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The So-Called War on Terror

We received a letter from Joe Furka of High Bridge, New Jersey: “You’ve done yeoman’s work putting forth the argument that the war in Iraq is unjust. I hate you for it. As an ardent supporter of the war when it started, you’ve brought me kicking and screaming to see it in a light I never imagined — and it sickens me. I’m left with one question: Can you offer your readers insights into how you think this ‘war on terror’ could be fought justly?”

Yes, we’d be happy to. There would be no need for any U.S. “war on terror” if the U.S. had an evenhanded policy in the Middle East.

Before 9/11, Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda had grievances against Israel for its presence in Jerusalem and its treatment of Palestinians. Listen to the 2004 9/11 Commission Report: The “mastermind of the 9/11 attacks” was Khalid Sheik Muhammed, and his “animus toward the United States stemmed…from his violent disagreement with U.S. foreign policy favoring Israel.” And listen to Osama bin Laden’s videotape of October 29, 2004, explaining the reasons for the 9/11 attack: “Our patience ran out and we saw the unjustice and inflexibility of the American-Israeli alliance toward our people in Palestine and Lebanon [prior to the war in the summer of 2006]…. Contrary to Bush’s claim that we hate freedom, let him explain to us why we don’t strike, for example, Sweden?”

Because the U.S. has not been a neutral and honest broker in the Mid-East and has overwhelmingly sided with Israel, radical Muslims have resorted to terror. And there are many imitators of Osama, and terror has spread far and wide. This is not good for America or the world. Both the Republican and Democratic parties — in their majorities — are stridently pro-Israel, and neither has an evenhanded policy in the Mid-East. All the U.S. would have to do is have a fair-minded policy in the Mid-East. Why is that so hard to do?

One answer, given by two academics of the realist conservative school of foreign policy, John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, is that the Israel Lobby — particularly the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) — has a stranglehold on U.S. policy in the Mid-East (The London Review of Books, March 23, 2006). Of course, Mearsheimer and Walt were smeared as “anti-Semites.” But they’re said to be Jewish; however, we can’t confirm that. Over the past thirty years, Israel has taken 33 percent of U.S. foreign aid.

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