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A real opportunity for Bush to help the Israel/Palestine conflict.


londonbear
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In the immediate aftermath of Arafat's death, Israel has sealed off the Gaza Strip and West Bank. This is not unusual and often happens after a suicide attack or when there is tension. This has a huge effect on the economy in those areas as many Palestinians get work in Israel. Israel tries to reduce the adverse effects by encouraging more Jews to move there.

 

For the Palestinians, it is exacerbating an already bad situation. One third are unemployed. One fourth are in dire poverty and unable to feed themselves. This hopelessness breeds militancy and groups like Hammas have established welfare and education networks and have gained support because of it. There is another group working there that is making a difference and would help reduce the tensions in the area. That is the United Nations through its Humanitarian Fund. The appeal for 2005 has just been launched. Worldwide it touches 26 million people in a number of crisis spots. For 2005, they are asking for $1.7 billion. Of that $303 million is allocated for the Occupied Territories.

http://ochaonline.un.org/cap2005/webpage.asp?MenuID=5267&Page=1168

 

The USA will be among the world's richest nations who are being asked to contribute. Here is a great opportunity for Bush to make a positive move at a time when he is in desperate need of rebuilding respect in the muslim world. If he were to annouce that the US would cover the amount needed for Palestine, it would counter the anti-American propoganda.

 

That amount looks large but is actually tiny in the context of the US Budget. It is a couple of lines of the "pork" in the recent tac bill and a fraction of the aid given to Israel. The full appeal is roughly the daily expenditure in Iraq and is a fraction of the Halliburton overcharge.

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The Muslims never give us credit for the things we do to help Muslims, and I doubt that they would give us credit for picking up the Palestinian tab. We give large amounts to Muslim countries, with no effect. We give Egypt about 2 Billion a year and have done so since the Camp David accord. We gave 42 Million to Afghanistn in 2001 just before they helped the terrorists commit 9/11.They give us no credit for rescuing Kuwait, or from stopping the genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo.

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>The Muslims never give us credit for the things we do to help

>Muslims, and I doubt that they would give us credit for

>picking up the Palestinian tab. We give large amounts to

>Muslim countries, with no effect. We give Egypt about 2

>Billion a year and have done so since the Camp David accord.

>We gave 42 Million to Afghanistn in 2001 just before they

>helped the terrorists commit 9/11.They give us no credit for

>rescuing Kuwait, or from stopping the genocide in Bosnia and

>Kosovo.

 

 

When you mention Bosnia, the mass genocide began in mid-1991. The killings went on for seven years before the Serbs were finally stopped. Many thousands of muslims were murdered while the world watched from a distance. When it comes to the Bosnian Muslims, can one really blame them for the all the hatred that they had continue to have against the western world. Afterall these killings weren't taking place on our door step. They were taking place in a world where most of us living in the western hemisphere know nothing of. We dont know their culture, let alone their history.

 

How could they forgive the United States and Great Britain for promising to help, they begged the Clinton Administration to do something to help their people. THe Clnton White House waited and waited for a good number of years before a political shift began in 1997 in Britain. Tony Blair came to office that year, he is the man that put pressure on Bill Clinton to do something about the mess in war torn Bosnia. Mr Blair has said many times that the US and Great Britain waited too long and so many people lost their lives for nothing in Bosnia. Credit is something that is earned. In Bosnia the Clinton Administration didn't do a good job of earning the Bosnians their respect.

 

Rohale

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>The Muslims never give us credit for the things we do to help

>Muslims, and I doubt that they would give us credit for

>picking up the Palestinian tab. We give large amounts to

>Muslim countries, with no effect. We give Egypt about 2

>Billion a year and have done so since the Camp David accord.

 

What the Camp David Accord did was to provide Egypt with funds matching the aid given to Israel. As well as securing peace between Egypt and Israel it moved Egypt from a Soviet client state to a broadly western supporting one. In part this provoked a backlash from muslim fundamentalists in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptians have been suppressing that group who have made attacks on tourists (including the recent ones on the holydaymakers from Israel) in an attempt to destabilise the Egyptian economy. Before they were forced to go to the Soviet Union to finance large infrastructure projects like the Aswan High Dam they were actually fairly friendly to the USA, in part as recognition for the help given when it refused to sanction the British/French invasion of the Suez Canal after Nasser nationalised it.

