Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
Praise for Voice
"A smart fellow...I do like, recommend and learn from Barbera's blog." -Roger L. Simon
"Your blog is bullshit"- anonymous angry French reader.
When I first heard Powell was going to make the trip I was guardedly optimistic. I hoped that he would be carrying a stronger version of the message that President Bush laid down in his speeches preceeding Powell's departure. The hope was that Powell would not be holding discussions, he would be telling the Arab leaders exactly what they were going to do in order to end this. Unfortunately it has not played out this way at all, every mile further east that Powell travels, the message seems to weaken. It is unfortunate, because this could have been a great opportunity. Most pundits and commentators seem to have forgotten that Powell is a 4 star general and former Chariman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the man who orchestrated the devastating campaign against Iraq 11 years ago. here in America there may be some dispute as to how much of a Dove Powell may be, but when he walks into a room of Arab leaders (and in the case of Arafat, a 'leader' who supported the country Powell wrought defeat on) I can assure you they see him as a conqueror. The Arab papers would croak that Bush is sending his lackey to try and force Arafat to do the bidding of the Zionist Cabal, but in person each of these leaders would by physically reminded of the last Arab defeat (regardless of the fact that they were on our side, in thoery, at the time). It would have been a very powerful statement if he had been in uniform when he arrived in Jordan. With the strong undertones of America's power that his image presents to th Arab world, I think that he could have forced the Arab leaders to come out with a unified statement against terrorism.
I know words are words are words and no amount of words can equal a decisive action. But by giving a forceful directive to the Arabs Bush/Powell could have laid the foundation for truly measuring who is with us and who is against us. If Powell can get the Arabs leaders to denounce and take some steps toward cutting off the terrorists, that would leave Hamas, Hizbollah, al-Aqsa, Islamic Jihad and the others fighting against what the leaders would be saying publicly. Hopefully this would then divide the Palestinians into those who are truly 'freedom fighters' and wish to have their homeland and those who just want to extirpate Israel. If they cannot be made to come out in favor of ending terror and bringing stabilty and peace to the region, how nuanced and non-simplstic do we need to be before we just become appeasers who are blind to the hatred that they constantly throw in our faces?
An observation. For all of the talk of Sharon 'defying' orders from Bush. For some reason the large sums of money we give to Israel are supposed to assure they do whatever we command. However, the greater sum we give to Egypt (per the Camp David Accords) doesn't garner America the influence to take anti-American and anti-Semitic slander and lies out of their newsapers.
A quick question. What reaction would CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, NY Times, Washington Post, Boston Globe, LA Times, et al if Ariel Sharon were to be murdered by an Arab tomorrow? Now ask yourself what their reactions be if it was Yasser Arafat murdered? What would the reaction of either leader's followers be and how would major media outlets report it? What does your answer say about our media.
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