Saturday, January 24, 2009

Did the 'war on terror' end?

In the past few days, since the world's 4th largest army withdrew from the Gaza Ghetto, the silence from the bombardment has been filled with whispering, op ed pieces, and a flurry of realization that the war on terror has no meaning.

Paul Woodward's piece "Did the 'war on terror' end, Jan 25, on The National, AbuDhabi, caught my eye. It is a brief review of several news reports and op ed pieces about Israel's attack on Gaza and Obama's change in foreign policy. Woodward notes that India was able to keep Kashmir out of the fray of diplomacy.

Another piece, "This Is Not A Test," by Thomas friedman, Jan 25, NYT, points out that the window of opportunity to a two state solution is rapidly closing. He writes, "So if you believe in the necessity of a Palestinian state or you love Israel, you’d better start paying attention.
This is not a test. We’re at a hinge of history."

"Hamas and Palestine's right to exist," by Tony Iltis, Jan 23, Green Left on Line, makes a case that unless the main grievences of the Palestinians are discussed and resolved, a just peace cannot be reached. "However, while Palestinian acceptance of the “right” of Israel to exist as an exclusively Jewish state was a precondition for talks, discussion of the geographic definition of the Palestinian state was deferred and Israel has refused to negotiate on crucial issues, such as the right of Palestinian refugees driven from territory claimed by Israel to return to their homelands."

And then there is this piece, in the Houstan Chronicle that claims that US prosecutors have linked Ingred Mattson, who took part in Obama's inaugural prayer service on Wednesday to Hamas!

After giving all these stories some thought, and it is hard to read them all in one day, I have come to the conclusion that Paul Woodward's headlin has more meaning in it than he realizes. Yes, Israel may not have destroyed Hamas, who has already risen from the ashes, stronger than ever, but Israel's slaughter of Gaza's children has destroyed the war on terror. It is clear that refusing to talk with one's enemy cannot get you what yopu want.

The war on terror is over. Now we need to find a way to listen to each others grievences. To those who still believe one can bring peace by bombing the brains out of children, I can only say you have failed to win their hearts and minds. It is for that reason that the war on terror cannot be won, and now Israel has ended it for us all. Let the building up begin.

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