 

 

>We gave 42 Million to Afghanistn in 2001 just before they

>helped the terrorists commit 9/11.They give us no credit for

>rescuing Kuwait, or from stopping the genocide in Bosnia and

>Kosovo.

 

You forget that the Kuwait operation was truely a broad coallition operation led by the USA. In fact the coallition was so solid that it cost the USA very little (some actually argue that it made a profit once the contracts to rebuild Kuwait are taken into account). Kuwait is certainly one of the countries in the region that is very pro-American.

 

Much of the aid to Afghanistan prior to 9/11 was to finance schemes to cut the production of opium poppies. This was highly successful and in the later years of Taliban rule there was very little produced. Production was mainly in the areas controlled by the warlords who were only too glad to be paid by the USA to fight against the Taliban government and who have now upped production to the highest ever levels.

 

There is evidence that the Taliban were increasingly fed up with the Wahabbis heading Al-Qaeda and senior officials had approached the US with the offer of helping get rid of them. The "Arabs" were increasingly being seen as outsiders promoting a form of Islam foreign to Afghanistan. The conflation of the two groups is one of those examples of lack of knowledge and black and white world view promoted by the fundamentalist neo-cons. The Taliban were a fairly unpleasant government and much of their agenda was in conflict with pre Soviet Invasion Afghan society. 9/11 overnight transformed them from an ally in the "War on Drugs" to an enemy in the "War on Terrorism".

 

I do not underestimate the contribution of the USA in Bosnia and Kosovo during the military phase. Success would have been impossible without the firepower they provided however much of the contunuing effort is from European countries within NATO and much criticism was leveled against the US for not being willing to join in earlier. This is actually very unfortunate in terms of the Iraq situation where US forces have had little experience of interfacing with a local population and has led to over reliance on miitary force.

 

Now the militant nationalist have for the most part been removed, the peace is being promoted in the former Yugoslavia not by the threat of military action but by the prospect of eventual membership of the European Union. Slovenia is already a member and Croatia and Serbia have ambitions to start negotiations for entry.

 

It is ironic that Britain has good relations with much of the muslim world despite it being a British Prime Ministr (Balfour) who first declared that the Jews should have their own homeland. Yet it is the 50 year old injustice to the Palestinians that is the running sore for Islamic countries. The arrogance of the European Jews who viewed that part of the middle east as "unpeopled land" (rather like the Americans in their spread west in the 19th century) that led to much of the problems for Jews living in the middle east. It is often forgotten that prior to 1947 there were large jewish populations in most of those, living in situations where they enjoyed more tolerance than in Europe or the USA. The traditional view is that, like Chrisitans, they are also "people of the Book" and share the Abrahamic inheritance. Also forgotten is that a large minority of Palestinians are Christian but, because for historical reasons they teneded to have higher western-orientated education, many are in the Palestinian diaspora.

 

Perversely aid to the Palestinians is aid to Israel for without outside funding Israel would be forced, as an "Occupying Power" under the Geneva Conventions, to take entire responsiblity for funding health, education and all other government functions plus feeding the population.

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One problem with sending money to the Palestinians is that we don't know that it will actually make it to them. The corruption is beyond belief. It's because of Arafat's ineptitude and greed that they're in as bad of shape as they are.

 

Frankly, not a single cent should be sent there until they have open and fair elections and they elect someone who is committed to crushing Hamas and all the other terrorists groups. If that doesn't occur, they can starve to death for all I care.

 

Compassionately yours,

 

FFF

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I think it is the least the US can do considerring the part we have played in the problems in that region.

 

I do not, however expect Bush to step up to the plate. He clearly favors an unstable Midle-East region. Possibly because it allows American Oil interests to continue to charge extaordinarily high gas prices.

 

As far as what we have given the muslim nations in the past and how they have shown their appreciation? We give far far more aide to European nations and I don't see them running around saying thank you either.

 

I think there is something wrong with the way we allowcate foreign aide. Europe is clearly one of the riches blocks of nations in the world, with the least amount of poverty. Yet we give them the largest chunk of our assistance. Mean while throughout the world, we see trouble spots where poverty, homlesness and even famine exist and we barely lift a hand.

 

Something is wrong with that picture in my eyes.

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