Thursday, October 09, 2003

Wesley Clark

I wouldn't vote for Wesley Clark, but he sure seems to be saying the right things regarding Israel.

From a recent interview with Rolling Stone:

Israel has a unique problem. It is beset by nations that want to destroy it. Any nation that is under attack has the right to self-defense. And the right to self-defense is the right to strike pre-emptively to disrupt the threat. Therefore I totally support Israel's effort to go after these terrorists before they can strike Israel. Israel must be willing to participate in negotiations. But if it's going to ever have its chance at the negotiating table, Israel also has to show [its survival doesn't depend on making a deal]. So, the process of building the fence [separating the occupied territories from the rest of the country] is very important. It says to the Arab world, the clock is ticking, we're not prepared to make unlimited concessions, we have our principles and we will fight for them.

But that doesn't mean the U.S. should behave and strike the way Israel does. Two entirely different things. We can make Israel safer by not doing that. We need to bring a council together like we did for the Balkans: Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran. And instead of telling them we're going to nuke them, we've got to give them an incentive to want to participate in preventing conflict in the Middle East. The process has to be driven by optimism and hope, not fear. We will be there for Israel, and they will survive and be a great nation.


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