Courtesty of the Alfred
WASHINGTON, JAN 30:
Two elder statesmen of the Republican Party urged American voters to turn
President George W. Bush out of office in November if he fails to reject
the neoconservative policies of unilateral war and intervention in dealing
with international terrorism.
Paul Findley (R-IL) and Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey (R-CA) appeared
jointly at a public hearing convened by the Council for the National Interest
on Capitol Hill on January 27, to examine the direction of US Middle East
policy. Also among the panelists were former Chief of Mission to Iraq
Edward Peck, African-American Civic Leader E. Faye Williams, and Eugene
Bird, retired Foreign Service Officer and president of the Council for
the National Interest.
The hearing was the first in a series that will examine the Middle East
and Election 2004. The theme of this hearing was "Voting to Reverse
E. Faye Williams, who is also a member of the CNI Foundation, spoke on
the need to speak the truth on the Middle East where fundamental issues
are never addressed due to the manipulations of special interest lobbies.
Eugene Bird presented a positive program for peace in the Middle East
as a whole, outlining a roadmap for regional peace. "We must understand
that peace for Israel means peace with all Israel's neighbors, not just
the Palestinians," he said.
The Real Ground Zero
Findley deplored the thinking of the Bush administration and its advisers
in combating terrorism. He warned that they failed to recognize what "is
vivid to most of the world the real ground zero of terrorism is
in Palestine, not Manhattan."
Ambassador Peck also spoke to the fundamental lack of logic of the Bush
Middle East policy aiming to impose secular democracy on a region
and culture that is profoundly religious. But the real trouble with a
"war on terrorism," he believed, was determining when it was
over. He feared that the national emergency and our commitment to war
would never end.
McCloskey pointed to Bush's support for the alliance between fundamentalist
Christians and Jews, who believe that Palestine should not exist, and
warned that it would have dire consequences for relations with the Muslim
world, now numbering more than a billion men and women.
Losing Our National Moorings and Waging War without End
Findley told the Capitol Hill audience: "I have never worried about
America's future until now but we are in a deep hole in
Iraq... In the name of national security, the president has brought about
fundamental, revolutionary changes that threaten our national moorings."
In carrying out his policies, "Bush isolates America from common
undertakings with time-tested allies. He trivializes the United Nations
and violates its charter... while at home, he stoops to bigoted measures
based on race and national origin, tramples of civil liberties, and spreads
anxiety, fear, and shame throughout the land."
Livid against America for the Unquestioning Alliance with Israel
"Why do anti-American protests rage worldwide?" Findley asked.
"The answer: People worldwide, especially in Iraq and Palestine,
are livid over grievances against America."
In Iraq, many mistrust the US because of its help to Saddam Hussein in
the war against Iran and the Kurds; its refusal to assist the Shi'ites
in southern Iraq during their uprising against Saddam in 1991; and the
refusal of the US to distance itself from Israel's anti-Arab colonialism.
"In an exquisite example of hypocrisy, with one hand the president
tries to convince Iraqi Arabs that he offers them democracy and freedom
while, with the other, he supports Israel's denial of these very rights
to Palestinian Arabs next door."
As a Republican, Findley felt "no joy in making this case against
the president. He may be sincere in his stewardship, but he is wrong
dead wrong in the direction he is taking our country. I fear that
he is manipulated by underlings who are primarily motivated by concerns
for oil and Israel."
What must be done?
Findley urged Bush to make a "clean break from Israel's scofflaw
He can "instantly quiet guerrilla warfare in Iraq and anti-American
protests throughout the world" by telling Sharon "all aid will
be suspended until Israel vacates the Arab territory Israeli forces seized
in June 1967."
"By standing resolutely for justice for Palestinians, who are mostly
Muslim, he would virtually end anti-American protests."
But will Bush chart a constructive, peaceful new future for our nation?
If he acts, Findley concluded, "he will be a shoo-in for reelection.
If he does not, I will join many Republicans in urging his defeat."
Stronger Tilt Toward Israel Clear from Early Bush Term
McCloskey cited the new book by former Secretary of the Treasury Paul
O'Neill to make the case that from the very beginning of his term President
Bush was intent on "tilting" toward Israel. Bush's reliance
on the Pentagon, where Neocon advisers abound, to carry out his policy
of war on terrorism had undermined the authority of the State Department
that understands America's traditional commitments.
However, he expressed his encouragement by the willingness of some American
Jews to break ranks with the fundamentalists in Sharon's camp. Recently
the Central Conference of American Rabbis, made up of 1,800 reformed congregations,
endorsed a resolution calling on a freeze of the settlements in the Occupied
Territories and a retreat to the 1967 borders and a recognition of the
Palestinian right to self-determination.
A New Grand Design for Peace
In a prelude to the talks, Bird presented CNI's proposal for a national
campaign for a serious regional road map for peace in the Middle East.
Calling for the creation of a Middle East Peace Alliance, the plan includes
the immediate recognition of Palestine as an independent state, the recommencing
of serious negotiations, and a program of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.
"A grand design can be brought to the Middle East," Bird concluded,
"just as we brought it to Europe at the end of World War II."
CNIF is a non-profit, which has sought to bring about a balanced perspective
to US foreign policy in the Middle East since 1989 by educating Americans
and the media about current policies in the region. CNIF seeks a just
and peaceful solution to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and all parties
involved. You can contact CNI Foundation at 1250 4th St., SW, Suite WG-1,
Washington, DC 20024, 202-863-2951, fax 202-863-2952, email firstname.lastname@example.org,
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