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Clarity Of Vision

Discussion in 'Random Discussion' started by JewisHeritage, Dec 15, 2001.

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  1. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    *Please Note*: I am posting the entire article because the source will only keep it online for free, for a period of two weeks.

    Editorial 12/17/01

    BY MORTIMER B. ZUCKERMAN EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

    Finally, A Clarity Of Vision

    How things change! During last year's presidential campaign, George W. Bush's opponents derided him for his ignorance of foreign affairs. Yet it is in international affairs where President Bush has come into his own. On the dominant issue of the day, global terrorism, the president is showing vision, courage, boldness, and wisdom. He recognizes the moral incoherence of fighting terror with one hand and appeasing it with the other. This is the clearheaded principle of his response to the murderous crisis in the Middle East. It is of great importance that Bush has abandoned the traditional "evenhandedness" of the State Department and the Clinton administration, the blurring of the distinction between the arsonist and the firefighter, between aggression and self-defense. That policy of well-meaning equivocation failed in the Middle East because it presumed on the good faith of a terrorist, Yasser Arafat, a man who has been even more of a disruptive force than Osama bin Laden. Arafat is guilty of not one but three betrayals: betrayal of his promises at Oslo, betrayal of his duty to make a just peace for the sake of the Palestinians, betrayal of the world's best hopes for the Middle East.

    Terrorism has now struck throughout Israel. Bombs are exploded in the sure knowledge that the dead and wounded will be innocent women and children. In the past two weeks, dozens of Israelis have suffered death or maiming in numbers that in America would represent over 2,000 dead and 5,000 wounded. And the toll would have been much higher if Israel had not been able to foil an additional 16 suicide attacks in the same period. Israelis live with terror every day in a way that we in America have only just glimpsed. The Israeli citizen knows that at any moment on any given day a hate-filled bomber may try to take innocent civilians with him across the border between life and death. Every day, the mutilated bodies are likely to be followed by a mutilation of truth–from Arafat. How can Israelis live a normal life?

    Skewed moral relativism. There have been endless attempts to legitimize the terrorism. The woolly minded and the malign affect not to see the difference between the indiscriminate murder of Israelis and Israel's policy of selective retaliation against the killers. President Bush knows better. In the United Nations, he rejected the idea that any "imagined wrong" justifies terrorism. He understands instinctively that terrorism and the reaction to terrorism should not be paired in the morally contradicting cliché of a "cycle of violence." His perception informs his pragmatism. The president understands that the only thing that might provoke Arafat to move against terrorism is the prospect of being identified as a terrorist, and of Israel's receiving the support due a democracy besieged by terror. He also sees that the Palestinians can reclaim the bargain struck at Oslo–security for Israel in return for an end of Israeli control over Palestinians–only if the Palestinian Authority wages war on its own terrorists.

    The moral clarity of the president has now provided diplomatic clarity. That's why Washington demands that Arafat apprehends the terrorists–immediately. That same logic explains why the Bush administration refuses to criticize Israel for defending itself.And that's why administration aides imply that a recalcitrant Arafat could well end up on the presidential list as a host of terror. That would mean suspending relations with Arafat and the PA.

    This is not the first "moment of truth" for Arafat. The truth has long been clear. It is that Arafat has always been on the side of terror. To date, waiting for Arafat to make peace has been a fool's game. Tragically, the game has now exploded precisely at the moment Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was prepared to unveil proposals that would have demonstrated flexibility, pragmatism, and a strong desire to advance the peace process. All this is wiped out now. There should be no talks with Arafat until he has decisively dealt with his terrorists. The precedent is there. In 1990, the first President Bush responded to Palestine Liberation Organization terror by severing ties to Arafat; months later, the reward was a groundbreaking dialogue in Madrid. Now the second Bush administration is forcing Arafat to choose again: Support the war against global terror or support Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the head of Hamas, and face the consequences.

    What has occurred in Israel is clearly not spontaneous, individual terrorism. It is organized, round-the-clock terrorism. It is not just Islamic Jihad or Hamas, or the Tanzim, or Force 17, or any of those groups. It is all of them, united in a single, formal committee, with a common purpose: to kill as many Israelis as possible, to sow as much terrorism as possible, and to pressure Israel to agree to conditions dictated by the Palestinians.

