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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

December 09, 2002

Get Ready for War

Thomas Friedman of the N.Y.Times describes it this way
"This can't go on. We are at war. We are at war with a cruel, militant Islam, led by Al Qaeda, we are at war with a rising tide of global anti-Americanism, and we will probably soon be at war to disarm Iraq. There is no way we are going to win such a multidimensional conflict without sacrifices and radically new thinking."

So far, so good. I wish the State Department could be so clear as to who and what we are fighting.

But then he offers Bush some advice in order to prepare America and the American people for this "multidimentional war".
-re-examine the surplus-squandering tax cuts at the center of the Bush fiscal policy.

-tell the American people that this war could cost over a trillion dollars, and no one should think that we're going to be able to use Iraqi oil to pay for it.

-embark on a Manhattan project to increase fuel efficiency and slash the cost of alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

-tell the American people that we can no longer afford our selfish system of farm subsidies and textile protectionism.

-tell the Palestinians that the U.S. intends to cut off all assistance and diplomatic contacts until they get rid of their corrupt tyrant, Yasir Arafat, because no peace is possible with him.

-tell Ariel Sharon that unless he halts all settlement building — now — the U.S. will start cutting off Israel's economic aid.
(Please note that he stops short of asking for the settlements to be evacuated.)

-tell all Arabs that America has one purpose in Iraq, once it is disarmed of dangerous weapons: to help Iraqis implement the U.N. Arab Human Development Report.

If President Bush uses his enormous mandate to prepare for war — in a way that really deals with our political and economic vulnerabilities, increases our own staying power and convinces the world that we have a positive vision and are responsible global citizens — there is a decent chance we can win at a reasonable cost.
He considers this now as the appropriate course for the US to take as opposed to what he calls the "hard right" agenda which is, he fears, the probable course.

To my mind he speaks not only for himself ,but also for the N.Y. Times and the Democratic Party. My how far to the right they have come. I remain with a grander vision. America should keep on going after Iraq until they have turned the Middle East inside out.

Ted Belman tedbel@rogers.com