Who Do We Think We Are?

Cari Oleskewicz

Imagine if Osama bin Laden made a deal with the American public that went something like this:

“We’ll support you 100 percent, America, and call off all the terrorist activity on one condition – you get rid of your president.”

Not exactly the foreign policy of a genius mind, but welcome to the Bush Administration.

People (mostly in his own administration) are hailing the chief for giving birth to what he considers a sound Middle East policy, but it is seriously flawed in ways to numerous to count.

We have no credibility in the region. True, we worked for peace feverently in previous administrations. But Bush Jr. came into office with a dangerously laissez-faire attitude towards the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Someone finally tipped him off that this issue is directly related to our national security, but the president has been more than undecided on who his more politically advantageous friends might be over there. The Israelis think we’re full of it because we urge restraint while we fight our own battles against terrorism with anything but restraint. The Arabs think we’re full of it because we’ve always supported Israel unconditionally, and only come knocking on their doors when we need something like friendship. Despite what we’d like to think, the Israelis and Palestinians really don’t give much credence to what comes out of the president’s mouth.

I’d also like to know – does Bush Jr. think the suicide bombings will stop once Arafat is replaced? Interesting. I notice Arafat hasn’t gone into any shopping malls strapped with dynamite. Will his replacement be more willing to talk about peace? Or will Arafat’s replacement be even more hard-line? Has anyone thought about this? Do we think the climate in the Palestinian lands, many of which are currently under Israeli occupation, is one of cooperation and faith?

The Administration’s policy is trying to put the horse before the cart. Militant Palestinians terrorize Israel because they feel oppressed, because they have no homeland, because they have nothing to live for. They are not interested in who George Bush Jr. thinks should be running the show.

It’s dangerous, the notion that we can pick and choose which leaders we will allow in the world and which leaders we won’t allow in the world. A statement like this comes our of our own leader’s mouth, and one does not have to stretch the boundaries of one’s imagination to figure out why on earth angry terrorists would want to crash planes into American buildings. His rhetoric has been enjoyable, but President Bush Jr. has only made the world less safe for democracy.

We’ve already disposed of an entire regime in Afghanistan. Granted, the free world is probably better for it, but do we have the right? And were we going after the Taliban or Al-Queda? I thought Al-Queda was the terrorist operation and the Taliban only the government which permitted it. And Al-Queda is still up and running as far as I know, otherwise we wouldn’t have these daily threats to wring our hands over.

There were troubling questions which really weren’t explored in depth about our role in the overthrowing of Venezuela’s president.

We’d like to pretend Fidel Castro doesn’t exist, and we’ve handpicked Arafat and Saddam Hussein as leaders who should be exterminated as soon as possible.

Because we say so.

That’s not the way democracy works, and I thought that’s what this country was all about?

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