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

April 10, 2003

The Next Fight

John Podhoretz writes in the NYPost of today's that there will be, post Iraq, a clash between two opposing sides:

"On one side: those who believe that the United States has some fence-mending to do in the Arab world and in the world community after engaging in a controversial war.

Call them the fence-menders.

On the other side: those who believe the United States and the Coalition of the Willing have liberated a nation and saved the world from the menace of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction and have nothing to apologize or mend fences for.

Call them the liberators.

First, the fence-menders.

The fence-menders want America to turn its focus to the Israeli-Palestinian crisis - by which they mean they want the United States to impose a deal on the supposedly recalcitrant Israelis and thereby buy some Arab goodwill.

You could hear this position being advanced only minutes after the statue came down by former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, who insisted that while the reputation of the U.S. military has never been greater, the "United States has never been so isolated.""

In the context of our present preoccupation, with what Joseph Norland calls politely the "Roachmap", we can ignore right now the "liberators side". Podhoretz concludes this very interesting analysis by saying:

"Whose view will prevail? There can be no doubt that President Bush is personally far more of a liberator than a fence-mender. And he's just taken himself a stroll into the history books. He'll do what he thinks best. He always does. And the best judge of what he thinks is best is to see what he's said and done in the past.

When it comes to Israel and the Palestinians, the president has put it plainly. If the Palestinian Authority democratizes, the United States will champion Palestinian statehood. If it doesn't, the United States won't compromise Israeli security just to satisfy the fence-menders who are notable for getting it wrong about him and the uses of American power time and again.""

Which, unfortunatly, is far from answering the above question - given that the president has said by now many things on that vital subject, not all of them mutually compatible. And, to believe Kol Israel Reshet Bet of tonight, Paul Wolfowitz himself has just publically joined the camp of the ..."Fence-Menders"!