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The US, Israel, rogue states and terrorists

Bob Gard sends me a long piece by a highly respected, internationally acclaimed journalist, Gideon Levy, from the newspaper Ha'aretz entitled "Tell the truth, Sharon". Bob comments: "In view of our exchanges on the Arab-Israeli problem, I thought you might find this interesting. No sign of any reference to this in any US newspaper -- but then we must be politically correct!"

There is widespread criticism in the world press of the US pro-Israel bias. President Bush has denounced Iraq, Iran and North Korea for developing weapons of mass destruction, but there is never any mention of Israel, which has developed such weapons with US help. This criticism is widespread in the US, though not much in the media. In the demonstrations outside the World Economic Forum in New York, a sector of the crowd chanted "We are all Palestinians!", while at the meeting itself Muslims who had been invited expressed similar sentiments in a more discreet way. That they had been invited shows awareness of the problem among the countries attending the forum.

Needless to say, in the Muslim world, criticism of the US is general. Those promoting it were not crude or ignorant terrorists. They are well informed, as they showed when they selected for kidnapping a Jewish reporter working for the Wall Street Journal.

Even European countries are awed by the military might of the US, which the increase in the Pentagon budget will enhance. The latest aircraft carrier, the "Theodore Roosevelt" is an incredible war machine. Other NATO countries fear that the US military presence in the Philippines and the denunciation of Iraq, Iran and North Korea imply that the US intends to expand the fight terrorism beyond Afghanistan. This the other NATO powers oppose. They think that Afghanistan will be a sufficient warning to other countries and terrorist groups. Are they right?

On the positive side, President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. We await the final choice to see how the winds of world opinion blow. In any case, the US seems unaware of world opinion, Perhaps it thinks it is so powerful that it can follow its own devices. This may or may not be wise.

Ronald Hilton - 2/5/02