year goes by, it seems, without yet another end being announced to the
centuries old conflict in the Middle East.
late 1970s, two men won the Noble Prize for securing a lasting peace in the
region. Of course, the ink was barely dry on the deal before hostilities
began anew. How many times since have we seen Muslim and Israeli leaders
solemnly shaking hands in front of US president, with all sides proclaiming
that a new age has come? Almost too many to count.
what is the point in counting them? They have all resulted in the same thing:
more violence. Often the peace-talks and signing ceremonies last longer than
the actual cease-fires.
these last weeks have been less than riveting as our president (one cynically
might insert the phrase "diverting attention from his domestic
problems") met in yet another round of tense negotiations with the
Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian chairman. While all three were
"cautiously optimistic" in their comments to the press, the people
in the Middle East – on both sides – were disgusted. One Israeli
Member of Parliament has drafted a measure for a "no confidence"
vote in the Prime Minister, the kiss of political death in their system,
while people violently demonstrated in the streets.
negotiations, and their product, became much more interesting as the details
have been released. ‘Interesting’ may not be the right word;
perhaps ‘scary’ works better.
again the United States is acting out of its league in trying to induce
Israel to trade their security for an almost certain temporary peace, while
attempting to persuade Palestinians to accept only a fraction of what they
want. While past meddling has resulted mostly in US commitments to sending
more tax dollars as aid to both sides, this time the costs may be much
greater. Costly in lives, costly in national security, and costly in
aspect of the recently brokered deal calls for the US Central Intelligence
Agency to monitor both sides for compliance with the no-hostilities clauses.
This raises numerous concerns, not the least of which is simply the mechanics
of our CIA doing such a thing. How are they to make sure no one is harboring
ill will in their hearts?
president acted far outside his bounds in agreeing to such a thing. After
all, even if one can make the specious constitutional argument about the
appropriateness for a civilian intelligence agency as opposed to a fully
military version, it is impossible to justify using such an agency to monitor
the good will between two other countries.
though, is the possibility of the US being blamed for future problems because
of our "monitoring." If a terrorist bomb explodes, many will ask,
why wasn’t the US doing its job? Worse, if a terrorist bomb planted by
one group or the other is stopped by the US, what will keep that side from
making their next target US citizens abroad? Or at home?
then faced with an ever-increasing national security risk of protecting
citizens abroad and at home from terrorists who blame us for interfering in
their holy wars and causes.
latest peace deal is most damaging in the precedence it sets. The top demand
of the Israelis was that the US must release convicted American spy Jonathon
Pollard to their custody or face the prospect of that country walking out.
Pollard was a US Navy intelligence officer who, in the mid-1980s, began
selling US secrets to Israel. He was sent to jail for life for his treason,
but the Israeli government wants him freed.
the Cold War the US would release Iron Curtain spies in exchange for
Americans or our allies. At least in the Cold War there was a direct US
interest at stake. Not now; our nation is being told that if we do not
release to his controllers a man who sold-out our country, then Israel would
rather stay at war with the Palestinians.
that for international blackmail? If the president does not agree to release
this treacherous spy, then we get blamed for the peace process falling apart.
course, if history is our guide, blaming the US will be simply an exercise in
window dressing. The problems in the Middle East are not political ones, and
therefore cannot be solved by American politicians and their soundbite
platitudes. To think a deal signed by these three men will have any
meaningfully positive effect is naïve.
are many reasons to believe that peace will never reign in the land of the
Jordan River while both sides lay claim to the region. One thing is certain,
however, the United States cannot stick its nose into that mess without
expecting to get punched from both sides.
other articles by Ron Paul
Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for
liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman in Washington
for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return
to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. For more
information click on the Project Freedom website.
with the authorization of Dr. Paul.
Dr. Ron Paul