February 06, 2004

Pinhole Watch

"Clinton pointedly called on the Muslim world to accept its share of the blame for the outbreak of extremism, and scolded Arab leaders for their own abuse of the Palestinians. He chastised Muslims for being too quick to judge America through the pinhole of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." [my emphasis]

Mark Ginsberg writing in the Weekly Standard.

Listen, peace could break out tomorrow in the Holy Land with Palestinians and Israelis living in rapturous harmony forevermore and al-Qaeda fanatics would still be looking to kill Americans wherever and however possible.

But to describe the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a mere "pinhole" is pretty rich.

The truth is, if regional conflicts like the Arab-Israeli imbroglio and Kashmir were resolved the pool of individuals who were amenable to being dragooned/recruited/suckered into jihadist fanaticism and the like would be reduced dramatically.

Which is why, quite simply, solving issues like Israel-Palestine and Kashmir are critical to the long-term U.S. national interest. And why I'm so disturbed we've dropped the peace processing ball, big time, post-Aqaba for many long months now.

UPDATE: There is a little movement on the Israeli-Palestinian front. Kudos to Sharon on pursuing a Gaza withdrawal (kudos to be withdrawn if this is a Gaza-only strategy, as the Egyptians are warning against).

Still, you have to start somewhere--and this is as good a place as any. It has always been folly to expend IDF resources to protect a de mimimis gaggle of settlers living amidst a sea of Palestinians dwelling in abysmal conditions in Gaza.

Posted by Gregory at February 6, 2004 02:14 PM
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