Reply to Keating

Regarding John Keating's letter to the Oct.-Dec. 2003 issue of Peace Magazine, a feeble attempt to refute the main point of my article, "Pax Americana." It reveals his political naiveté and, even worse, his support for the U.S. policy of unilateralism and preemption.

While I readily admit to certain minor factual errors in my article due to a failure to edit prior to publishing, these are not substantive nor do they detract from the major description of Pax Americana. Whether it was 1990 or 1992, the fact remains that a group of extreme neo-Cons identified Iraq as a target for invasion with an argument linked to the need to access its oil and to accuse it of links to al Qaeda and, later, 9/11, that they knew were false.

There is now much more abundant evidence available to validate the role of the use of 9/11 to launch a policy of world domination and, in particular, to target Iraq. Keating is obviously insensitive to the terror of "shock and awe," with its toll of some 10,000 Iraqi civilians, nor does he remember the ultimate terrorist act of the atomic bombing of Japan.

The US history of fighting terror has consistently supported the juntas of Latin America. Keating's support for a policy of preemption violates the UN Charter and International Law, a fact not relevant to him or Bush. I will be more careful in editing my work in the future, but after more than fifty years of such activity, I will never cease.

Finally, I recommend an article by David Armstrong in Harper's Magazine, Oct., 2002 which totally validates my position, the title being "Dick Cheney's Song of America: Drafting a Plan for Global Dominance."

F.H. Knelman, Ph.D.

Palestinians' options?

There are problems with Evan Goldstein's article on the breakdown of the Camp David peace talks. He pins much of the blame on Arafat. This is at odds with the analyses of Israeli professors Tanya Reinhart and Jeff Halper, who have explained why the "generous offer" was a fraud. Reinhart's articles and interviews explain how Israel's supposed offer would have been neither new or generous; there was no documentation of any offer that came out of these negotiations. Halper showed that even if the Israeli offer were what it claimed to be, it was still only a thinly-veiled attempt to force Palestinians into what he describes as "occupation by consent," not the state they claim as their due under international law -- the same UN resolution that proclaimed Israel a state.

Goldstein writes about a need for "greater compromise by both sides."

While the UN originally gave Israel about 55 per cent of Palestinian land, the Palestinians have now given up 78 per cent of their land to Israel, which is now grabbing an estimated 90 per cent with the Wall -- including most remaining Palestinian water and the best land. Arafat gave up about one-quarter of it, essentially in exchange for nothing, at the Oslo Accords. These were the accords in which both sides pledged not to act in way that would prejudice the ultimate status of the territories. Since then, Israel has doubled its settler population, added over 100 new illegal settlements, reinvaded the towns it gave back to the Palestinians, and put in the massive Jewish-only road system with hundreds of paralyzing and humiliating checkpoints for Palestinians, preventing their travel to work, school, or medical care.

Israel has taken over Palestinian water sources and left Palestinians with water inadequate for sanitation and health, according to UN minimum standards.

Israel has cut off Palestinian employment and even sources of humanitarian aid, leaving the civilian population under occupation malnourished and vulnerable.

What compromises does Mr. Goldstein think Palestinians could make? The bottom line for the Palestinians is their freedom, either in the form of a viable and independent Palestinian state or a democratic Israel.

Karin Brothers

It's Our World

As Albert Einstein stated in 1945, "we will not be able to speak of humankind as civilized until the creation and maintenance of decent conditions of life for all people are recognized and accepted as a common obligation of all people and all countries."

Why do some areas of the world, such as most Islamic countries, shun democracy? We need to know the answer because democracy is a vital factor in ensuring that the processes are followed that will bring an end to warfare. But for democracy to be effective requires the establishment of such institutions as the rule of law, the acceptance of free speech, and the ability to own private property. The development of these institutions probably will take years.

John W. Patterson
Ottawa, Ontario

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2004

Peace Magazine Jan-Mar 2004, page 5. Some rights reserved.

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