Archive for June, 2002


A Bush Plan For Mideast Disaster
25 June 2002

President George W. Bush’s speech on Monday actually represents a setback for Middle East peace.

On the one hand, it is reassuring that, after thirty years of rejecting the international consensus that peace requires the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside a secure Israel, an American president now formally recognizes that need. The bad news is that President Bush is simply perpetuating the unfair assumption that while Israel’s right to exist is a given, Palestine’s right to exist — even as a mini-state on the West Bank and Gaza Strip — is conditional. This comes despite the fact that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has at least as much blood on his hands as does Palestinian President Yasir Arafat. Indeed, far more Palestinian civilians have died at the hands of Israeli occupation forces than have Israeli civilians died from terrorist attacks.


Fallacies of U.S. Plans to Invade Iraq
1 June 2002

In the months following the September 11 terrorist attacks, there were leaks to the media about alleged evidence of a meeting in Prague between an Iraqi intelligence officer and one of the hijackers of the doomed airplanes that crashed into the World Trade Center. Subsequently, however, both the FBI and CIA have declared that no such meeting occurred. It is unlikely that the decidedly secular Baathist regime–which has savagely suppressed Islamists within Iraq–would be able to maintain close links with Bin Laden and his followers. Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal, his country’s former intelligence chief, noted how Bin Laden views Saddam Hussein “as an apostate, an infidel or someone who is not worthy of being a fellow Muslim.” Much of the money trail for Al Qaeda comes from U.S. ally Saudi Arabia; none has been traced to Iraq. Fifteen of the nineteen hijackers were Saudi; none were Iraqi. Admitting that there was no evidence of direct links between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the best that CIA Director George Tenet could come up with in testimony before Congress was that the “mutual antipathy” the two have for the U.S. “suggests that tactical cooperation between the two is possible.” Most observers consider this to be an extraordinarily weak justification for war.