Saul Singer at PostGlobal

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer, a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post, is co-author of the forthcoming book, Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle. He has also written for the Wall Street Journal, Commentary, Middle East Quarterly, Moment, the New Leader, and bitterlemons.org (an Israeli/Palestinian e-zine). Before moving to Israel in 1994, he served as an adviser in the United States Congress to the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Banking Committees. He is also on Twitter. Close.

Saul Singer

Jerusalem, Israel

Saul Singer is a columnist and former editorial page editor at the Jerusalem Post. more »

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Dear Candidates: Talking to the World Is Not Enough

Talk was not enough to defeat apartheid in South Africa, Marcos in the Philippines, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Soviet Union, etc. The same is true regarding today's enemies of freedom.

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All Comments (38)

zqll:

There are suggestions that the US should leave international problems to the UN and/or the "world".
-----------------------------
Wow, how come we hadn't thought of that.
The UN cannot engage in Darfur because it cannot protect its "peacekeepers." The first group of UN peacekeepers were supposed to have deployed in Darfur by now, but because of the inept UN the deployment has been postponed for two months. The clowns at the UN have been making countless trips to Darfur over the years led by that old has-been head clown, Kofi Annan. With what results?

President Bush and Congress have labled the mass murders in Darfur a genocide. The UN says that the mass murders in Darfur are not a genocide.
China has stopped the UN from taking any meaningful action in Darfur yet China is never taken to task by the world media which prefers to look the other way when it comes to acknowledging China's wrongdoings.
People come around whining about abu grhaib (sp), Guantanamo, water-boarding, redacting, etc. and fail to say anything about the situation in Darfur or China's responsibility for the deaths there shows that they are not serious about human rights. What they are interested in is criticizing the US and blaming us for all the world's problems.
As far as I know the UN has not referred any crimes against humanity to the ICC since March 2005. The only person to be charged with crimes in Darfur, Thomas Lubanga is still awaiting trial by the ICC (International Court of Clowns) as far as I know. He was arrested in 2005 for killing 9 UN peacekeepers.
I found the following at web site called Trial Watch.

"Lubanga was arrested on human rights violations charges in March 2005 and transferred to the ICC on 17 March 2006; indicted on 28 August 2006; charges confirmed on 29 January 2007; preliminary hearing held on 4 September 2007; trial may be moved to the DR Congo; start of trial on 31 March 2008
position : Leader of the Union des patriotes congolais (UPC)"

At the rate the ICC is moving the sob is going to die of natural causes.
Is the ICC to busy with trying a lot of cases or what?



Darden Cavalcade:

Mark, Victoria, Canada:

Thank you, Mark. I agree that my comments had nothing to do with the panelist's comment. I was responding to the post of Mohamed Malleck of Swift Current, Canada.

Mohamed:

I saw the Samuelson article you mentioned. He paints a frightful prospect. And he is right, I think, in his assessment of all the current candidates for president.

I believe legal immigrants have been and continue to be an incalculable boon to American society. The medical talent alone that has come to the United States is astonishing. My spouse's oncologist is a Muslim from India, and he is a miracle worker.


Hank:

You know, most of the time I'm pretty liberal minded, but you jews are starting to tic me off. You talk about "talking to our enemys", but what if that is not enough. Most of the enemys we have in the world today are because we continue to defend your worthless israeli a$$es. What does america get from defending Israel. Access to your vast natural resources? A staunch ally, fighting along side us? Billions in financial aid? Other than hated and the largest debt in the universe, what does america get. The israelies insist on living in the middle of millions of people that hate their guts, because they claim to be "gods chosen people" and israel is the "promised land". It seems to me that if you were "gods chosen people", he would have promised you some place nicer to live. In any case, america can well afford, and does have the luxury of not advancing freedom and democracy at the point of a gun. Unfortunatly, israel doesn't.

Ben Sutherland:

"Talk was not enough to defeat apartheid in South Africa, Marcos in the Philippines, Somoza in Nicaragua, the Soviet Union, etc. The same is true regarding today's enemies of freedom."

That's an interesting theory, Saul. I wonder what Mikhail Gorbachev would say about that theory. I have a feeling he would disagree. I would too.

Force is necessary in matters of self-defense or when interests of self-determination are infringed upon. But as a philosophy of governance or theory of democratic progress, it's been fairly wanting in terms of producing results.

The situation with your neighbor, Iran, is probably the most serious case of its failure. Israelis are want to acknowledge that these days. But they will have to after enough failure. If they want to actually reduce the threat that Iran poses, that is. Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq. All regions of the world where America is leading, but where efforts that are force led rather than force as a last resort in cases of self-defense or self-determination or collective self-defense or collective self-determination are threatened, are losing us ground in many serious ways, whether the proponents of that strategy wants to acknowledge its failures or not.

America should lead. And effectively. And when it is not effective, as far too much of our strategy today is evidence of, we should find more effective routes. I appreciate the wishful thinking of those who are convinced that hawking problems into oblivion is more effective than it is. Their good intentions are duly noted.

