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US: Middle Eastern policy



Rusty Bentley says; "I feel strongly that what Mike Sullivan said is good analysis. I would very much appreciate however, measured, realistic comments that offer other analysis with a well thought out alternative proposal without the use of the following: chickenhawk, far- right conservative, troubling, the children, world opinion, and how to pay for it.

I truly believe that we are in danger of great harm from Iraq. Therefore something must be done to protect us. If we are not in danger tell me why. If we are in danger but proposing the wrong remedy tell me exactly what is proposed in the alternative".

RH: Let us take up the vocabulary issue first, We cannot simply declare certain words taboo. "Chickenhawk" has entered the American vocabulary to designate a strong proponent of sending youths to war who has avoided service himself. That is why Colin Powell is generally admired, while the chickenhawks are not. Details have been given to show that President Bush should not be so branded, but the case of the others is still unanswered. If we refuse to face up to this fact. we shall have Vietnam-type demonstrations.

Far-right conservative; a valid marker, just like far-left...what? "liberal" has become mean "leftist" in this country, a silly misuse of the word. I suppose we shall have to say "extreme leftist".

World opinion; "A decent respect for the opinions of mankind" is a sacred American formula. To reject it is un-American, but more important, world opinion, whether we agree with it or not, is a significant factor in assessing a situation like the one we are in. Too many Americans seem insensitive to it. History is littered with the ruins of states which miscalculated the risks of a given adventure. Even Napoleon made that fatal mistake. At least since the days of Fabius Cunctator, some military leaders have won by patience and even inaction.

"How we pay for it"; Sounds crass, but it is a factor. Wars have been the cause of the financial ruin of states. I don't know what Rusty means by "troubling","the children"

As for a precise course of action, wise people have different ideas. My recommendation would be to avoid action opposed by the UN Security Council and NATO, If we alienate the Security Council and NATO, we are in real trouble.

Ronald Hilton - 11/2/02


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