Forums

toolbar



 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  /

    Missile Defense

Technology has always found its greatest consumer in a nation's war and defense efforts. Since the last attempts at a "Star Wars" defense system, has technology changed considerably enough to make the latest Missile Defense initiatives more successful? Can such an application of science be successful? Is a militarized space inevitable, necessary or impossible?

Read Debates, a new Web-only feature culled from Readers' Opinions, published every Thursday.


Earliest Messages Previous Messages Recent Messages Outline (1993 previous messages)

lchic - 06:02am May 4, 2002 EST (#1994 of 1998)

FISK : Middle East (Ldn: Independent)

Sharon the merciless and Arafat the corrupt have nothing meaningful to offer each other Self-delusion has crossed the Atlantic. George Bush is having visions again just as he did before the most recent bloodbath in Israel and Palestine and Colin Powell, whose latest Middle East mission was a wholesale disaster, wants to devise "a set of principles" for an Arab-Israeli peace. And, as usual, it is the occupied, not the occupier, who is warned this is the "last chance" for peace.

That the United States wants to enlist the Europeans, Russia and the UN in its plans for a Middle East peace conference is perhaps the only sign of realism in the initiative. Otherwise, it's the same old twaddle.

Yasser Arafat has to earn "trust" this from the White House spokesman, Ari Fleischer and will not, for the moment, receive any invitations to the White House. He has to curb "terror". But Ariel Sharon, whose army was accused of war crimes in Jenin by Human Rights Watch yesterday, will be joshing with Mr Bush in Washington next week.

It was impossible, in Jerusalem yesterday, to take any of this seriously.

Mr Arafat had just emerged from his Ramallah headquarters to call the Israelis "Nazis" while Mr Sharon, only two days earlier, had announced that Netzarim, the illegal Jewish settlement in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, was the same as Tel Aviv. Since Mr Sharon came to power, no fewer than 34 new settlements or outposts for Jews, and Jews only, on Arab land, have been constructed.

A glance at the events of the past 24 hours shows just how far the Bush administration has strayed from reality. For days, the US President demanded that Israel withdraw its troops from West Bank cities. Mr Sharon simply ignored him. "When I say withdraw, I mean it," Mr Bush snapped at one point. Mr Sharon ignored him.

Yesterday, as Mr Powell warned Mr Arafat that it was his "last chance" to show his leadership, the Israeli Prime Minister was sending an armoured column to re-invade the Palestinian city of Nablus for the second time in two weeks. There was to be no "last chance" for Mr Sharon; only for the iniquitous Mr Arafat.

And what on earth, one wondered, was the point in parading the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, alongside Mr Powell on Thursday night? The UN Security Council resolution calling for an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian Authority areas of the West Bank supported by the United States is still being flagrantly ignored by Israel. Only a day earlier, Mr Annan was forced, in utter humiliation, to disband his fact-finding mission to Jenin after Israel refused to accept it. So what was his presence supposed to mean? The impotent secretary general just stood next to the equally impotent US Secretary of State.

The squalid, corrupt little dictator of Ramallah, Mr Arafat, and the brutal, merciless leader of the Middle East's mightiest army, Mr Sharon, have nothing to offer each other. Mr Arafat cannot fulfil his required role of colonial governor to "control his own people" while Mr Sharon cannot fulfil his promise to provide Israelis with security. As one of his legal advisers admitted hours after Washington's call for a peace conference, the diminution in Palestinian violence "won't last for ever".

Never, since the end of the 1991 Gulf War, have Israelis and Palestinians been so far apart. So what possible inducements can Washington extend to either side? If Mr Arafat wants an end to occupation and to settlements on Palestinian land, and a capital in east Jerusalem, Mr Sharon will not oblige. If Mr Sharon wants to go on building settlements and maintaining the occupation and claiming all of Jerusalem as the "eternal and unified capital of Israel", Mr Arafat will not oblige.

Meanwhile, the Americans blissfully hope that Mr Bush's "visions" of Israeli and Palestinian states happily co-existing side by side will survive the nex

More Messages Recent Messages (4 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Subscribe  Search  Post Message
 Email to Sysop  Your Preferences

 [F] New York Times on the Web Forums  / Science  / Missile Defense







Home | Site Index | Site Search | Forums | Archives | Shopping

News | Business | International | National | New York Region | NYT Front Page | Obituaries | Politics | Quick News | Sports | Science | Technology/Internet | Weather
Editorial | Op-Ed

Features | Arts | Automobiles | Books | Cartoons | Crossword | Games | Job Market | Living | Magazine | Real Estate | Travel | Week in Review

Help/Feedback | Classifieds | Services | New York Today

Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company