The recently-deceased ex-mayor of San Francisco, Alioto, once shook up Washington and our industrial wonks by stating firmly before a Senate Committee that: "What is good for General Motors is not necessarily good for the rest of the country." This sage advice, slightly altered, might well again be echoed through Washington's corridors: "What's good for Israel is not necessarily good for the United States."
CNN's recent open forum in Columbus showed the world that Americans don't trust Washington and are demanding honest reasons from Clinton and our State Department for any military strike against Iraq. According to Reuters dispatch, students both heckled and grilled Secretary of State, Madeline Albright, Secretary of Defense William Cohen and National Security Advisor Sandy Berger while these three Jewish appointees of Clinton argued for the further destruction of Saddam's country.
Access to Mideast oil can no longer be an excuse. Today we import most of our oil from Venezuela and Canada. The Saudis provide around 5 percent. (The number of barrels determined monthly by interest payments on Clinton's $10 billion loan to King Faud for F-16s and Boeing commercial jets).
If it's "weapons of mass destruction," we're certainly not threatened here at home, nor are Saddam's neighbors, since every one except Kuwait turned down Clinton's offer to bomb Iraq. In fact, every one of the Arab League's 21 countries gave an emphatic "NO" to U.S. military retaliation. Meanwhile, voices from around the world are demanding the devastating U.S.-U.N. seven-year embargo be lifted and Iraqi people returned to the prosperity they once enjoyed. The U.N. Security Council even under persistent U.S. bullying still drags its feet while China, Russia, and France openly oppose Clinton's air strikes. Every Council member except the U.S. is secretly praying that Kofi Annan's negotiations with Saddam go well.
Why then this persistent U.S.-British military threat to further decimate that country? Columbia University's Professor Edward Said gives an Arab perspective. In his recent article printed in both London and Cairo, entitled "Apocalypse Now," Said notes: "The U.S. has always opposed any sign of Arab nationalism or independence, partly for its own imperial reasons and partly because its unconditional support for Israel requires it to do so." Said says that in the Western press, "the Arabs are dehumanized...seen as violent, irrational terrorists...anything positive about the Arabs is seen in the U.S. as a threat to Israel...so there is no feeling for the dreadful suffering of the Iraqi people." With this mindset, Said points out the "notion of justified punishment for Iraq is now uppermost in the minds of most American consumers of news." Said adds: "Though it is clear from the UNSCom reports [Saddam] has neither the missile capacity nor chemical arms...nor the anthrax bombs...forgotten is that the U.S. has all the terror weapons known to mankind." And adds, "The misuse of sanctions to strip Iraq of everything including any possibility for security is monstrously sadistic."
If you brave Senators were to remove Israel's atomic, germ and chemical armaments. Wouldn't Mideast countries like Iraq feel less threatened, and so less likely to acquire these weapons?
America still has many friends in the Mideast, but I can tell you Senator, millions of Christian and Muslim Arabs are deeply troubled by Washington's continuing support of Israel and her daily terrorism and duplicity in their part of the world. They see the present threat against Saddam as Israel's use of U.S. military power in a Jewish march towards hegemony in their region. The talk on the street in the Arab capitals is that Netanyahu, who is presently demanding that Arafat reduce his military police force, will soon start a war with the Palestinians as an excuse to drive them east into Jordan, and so wants the U.S. to get Saddam out of the way. This may well initiate the WWIII of which Yeltsin has been warning Clinton. Are they wrong in this fear, John McCain?