them ever being able to get together. And even if they did, they don't have the power and tools to overcome the radical elements, and would be at significant personal risk as those who don't want peace think nothing of killing off those who do.

Peace can only come about from within the peoples of the area, but it seems to be impossible. It's very sad.

LQ
5 posted on 06/12/2003 4:24:23 AM PDT by LizardQueen
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To: risk
Great post.
6 posted on 06/12/2003 4:27:58 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: LizardQueen
But we try because we must and fail because of minds and hearts that won't be changed.
7 posted on 06/12/2003 4:31:31 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: alloysteel
Another voice on the peace plan.
8 posted on 06/12/2003 4:33:46 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: tictoc
If Bush doesn't back off from his idiotic "road map," we are headed for major war.
9 posted on 06/12/2003 4:35:30 AM PDT by LarryM
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To: LarryM
How would you address the security of Israel?
10 posted on 06/12/2003 4:36:59 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: tictoc
Unfortunately, I must agree with the writer. This situation has far too much to do with ingrained beliefs; ingrained mindsets. So-called leaders can make nice and sign papers and win Nobel Peace Prizes..............to no avail.

The Arab world needs to clean its own house. If not, they face ongoing war with the (ostensibly) Christian West, along with Jewish Israel. They will lose, of course, in a "straight up war", but they know this and will continue to fight using brainless 'suicide bombers' while fanning the flames of hatred at every opportunity. I don't see 'average Palestinians'........or 'average Arabs on the street'.........rising up in righteous indignation, taking up arms, and cleaning the vipers from their societies.

In the old days.............a power would merely conquer such annoying enemies.

11 posted on 06/12/2003 4:41:12 AM PDT by RightOnline
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To: LizardQueen
Your interpretation is unsupported by David Warren's article.

Quote:

Israel itself could soon face something suggestive of civil war, when it tries to remove heavily armed settlers, whether legal or illegal, from West Bank settlements; but I believe as Mr. Sharon says he does that the Israeli political order can withstand this, and deliver on very painful agreements. It won't matter, however: for the Palestinians cannot.

Perhaps you did not intend it that way, but your comment seems to paint the Israelis as equally to blame for the situation as the Arabs.

12 posted on 06/12/2003 4:42:45 AM PDT by tictoc (On FreeRepublic, discussion is a contact sport.)
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To: prairiebreeze
Another voice on the peace plan.
13 posted on 06/12/2003 4:43:30 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: risk
Take heart, my friends. We are born of great men and women who knew how to rise to the call of freedom. We will, too.

Yes we will. But is "we" the West including Israel, or is it the West minus Israel?

We already know the Euros would throw Israel to the wolves in a heartbeat if it buys them the illusion of safety. But what do the American people want? What about the Congress? Foreign policy decisions are made by the executive branch, not Congress, and not by popular referendum.

14 posted on 06/12/2003 5:05:13 AM PDT by tictoc (On FreeRepublic, discussion is a contact sport.)
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To: tictoc
I have it in my heart that America will not throw Israel to the wolves.I have trust that Bush will not.Even the wildeyed libs wouldn't be comfortable .I just heard Lieberman say no Americans unless peacekeepers with others.
15 posted on 06/12/2003 5:17:55 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: tictoc
"Until the Palestinians decide they love their children more than they hate the Israelis,there will be violence"...Golda Mier
16 posted on 06/12/2003 6:03:01 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: tictoc
I'm not trying to divvy it up 50/50 - but you can't deny that even the Israelis have radical elements that make the whole thing more difficult (remember what happened to Rabin).

But yes, the Israelis have a better chance of getting their anti-peace types to toe the line than the Palestinians do. But at what cost? The Arab world is just licking it's chops at thought of Israelis fighting fellow Israelis, and will use it to their advantage if it happens.

The whole thing is a mess.

LQ


17 posted on 06/12/2003 6:06:59 AM PDT by LizardQueen
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To: tictoc
I continue to hope that Dubya was thinking the Palestinians would be sobered by his obvious determination, as demonstrated in Afghanistan and Iraq. He wanted them to have one chance to deal honestly with a man they couldn't kid themselves could be "had."

Well, they've had their one chance. It's money-shot time. The Bush Administration must demonstrate its resolve again -- and at once, before any of the world's other Islamic madmen get more funny ideas.

At the very minimum, Washington must now tell Ariel Sharon publicly that there will be no adverse American reaction to Israel doing whatever it thinks it must about the Palestinians. I'd prefer to see a joint American-Israeli strike to purge out the PA and all the terrorist groups, but I've always been a bit headlong.