    And who is coordinating, commissioning, and funding these attacks? Yasser Arafat, the same old Arafat. This is the man who was the first to hijack planes, the first to put bombs on planes, the first to kill schoolchildren, the first to kill athletes in the Olympics, the man who invented terrorism against innocent civilians to put pressure on government. This is the man who calls suicide bombers martyrs. Arafat made the strategic decision to engage in terror. He poses as a victim, blaming the terror attacks on others–even on Israelis. He suggests that the Israelis committed some of the attacks to secure worldwide sympathy for Israel. This is of the same order of malevolence as the absurdity being propagated by some in the Muslim world who say no Jews died September 11, because Jews planned the bombing. The idea that Arafat wants to rein in Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Tanzim is just as preposterous. It is this misperception of Arafat as a man who might moderate terror that causes some world leaders to murmur, Ah, the future of the Middle East is in your hands. It is the terror also that gets Arafat the money from abroad, a good deal of which goes into his personal bank account in Paris, where his family lives. It is terror that provides the rationale for the continued existence of a corrupt, antidemocratic, and authoritative regime in the West Bank and Gaza, a regime that has brought nothing but misery to his people and death and injury to the young. As Golda Meir once said, "We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us." That moment has not yet come.

    When Arafat, ejected from Jordan and Lebanon, finally left his stopping place in Tunis to come to Gaza, he was essentially given a choice: either a state or terrorism. Perversely, Arafat said yes to terrorism and no to a state. We saw it again last year at Camp David. Arafat would not accept the huge concessions offered by then Prime Minister Ehud Barak and endorsed by President Clinton. If he had, a Palestinian flag would be flying today over a sovereign, independent, internationally recognized Palestinian state, and there would be no Israeli occupation.

    No wonder not a single intelligence official believes Arafat intends to abandon terrorism, or that he will ever carry out the cease-fires, except for a brief tactical period. The Palestinian, pan-Arabic, and Islamic rhetoric–paired with antisemitic, anti-Zionist, anti-Israel vitriol that the PA has disseminated–makes it impossible for him to abandon terror. It makes impossible an agreement with the Israelis, or even a cease-fire accord, for that would leave Arafat open to the charge of treachery from the people he has so grossly misled. Arafat knows this, so his response to pressure is to draw on his repertoire of fakery. He says he has arrested more than 180 people in the past week. Alas, almost all are people on the payroll of the PA. Very few, if any, of these "arrests" were of the 108 terrorist leaders the Israelis have identified. But haven't Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Tanzim been pressed by Arafat to lay down their arms? No, it is more smoke and mirrors. No such order was issued by Arafat, or by anyone else in the PA.

    In effect, Arafat is ignoring the U.S. admonition to make a 100 percent drive on terror. He must still think that the old Clinton policy prevails–that the United States would not respond with punishment if we were humiliated by the Palestinians' breaches of U.S.-brokered cease-fire accords signed by Arafat. Not so anymore. Not with the Bush administration.

    The Clinton administration tolerated the Palestinians' use of the land they acquired under Oslo not to make peace but to establish a territorial base from which to fight Israel. The Clinton administration urged Israel to take risks for peace. But when Israel took those risks and terrorism broke out within pre-1967 Israeli borders–in Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem–even the restrained Israeli responses were criticized as excessive. No wonder Arafat believed he could let the terrorists loose again without penalty. He could safely condemn terror in English because the terrorists know the real message is the one he gives in Arabic. In fact, Arafat has not held a single terrorist under arrest for any lengthy period of time in the eight years since Oslo. Thus the Bush administration's warning that PA prisons must not only have bars on the front doors but locks on the back. The administration is also wise in its refusal to restrain Israel now. To do otherwise–to restrain only Israel–would legitimize the terror organized by Arafat.

    "Trojan horse." The sad fact is that the West Bank has become exactly what the supporters of the Oslo accords said it would not be: an irredentist state, with heavily armed police, joined with heavily armed Islamic units to attack Israelis. Oslo gave Arafat political power, legitimacy, and money. Eight years later, we see clearly that Arafat is not the peace partner he represented himself to be and that when he speaks of a just and lasting peace, he doesn't mean a peace with the Jewish state but without it.

    This has long been Arafat's mission–a mission that he has stated publicly and repeatedly. And it has been confirmed by many other Palestinian leaders. Faisal Husseini, long considered one of the most moderate Palestinian leaders, described the Oslo agreement, before his death, as a "Trojan horse" whose real goal was the liberation of Palestine from the river to the sea.

    Remove the pacific mask Arafat wears when it suits the needs of the hour, and the face of terror and hypocrisy is glaringly clear. Arafat took the area of the West Bank with a promised down payment on peace and never honored it. Instead, he used his embryonic state as the basis for terrorism. He has seen it not as a training ground for statehood but as a base where terrorists can be trained and concealed, and a controlled media used not for education and understanding but to incite hatred against their neighbors.

