Archive: Oct 2002

"Reality," John Lennon once quipped, "leaves a lot to the imagination." But he spoke truer than he knew.  Over the last seven days, two distinct dramas have unfolded, each containing, for a separate segment of the public, its own version of reality. On Saturday, at Gilad Farm, near Nablus, settlers and security forces faced off in a dispute over a handful of huts, which the government terms an illegal outpost and Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer claimed, "endan…
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A roadmap to misery  As US President Bush’s envoy to the region, it would see reasonable to presume that Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns is committed to advancing Bush’s Middle East policy.In order to assess Burns’s chances of success in advancing Secretary of State Colin Powell’s boss’s plans, we think it is important to bear in mind just what those plans involve.Standing on the White House lawn with Secretary of State…
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In an interview with London's Guardian this past February, revisionist historian Benny Morris referred to the Palestinian Authority as "a virtual kingdom of mendacity." On Monday, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office announced that his government supports this kingdom.  Ahead of Sharon's junket to the White House, a high-ranking official in his office told this newspaper that Israel has agreed to transfer NIS 2 billion in tax arrears to the PA. The official explained t…
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In the shifting sands of Arab alliances, it is hard to find instances of enduring relationships. But in a world where raw power struggles and dictatorial jealousies reign sovereign, one alliance stands out for its vitality, durability, and the mutual benefit it accrues to both sides. This rare relationship is Yasser Arafat's partnership with Saddam Hussein.  Fuad Shubaki, Arafat's paymaster, is widely known for forging the PA's relations with Iran. Shubaki, it is recalled, gaine…
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As the beat of the US’s war drums against Saddam Hussein boom ever louder, the voices of opposition sound ever shriller. On Monday night, US President George W. Bush gave yet another speech in which he set out to answer these voices. One of the primary arguments that have been made against the Bush administration’s plans is that by going to war against the Iraqi regime, the US is being diverted from its primary war effort of combating international terrorism.  Former Vice P…
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In a speech before his Labor Party on Tuesday, British Prime Minister Tony Blair issued a rallying cry that the world as a whole should welcome.  Calling for moral and political courage in dealing with a world in transformation, Blair said, "The radical decision is usually the right one. The right decision is usually the hardest one. And the hardest decisions are often the least popular at the time."  These are words to live by, but sadly, in the same speech Blair proved that…
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