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US Foreign Policy



Except for WAISers and the readers of World Press Review, few Americans are attuned to foreign public opinion, Even NATO allies are critical of the US. The constantly asked question "Why does the world hate us?" has several answers. Firstly, simple jealousy. Secondly, treating NATO allies as satellites. Thirdly, especially among Muslims, almost uncritical support of Israel. This has come out in several ways. The government position was expressed by Colin Powell in a hearing of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on foreign operational spending. He echoed the Axis of Evil talk of Bush, although I think he knows better. It is widely thought that Bush is engaged in "rally round the flag" rhetoric to help his party and to keep attention off the Enron scandal and election reform. The Democrats are afraid of appearing unpatriotic. Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, Al Gore repeated the Bush line, although he brought in the global warming theme in an obvious attempt to show that he was right.

Anyone with any sensitivity would realize that in Iran reformers need and deserve encouragement, and would understand that to damn the country as grossly as Bush did would simply infuriate the whole population. The Economist is a bridge between the Us and the world, especially its NATO allies. "How not to make friends of Iran" (2/9/-15/02) should be required reading for Americans. The Europeans are handling the situation much more diplomatically.

Neither Colin Powell or Al Gore faced up to the Middle East problem. Both gave the impression that Sharon is a reasonable man and that Arafat is the source of all the trouble. The same issue of The Economist has a severe article headlined "George Bush's hit- list could have been written by Ariel Sharon". There is in the US a conspiracy of official silence about the blatant fact that Israel has violated agreements. It does not help to say, as one WAISer has done, that Israel has not admitted that it has nuclear weapons or that the US has not helped it. Michael May, WAIS chairman and an expert on the subject, writes: "There still is an outmoded notion around that it takes "brilliant scientists" to make a nuclear bomb. That hasn't been the case for decades. It does take care, time and experience. Dozens of countries have nuclear experience and could make nuclear weapons from scratch. The decision whether to do it or not is political and strategic, but neither science nor technology stand in the way".

There is a conspìracy of silence on the subject. Pete McCloskey was an excellent congressman, informed and balanced in his approach. His career was ruined because he spoke out on the subject, and he was naturally embittered. One Israeli who has spoken out on the subject is former Mossad member Victor Ostrovosky. His life was threatened, so he fled to Canada. He came to visit Pete, who brought him to my house for a TV interview in the WAIS series. He came with an armed bodyguard, the only interview so honored. His interview provoked some hate mail, but most viewers were glad he had spoken up.

Americans have little idea of the shenanigans and shady deals which are going one. Here is an extract from a Reuters' dispàtch of yesterday: "Israel has agreed to pay China US$350 million to compensate for the cancelled sale of a US$250 million Phalcon airborne radar system to China, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported on Wednesday. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday while a senior defense ministry official was in Beijing, according to Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's largest daily. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Israeli defense officials were in Beijing last month for talks on the deal, which was scrapped in July 2000 under heavy US pressure". There is more to international affairs than meets the eye. The Bush administration is not coming clean with the American public.

Ronald Hilton - 2/14/02


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