But now is time for America to move on to more effective ideas and action. And, if not, we and the world will deal with the consequences of the current failures until we do.

Ben Sutherland
http://benfrankln.blogspot.com/

mary:

Some of Aaron's statements throughout this post:

-- "But instead you are here, benefitting from everything we have built"

--"whining and blaming America and Israel, you are powerless against these people. Thankfully for you and your freedom, we are not"

--"If we are forced to act like we are in the House of War, I assure you, we have the BIGGEST GUNS."

Okay now Aaron,since you seem to speak for the USA, just what is your contribution to America? How long have you and your ancestors lived there. What makes you speak for a country that we used to admire and now fear for?

Anonymous:

singer says:"Enemies of Freedom"??? Why does not the racist apartheid jewish theocracy return to the Palestinians their stolen land and their freedoms??

Apartheid South Africa?? Until its doom and demise,Apartheid nuclear South Africa was the most intimate friend of israel-birds of the same feather flock togther...

Clearly singer goes on to promote and incite more American wars with American blood and treasure on isreal's behalf while it enjoys the show.

Singer, u should be ashamed of yourself. Why don't U open up your concentration camps and let the PAlestinians out-they are only asking for their stolen land and olive trees back from your brutal nazi style occupation.

Mariano Patalinjug:

Yonkers, New York
10 January 2008

So, clearly, Saul Singer feels that it would be wrong for America to be an isolationist. He is for America to continue to be internationally engaged--what? as the "Leader of the Free World?"

He must be in agreement with the kind of world leadership George W, Dick Cheney and their coterie of neocons have been engaged in during the last seven years.

That leadership is driven by a mindset that America has a divine mandate to remake the world in America's own "democratic" image--by military force if that is what it takes!

The practical expression of that leadership is George W's overarching "freedom agenda." US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is carrying it out through what she terms "transformational diplomacy."

Iraq is a concrete expression of George W's "freedom agenda." Even on the basis of inadequate, misleading or "doctored" intelligence, George W decided to invade Iraq preemptively and unilaterally--even against the wishes of the UN Security Council.

Iraq has turned out to be George W's "Iraq Folly."

There, on U.S. auspices, the Iraqi people went through U.S.-style "democratic" elections. There you now have an Iraqi Parliament and a government led by Shiite prime minister Nouri al-Maliki. There you now have over 300,000 Iraqi police and military trained and equipped by the U.S. And there, the U.S. continues to maintain some 160,000 US troops. There the U.S. has squandered anywhere from $600 $800 billion of precious US taxpayer money on "direct" costs. Factoring in "hidden" or "indirect" costs, the total would be over $1 trillion! And there, more than 3,000 US troops have been killed and 27,000 more injured, 12,000 so seriously as to require probably lifetime expensive care.

We now ask: Is that Iraqi government working? Is it doing what a government is supposed to do, which is to GOVERN?

The answer: IT IS NOT.

That Iraqi government, factually, is dysfunctional--if it is not comatose.

And so, America is bogged down in Iraq. It is clueless, so far, on how to extricate itself.

Iraq is the stark and incontrovertible argument that America has no business interfering and meddling in the internal affairs of independent and sovereign states. It is not in a position to act as Policeman of the World. Nor as Moral Arbiter of the World.

There is an organization of the world's independent and sovereign states, some 200 of them, of which the U.S. is a bona fide member, which is by agreement, under its Charter, charged with keeping and maintaining world peace.

That organization is the United Nations with headquarters in New York City. It has its General Assembly which sets policies, a Security Council, and a Secretariat headed by a Secretary General which carries out the policies and mandates of both the General Assembly and the Security Council.

American imperialism has brought America only grief and ruin. It is wrong for America to supplant the United Nations as the world's peacekeeper, but it is right for America to help make the United Nations strong and truly effective.

America should leave the rest of the world alone.

Mariano Patalinjug
Yonkers, New York

MarPatalinjug@aol.com


The Whale:

You are absolutely wrong! Most certainly!

It was a brief chat and talk of Reagan WITH (and not to) Gorbachev in Geneva, a 2 hour walk in the snow, that started the end of the Cold War....the most dangerous rivalry, enemity, whatever you wish to label it....in the history of mankind where both sides were powerful enough to destroy the planet and all existing beings.

So, Reagan is remembered as a statesman, not as a warrior or as being The Decider or a stupid zealot narrowly focused on what happened 4000 years ago!

YTS:

This is where your small little mind cannot wrap itself around the big world....it is not TALKING TO the rest of the world but TALKING WITH the rest of the world....but again, one cannot expect more from absurd racists in Israel, the last member of the Apartheid Club and the failed state as it is....

