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US policy towards the Middle East
Daryl DeBell says: "General Sullivan is certainly right in objecting to what he perceives as an effort to legitimize terrorists or their tactics. He might however consider trying to understand how and why such people feel the way they do about us. Since we are the 800 lb. gorilla, we may not care what they think or feel, but even gnats can torment huge and powerful animals, and that is just the situation we face (so far). Probably General Sullivan would scorn our removing our troops from Saudi Arabia as craven appeasement, particularly since they did have a deterrent effect on Saddam's imperial actions, but their presence there was bin Laden's stated grievance against us, and the opinions of even fanatics should at least be considered. I expect that my "leftist" attitudes will irritate General Sullivan more than persuade him, but I am reminded of the recent Israeli elections when General Sharon was re-elected in spite of the fact that 70% of the electorate agreed with his opponent's policies (the General whose name eludes me, who has managed to get the Jews and Palestinians under his jurisdiction to live peaceably together) I think that this irrational vote epitomizes the appalling but almost always predictable tendency for people to prefer vigorous 'macho' action (Sharon's/Bush's(?)) to milder, conciliatory action, even when the latter has worked. Just to avoid being labeled a 'peacenik' I should make it clear that I think Saddam (and others like him) should be removed from power, but by world consensus, ie. UN action, not by US action, which is all too susceptible to selfish, imperialistic interpretation".
Ronald Hilton - 6/22/03