    The Israelis learned a long time ago what America has just learned so painfully. It is no use threatening terrorists. They must be defeated.



    Yeah, Mulder...I am actually posting something SUPPORTING Bush!
     
  2. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    "Yeah, Mulder...I am actually posting something SUPPORTING Bush!"

    Awwwww

    DS
     
  3. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    WOW Dark Duck :)...I see you have much input on this subject matter!
     
  4. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    "But haven't Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Tanzim been pressed by Arafat to lay down their arms? No, it is more smoke and mirrors. No such order was issued by Arafat, or by anyone else in the PA."

    They should have busted his chops a while back.
    Screw "till the bitter" end crap

    DS
     
  5. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    "This is not the first "moment of truth" for Arafat. The truth has long been clear. It is that Arafat has always been on the side of terror. To date, waiting for Arafat to make peace has been a fool's game."

    This has to be the understatment of the century!!!!!!!!!! And then some.

    DS
     
  6. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    JH,

    You're 3 hours ahead of me this ain't exactly rocket science you know.

    ..............Talking time is over, now what happens?
     
  7. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    Dark Star.....Both of your posts are correct;) ..... But here is the real beauty of the situation for "Bush".... He has placed himself in a "WIN-WIN" position... All he need do is continue supplying Israel with Military Equipment & Arms ... He has in essence, handed the "dirty work" to the "Israelis" to rid the world of another "Evildoer" without placing American lives at risk ... I am not complaining about this in the least! It is about time that America recognized the "Situation" there for what it really is...it is very unfortunate however, that it took the events of "911" to awaken America to the "Cold Reality" ..... The scary part is that none knows what "Evildoer" will replace Arafat ...... & that is where Bush just might be falling into a trap .... in that he may find himself in a position where he has no choice but to send in US Military Troops to support the Israelis .... Now that would really cause "Diplomatic Tensions" in the Middle East & the Oil Flow......
     
  8. Dark Star

    Dark Star

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    JH,

    "The scary part is that none knows what "Evildoer" will replace Arafat ...... & that is where Bush just might be falling into a trap .... in that he may find himself in a position where he has no choice but to send in US Military Troops to support the Israelis .... Now that would really cause "Diplomatic Tensions" in the Middle East & the Oil Flow......"

    Talkin' time is over with these b%&*$#ds they speak with forked tongue. Okay fine so worse case scenario new "evildoer" can step up to the plate, thing is we can make them do that s**t till they get it right. Talking time is over!!!!!!
    Point is we can "make them" until they get it right.

    .....and the fuse is burnin'. ;)

    DS
     
  9. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    Come on folks!:) You MUST have an opinion on this topic .... Mulder did you do a mass PM telling all members not to post to this thread?:confused:
     
  10. Mulderator

    Mulderator

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    Excellent article, JH:

     
  11. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    :D Mulder...I really thought about editing that part out of the article! :D

    You sure do know how to avoid the :heart of the matter: .... I can just see you stop reading after that first paragraph;)

    Tell me Mulder....the first bin laden video that was released in the States not only promised havoc in America but also in Israel .... Arafat had the means to follow thru in Israel where bin laden, thankfully, didn't in the States....Yet Rumsfeld & Company are rightfully worried that when we take out bin laden, any day now, that he will go out with a bang here in the States with a planned second attack of larger destruction ..... this may relate more to AcaCandy's thread pertaining to the realism of the "found video tape" .... but the part that deals with him stating that his followers never knew what the real plan was until the last moment seems like a "bunch of rubbish" & "US PR" to me....It would be a great attempt by the US to foil a second planned attack using this means of reasoning ..... What did those [email protected]@holes think they were doing on 911??? Going for a plane ride?? Is that why they took the Flight School lessons to "Steer" only? Bush can't "outright" get involved in what is going down in Israel now because of the Oil, Russia, China, Saudis & the entire Muslim World going into a frenzy .... but he is wisely using Powell & Company to condone Arafat & his lack of control .... he is just an "Old Man" that is "Spent" & will most likely be taken out by his own "Radical" followers who are younger & much more intent on the total destruction of Israel .... That will leave Bush & Company in quite a "Jam" .... Mulder ....
     
  12. eggplant43

    eggplant43 A True Heart and Soul - Gone But Never Forgotten

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    Let me start out by saying I have a high regard for both JH, and DS, and do not wish to offend you with what I'm about to say. I realize that you may not like my take on things, but nevertheless feel compelled to respond to this thread. It is my sincerest wish that this *open* a dialog, as opposed to causing a conflict. Hopefully, our mutual respect for each other will be sufficient to see us through.

