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Thomas Sowell
Thomas Sowell
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Pretty Talk and Ugly Realities

Comment

No phrase represents more of a triumph of hope over experience than the phrase "Middle East peace process." A close second might be the once-fashionable notion that Israel should "trade land for peace."

Since everybody seems to be criticizing Israel for its military response to the rockets being fired into their country from the Gaza strip, let me add my criticisms as well. The Israelis traded land for peace, but they have never gotten the peace, so they should take back the land.

Maybe a couple of generations of Palestinians in Gaza living in peace under Israeli occupation and a couple of generations of the occupation troops squelching the terrorists— "militants" for those of you who are squeamish— would set up conditions where the Palestinians would be free to vote on whether they would like to remain occupied or to have their own state— minus terrorists and their rockets.

Casualty totals alone should be enough to show that the Palestinian people are the biggest losers from the current situation, where the terrorists among them, firing rockets into Israel, can bring devastating retaliatory strikes.

Why don't the Palestinians vote for some representatives who would make a lasting peace with Israel? Because any such candidates would be killed by the terrorists long before election day, so nobody volunteers for that dangerous role.

We don't know what the Palestinians really want— and won't know as long as they are ruled by Hamas, Hezbollah and the like.

Whatever the benefits of peace for the Palestinian population, what are the terrorists going to do in peacetime? Become librarians and furniture salesmen?

So-called "world opinion" has been a largely negative factor in this situation. Nothing is easier than for people living in peace and safety in Paris or Rome to call for a "cease fire" after the Israelis retaliate against people who are firing rockets into their country.

The time to cease fire was before the rockets were fired.

What do calls for "cease fire" and "negotiations" do? They lower the price of launching attacks.

This is true not only in the Middle East but in other parts of the world as well.

During the Vietnam war, when American clergymen were crying out "Stop the bombing!" they paid little attention to the fact that bombing pauses made it easier for North Vietnam to move more ammunition into South Vietnam to kill both South Vietnamese and Americans.

After Argentina invaded the Falkland Islands, if British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher had heeded calls for a "cease fire," that would have simply lowered the price to be paid by the Argentine government for their invasion.

Go back a hundred years— before there was a United Nations and before "world opinion" was taken into account.

An Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands at that time would have risked not only a British counter-attack to retake the islands but also British attacks on Argentina itself.

Anywhere in the world, attacks such as those on Israel today would not only have risked retaliation but invasion and annihilation of the government that launched those attacks.

Today, so-called "world opinion" not only limits the price to be paid for aggression or terrorism, it has even led to the self-indulgence of third parties talking pretty talk about limiting the response of those who are attacked to what is "proportionate."

By this reasoning, we should not have declared war on Japan for bombing Pearl Harbor. We should have gone over to Japan, bombed one of their harbors— and let it go at that.

Does anyone imagine that this would have led to Japan's becoming as peaceful today as it has become after Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Or is the real agenda to engage in moral preening from a safe distance and at somebody else's expense?

Those who think "negotiations" are a magic answer seem not to understand that when A wants to annihilate B, this is not an "issue" that can be resolved amicably around a conference table.

To find out more about Thomas Sowell and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com. Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305. His Web site is www.tsowell.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.



Comments

2 Comments | Post Comment
Taxpayers need your assistance in putting into law the "cutting of
politician salaries, freebies,retirements to $12,000.00 year" to prevent
total Bankruptcy in America! This is a small price to pay considering
Americans have been sold out to foreign countries and there's not enough
money to pay the interest on this debt! Guess what, doesn't take a rocket
scientist to figure out what's going to happen to America!

After all, you have to start somewhere and this is the best way!
Cutting Salaries, retirements, freebies "NOW - 2009"- IT'LL STILL BE 2025
(to say the least) before America will get it's affairs in order. People
like Barney Frank, Pelosi, Waters, Rangel, Kennedys, Clintons, Reid,
Paulson, Freedie, Fannie, AIG, Big 3 (just to name a few) have caused
serious disasters to happen in America that should have never happened, but
due to their GREED, America's failing and WON'T get up until the salaries
and tax & spenders are put in their place! If politicians don't want to take
a cut in pay, take their keys, padlock their offices (everywhere), then
'sell them a one-way ticket across the ocean with just the clothes on their
back" as everything of material value INCLUDING bank accounts, worldwide,
belong to Taxpayers and must be returned to Taxpayers!