We shall see.

Freedom, Wealth, and Peace,
Francis W. Porretto
Visit The Palace Of Reason:
http://palaceofreason.com

18 posted on 06/12/2003 6:09:37 AM PDT by fporretto (Curmudgeon Emeritus, Palace of Reason)
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To: fporretto
There has been a threat to all foreigners to leave Israel by Hamas. There has been a new attack in Gaza against the terrorists.
19 posted on 06/12/2003 6:16:54 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: MEG33
Thanks for the ping.

As we now learn, even King Abdullah of Jordan very nearly withdrew as host of the summit between Ariel Sharon, Mr. Abbas, and Mr. Bush.

Is this true? I've been away from much of the news this week and hadn't heard this before.....

A big part of the problem is there is little accountability in the Arab world. To themselves or to each other. No assumption of personal responsibility as being either part of the problem or of the solution.

Prairie

20 posted on 06/12/2003 6:24:49 AM PDT by prairiebreeze (Middle East terrorists to the world: " We don't want no STINKING PEACE!!")
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To: prairiebreeze
That was sobering news to me.
21 posted on 06/12/2003 6:29:09 AM PDT by MEG33
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To: LarryM
"If Bush doesn't back off from his idiotic "road map,"

The "ROAD MAP" was drawn up by EU, Russia and US, so while you want to blame Bush maybe you need to see who else is stirring the "POT" and see if others hidden might be want a "major war".

The terrorists claims were that we were weak, fat and lazy, wonder who told them this and who benefits the most if we can be cut off at the ankles.

There are many hidden fingers in the boiling cauldron, and too many on the "Right" think it their job to do what they have never been given instruction to do. As far as I can see Bush is the least of the idiots.
22 posted on 06/12/2003 6:37:01 AM PDT by Just mythoughts
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To: tictoc; risk; LizardQueen; MEG33
Those who blame everything on the Treaty of Versailles, in 1919, equally miss the point: no Versailles could "justify" the rise of Nazism, which had much deeper causes, as well as much shallower.

Versailles allowed France to rape the Ruhr Valley, destroy Germany's economy and enable the rise of Hitler.  It was a Roadmap to WWII.  To blame the German people for electing Hitler is no better than blaming Americans for Clinton's treason.  The conditions that allowed both men to rule undergirded and propelled the event.  It's called the sweep of history.  And no, I don't have any idea what I'm talking about.

23 posted on 06/12/2003 5:32:13 PM PDT by gcruse (Superstition is a mind in chains.)
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To: gcruse; tictoc; LizardQueen; MEG33
To blame the German people for electing Hitler is no better than blaming Americans for Clinton's treason.

I can see where you're coming from on this. But it pays to have older parents. My 80 year-old mother, whose father fought in WWI and whose husband fought in WWII, has often said to me in a grim voice: Watch those Germans. They'll do it again. Speaking in general terms (all anti-Semitism and fascism) I didn't believe her until I saw Palestinians dancing on 9/11 and I read about Jerusalem's former mufti, Haj Amin al-Husseini and his connection to Hitler.

Then I observed how German companies were lining up to profit in Iraq, and how the German left was against Israel. I'm not saying Germany will rise again in the near future, but my mother's chilling words will always haunt me. We'll never know how close we came to an Austro-Hungarian/Turko empire ruling the world.

Fascism and imperialism never dies, it just finds a new place to lie in wait. In the case of the anti-semitic virus, it just finds a new host.

The German people wanted to rule the world, and Hitler gave them a voice and the power to do it. And they tried twice in the space of a generation. I can't believe that they're not responsible for this.

When General Walker liberated the Ohrdruf deathcamp, he supposedly invited the local burgermeister and his wife to force the local citezenry to come and view the fruits of their Reich. Although they denied they knew it existed, the couple returned home and committed suicide.


Ourdurf deathcamp after its liberation.

Hitler's book Mein Kampf spells out plainly what he had planned for the Jews. He said it again and again in speeches. They were dispicable, low creatures that were responsible for all the ills in the German State. Germans believed this, and instead of solving their real problems directly, they chose to hate and to conqure. They did choose, however.

Like you, I'm just thinking outloud here...

24 posted on 06/14/2003 2:48:48 AM PDT by risk
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To: risk
Good post.Thanks.
25 posted on 06/14/2003 9:22:27 AM PDT by MEG33
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