    I will not fully respond at this time, as I want to be thorough. I only have a few minutes now, and then will have to leave. I want to do some research and get my facts straight, so I will post as time and research allows.

    I'd like to start by saying that the State Of Israel, and it's people represent a very complex situation that is thousands of years old, and should be looked at in that perspective, and not just at the recent past. The same can be said for the Arabs of this area.

    I'll start by analyzing this statement that I find one-sided, and self-serving:

    "Terrorism has now struck throughout Israel. Bombs are exploded in the sure knowledge that the dead and wounded will be innocent women and children. In the past two weeks, dozens of Israelis have suffered death or maiming in numbers that in America would represent over 2,000 dead and 5,000 wounded. "

    I assume that the author is making this comparison on the basis of population size, a ratio if you will. If you use the definition of terrorism as the death, and wounding of innocent "non-combatants", then the same argument used here for the Israeli's would apply to the Palestinians as well in all the incidents over the last year. The comparison would probably represent 8,000 killed, and 20,000 wounded for the Palestinians.

    If I remember my Israeli history correctly, the current state of Israel came about largely because of the terrorist war against the occupying British during the 30's and 40's. Was it OK then because they were a disenfranchised people without a territory to call their own? But not OK now, because they've got their's and have no sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians?

    I say these things not to side with the Palestinians, but rather to ask hard questions that MUST be answered if there is to be peace in the region.

    About a year ago after Sharon visited "Temple Mount" and this current mess started I did some research on the net. reading newspapers from both sides. There was never any objective reporting or analysis. Everything was extremely subjective and one-sided, so I gave up. I could find no voice of reason. Unless a rational, caring dialog without any hidden agendas can be developed between these parties, there will never be any kind of peace. As things stand now, I believe that is the legacy that is being left for all parties involved. How sad.
     
  13. JewisHeritage

    JewisHeritage Thread Starter

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    Bruce: Don't be concerned! This IS meant to be an open discussion. The only thing I wish to point out is that we rehashed the "history of Israel & the Arabs & the Land they "share"" when we "beat to death the USS Liberty":rolleyes:

    All of your points are very valid & make good debate/discussion!



    This is the bottom line ... and from all that I have read .... you have summed it up correctly & there is no way peace will ever come to that region. Bush has recalled his people to Washington as of late last week because of the recent events there.

    In Israel, a Gallup Poll published Friday by the newspaper Ma'ariv showed that 56% of the Israelis favor seeing Arafat driven from power & 71% favor "massive military retaliation" against Arafat's Palestinian Authortity. On the other side, polls among Palestinians show 85% supporting violence against Israel, with two thirds supporting suicide bombings. Even if Arafat wanted to end terror, his people most likely wouldn't allow him to. He tried to ride the tiger of the intifada, and it ran wild!

    Regarding your ratio analysis: Some 800 Palestinians dead, many thousands dead, 3 million living under siege-they aren't about to quit now. To Palestinians, it would mean surrender. They would have suffered and died for nothing and would be throwing themselves on Sharon's mercy! The Americans & Israelis want Arafat to crack down on Islamic militants, but the Palestinian street is strongly opposed while Israel is escalating military pressures. So Arafat has to balance between the two pressures to survive.

    IMO, he doesn't have the power or the skills to accomplish this "juggling act".......
     
  14. SavvyLady

    SavvyLady

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    and too think in
    1994
    The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded joinly to:

    YASSER ARAFAT , Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO, President of the Palestinian National Authority.

    SHIMON PERES , Foreign Minister of Israel.

    YITZHAK RABIN , Prime Minister of Israel.

    for their efforts to create peace in the Middle East.
     
  15. eggplant43

    eggplant43 A True Heart and Soul - Gone But Never Forgotten

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    I'm relieved that my comments don't elicit flaming, personal attack, or name calling here. That is why TSG has become such an appealing place to me. I'm just so sickened by all the hatred, lack of understanding, and just plain meaness that is exhibited far too often. This is often exhibited by todays media, performed as some kind of perverse entertainment.

    I don't want to hear what is wrong, and who is wrong! I want to discuss what our common interests are, and work toward resolution of conflict. Is that asking too much? Probably so. It seems to me that people are so much more interested in *being right*, then they are in resolution, accord, and ultimately evolution. If more of us in the world can just be open to each other, try to see and understnd the other persons point of view, and work toward our common goals, then there is hope for this world.

    In the meantime, I will work toward keeping the lines of communications open wherever I am given the opportunity to do so. There's a lot to be said for civility, and I for one am glad that it is not a completely lost art yet. I feel like I'm rambling here, but felt I needed to say these things.
     
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