America must be run like a business. It doesn't take all these fat cats,
running wild, passing bad laws, creating a debt that can't be repaid at the
rate they're going now, to run EVEN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA!
As for the 'INAUGURATIONS' (STATE AND FEDERAL), ISN'T IT ABOUT TIME TO STOP
THE HOLLYWOOD PARTIES, AS THIS IS MORE OF THE SAME OLD PROBLEMS BEING
CREATED BY THE TAX AND SPEND!

IF YOU CARE ABOUT OUR CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN, YOU'LL ASSIST IN GETTING
THIS 'SMALL JOB' DONE FOR THEM, AS IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

KEEP IN MIND WHAT THOMAS JEFFERSON SAID ---I QUOTE "A GOVERNMENT BIG ENOUGH
TO GIVE YOU EVERYTHING YOU WANT, IS BIG ENOUGH TO TAKE AWAY EVERYTHING YOU
HAVE!!!"

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Shirley deLong
Tue Jan 13, 2009 11:42 AM
It's our land...By: Benjamin Netanyahu
Apparently, Benjamin Netanyahu gave an interview and was asked about Israel 's occupation of Arab lands. His response was "It's our land".
The reporter (CNN or the like) was stunned - read below "It's our land..." It's important information since we don't get fair and accurate reporting from the media and facts tend to get lost in the jumble of daily events.
"Crash Course on the Arab Israeli Conflict.."
Here are overlooked facts in the current Middle East situation.
These were compiled by a Christian university professor:
BRIEF FACTS ON THE ISRAELI CONFLICT TODAY.... ( It takes just 1.5 minutes to read!!!! )
It makes sense and it's not slanted. Jew and non-Jew -- it doesn't matter.
1. Nationhood and Jerusalem. Israel became a nation in 1312 BCE, Two thousand years before the rise of Islam.
2. Arab refugees in Israel began identifying themselves as part of a Palestinian people in 1967, two decades after the establishment of the modern State of Israel.
3. Since the Jewish conquest in 1272 BCE, the Jews have had dominion over the land for one thousand years with a continuous presence in the land for the past 3,300 years.
4. The only Arab dominion since the conquest in 635 CE lasted no more than 22 years.
5. For over 3,300 years, Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital Jerusalem has never been the capital of any Arab or Muslim entity. Even when the Jordanians occupied Jerusalem, they never sought to make it their capital, and Arab leaders did not come to visit.
6. Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times in Tanach, the Jewish Holy Scriptures. Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran.
7. King David founded the city of Jerusalem. Mohammed never came to Jerusalem.
8. Jews pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray with their backs toward Jerusalem.
9. Arab and Jewish Refugees: in 1948 the Arab refugees were encouraged to leave Israel by Arab leaders promising to purge the land of Jews .. Sixty-eight percent left without ever seeing an Israeli soldier.
10 The Jewish refugees were forced to flee from Arab lands due to Arab brutality, persecution and pogroms.
11. The number of Arab refugees who left Israel in 1948 is estimated to be around 630,000. The number of Jewish refugees from Arab lands is estimated to be the same.
12. Arab refugees were INTENTIONALLY not absorbed or integrated into the Arab lands to which they fled, despite the vast Arab territory. Out of the 100,000,000 refugees since World War II, theirs is the only refugee group in the world that has never been absorbed or integrated into their own people's lands. Jewish refugees were completely absorbed into Israel, a country no larger than the state of New Jersey.
13. The Arab-Israeli Conflict: the Arabs are represented by eight separate nations, not including the Palestinians. There is only one Jewish nation. The Arab nations initiated all five wars and lost. Israel< B> defended itself each time and won.
14. The PLO's Charter still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel .. Israel has given the Palestinians most of the West Bank land, autonomy under the Palestinian Authority, and has supplied them.
15. Under Jordanian rule, Jewish holy sites were desecrated and the Jews were denied access to places of worship. Under Israeli rule, all Muslim and Christian sites have been preserved and made accessible to people of all faiths.
16. The UN Record on Israel and the Arabs: of the 175 Security Council resolutions passed before 1990, 97 were directed against Israel.
17. Of the 690 General Assembly resolutions voted on before 1990, 429 were directed against Israel.
18. The UN was silent while 58 Jerusalem Synagogues were destroyed by the Jordanians.
19. The UN was silent while the Jordanians systematically desecrated the ancient Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives.
20. The UN was silent while the Jordanians enforced an apartheid-like a policy of preventing Jews from visiting the Temple Mount and the Western Wall.
These are incredible times. We have to ask what our role should be. What will we tell our grandchildren about we did when there was a turning point in Jewish destiny, an opportunity to make a difference?
START NOW- Send this to 18 other people you know and ask them to send it to eighteen others, Jew and non-Jew--it doesn't really matter.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Juanito Verde
Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:26 PM
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