Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: Geraint Rees (
Date: Wed Jan 02 2002 - 15:35:38 MST

On 1/2/02 6:28 PM, "John Clark" <> wrote:

> I of course think America should be even-handed and often it has not been,
> but I don't for one instant think that the reasons Pakistanis so passionately
> hate us is because of the way we deal with Palestinians 3000 miles away.

I agree that there is an unhealthy tendency to link unconnected conflicts.
This is one of the things that I think US diplomacy (aided largely by the
UK) is doing a good job at countering, and I strongly applaud it.

>> There are a lot of Islamic nations giving support to the current US action
> There are a few Islamic governments giving lukewarm support to the current
> US action, virtually no popular support at all, except ironically in countries
> that have the most hostel governments of all, Iran and Iraq.

Something is a lot better than nothing. Although I understand the US desire
to go it alone militarily, bringing along folks from other places is a very
good thing, particularly in the long run. Saudia Arabia allows US troops and
bases (nothwithstanding its own domestic issues); UAE is co-operating more
on the Cole bombing; Jordan has sent a frigate and possibly troops. All of
which are positive gestures to build on, and a credit to US/Western
> But despite it all Israel still exists, if they backed down every time the
> Palestinians exploded a car bomb in front of a grade school it would not.
> It would be great to have no enemies but that is often not possible so
> just make sure he not only hates you but also fears you.

Agreed. Similarly, if the Palestinians backed down every time the Israeli
army planted bombs that accidentally blew up children playing...but that's
another discussion entirely...I think the most important point here is that
adopting an uncompromising position on violence and seeking a political
solution are not mutually exclusive. For example, the Northern Ireland
political process seems (fingers crossed) to be working well, despite much
mutual mistrust and no compromise on violence from either side.

Best wishes,


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