US and Israel
A basic problem with the US system is that international affairs are simply a weapon in the domestic political fight. The Republicans are desperate to get the Jewish vote. and President Bush used his speech at the UN General Assembly for that purpose. Now, while the US is harassing Iran over its alleged nuclear weapons program, it has agreed to send 4,500 smart bombs to Iarael. It is described as a $319 million sale, but in fact the money is coming from US aid to Israel. For details, see AP dispatch by Laurie Copans (9/11/04). On the domestic side, the Republicans have decided to back the proposal of Rep.Tom Lantos to create an antisemitism office in the State Department. Lantos is notorious for defending Israel come what may. See article by Edward Epstein (San Francisco Chronicle, 12/9/04). While by all these maneuvers the Republicans may win some Jewish votes, they will further isolate the US in the world. In particular, the Iranian reaction is quite understandable.
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September 26, 2004