Aaron:

Hasan, what about Turkey? Looks like Islam and democracy working out. NOT A THEOCRACY. Unfortunately the Koran mandates eternal Jihad against the Infidel, so Muslim theocracies do not work with the rest of the world, which is FULL OF INFIDELS. You are funny when you say that a non Muslim Brotherhood Islamic state would simply "serve the interests of people far away." Yes that's right, non-Muslim Brotherhood is the only option because WE DON'T WANT TO BE MURDERED, ENSLAVED, AND PAY JIZYAH. Can you blame us? I agree it is best if Democracy comes from within. Again I implore you, make a change, break the grip of the Imams and the Koran on the fabric of life, and "conditions for democarcy will flourish." I would love to help. But forgive me, I am INFIDEL, and a JEWISH PIG, noone will listen to me. If we are forced to act like we are in the House of War, I assure you, we have the BIGGEST GUNS. Nobody wants that option, least of all us infidels. But we will protect ourselves from the madness of Jihad, Sharia, and Takfir.

Aaron:

Hey Mohammed, stop insulting me just cause you can't refute my logic. First rule of debate: resort to insult when you don't like what your hearing, YOU LOSE. I get it about hawks becomming doves. The opposite also occurs. Again I ask you, what to you mean by "accomadation for the Palestinians?" I suspect you mean destroying Israel.

I don't hate the Palestinians. In fact I love them, and Israeli Arabs, at least the ones not born and raised to kill me and destroy Israel. I is YOU who hates the Palestinians, egging them on in their war of suicidal annihilation, while you sit rich and free in the West, no better than arab monarchists, whom oil made RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD, will only give money to Arabs in Palestine if the blow themselves up in an Israeli mall. Go to the territories, convince them to end the madness of suicide Jihad, if you want to help. I suspect, however, you will remain here, safe and free, with hatred and scapegoating in your heart, gloating over each dead Jew, praying for eternal war until Israel is destroyed.

Anonymous:

(and in particular the 150-600k+ innocent children, women, boys, old men and others murdered by the US)

Did I wake up in opposite land? I'm pretty sure that it is not Americans, but Iraqis who are OVERWHELMINGLY responsible for killing fellow Iraqis. On a near-daily basis there are killings and bombings, and the difference is when the US messes up (i.e. Blackwater), we tend to fix it and avoid killing those innocent children.

As for the rest of Providence says, well it is nothing more than a radical Muslim fairy tale, and if it ever happened, you won't be alive to see it. Israel has one of very few thriving economies in that part of the world, and Arab Israelis have the highest living standards in the Middle East (compared to other Muslims that is). Of course there are problems (obviously bigotry, double standards, etc.) and Israel has committed many, many wrongs, but your kind of statements is what makes it easy for the majority of Americans to back Israel.

Unless we all get realistic and the US forces both sides into a room and prods both to a deal, well we will never see a lasting peace. In the meantime, you do your best to keep people from achieving any peace, Providence.

Dummy:

Can we please make some distinction between legal and illegal immigration in each posting? A few did so clearly. Thanks!

The U.S. has welcomed immigrants since Day One. We are probably the only country that offers 50,000 Visas by Lottery every year.

Please be clear that we never ever complain about legal immigration. It is illegal immigration that is causing lots of problems for us and for many other countries.

dunnage:

I remember Marcos and Somoza as our dudes, sir.

zqll:

Hassan takes us (the US) to task because we count as our allies many states in the ME who have dictators at their head and do not share our values. This may come as a surprise to some but our first value is to stay alive and another is self-defense. If other people don't like that, well, they will have to live with it.
I mean, what should we do? Rely on other people's judgement or rely on our own? Thank you, but we will rely on our own.

In WWII we accepted as ally one of the worst dictators (Stalin) the world has ever known in order to defeat one of the worst dictators the world has ever known (Hitler).

Well, Hitler is gone, Stalin is gone, and their political systems with them.

If we expect the world to be perfectly aligned before we take steps and measures to protect ourselves we wouldn't last long.

For those who prefer to remain paralyzed and inactive, well, that's their choice.

But don't presume to give advice to others on values and certainly not on actions.

PS As for the statement that the US invades "sovereign" countries, well, a small clue: Iraq, Iran, N. Korea are not sovereign.
Figure it out!

Providence Candlelight:

Aaron, you are at best disingenuous, though I personally think that you are a liar, when you write:

"No one was more against the Iraq war than I".

That statement is not remotely true, billions of people were much more opposed to the war on Iraq (and in particular the 150-600k+ innocent children, women, boys, old men and others murdered by the US).

Again, you are at best disingenuous, though I personally think that you are a liar, when you write:

"neither you nor I, nor anyone, had any power to stop it, once the towers fell."

Not true, the war on Iraq was a fabricated war, as the vast majority of humanity has recorded. It was unnecessary, immoral........(as are those that defend it).

Ultimately, this aggression will be rewarded by the US having to evacuate the Hebrews from Palestine - for the reasons that the US has engendered a hatred so deep that it will only be satisfied with the capitulation of the US.

The maintenance of the Hebrews in Palestine will ultimately be impossible; too expensive and not in the *best* interests of the US ruling class. Both China and Russia will back the Muslims to the point that the US, Japan and Europe will decide that it is better to play ball than to be left out of the game.

My resources, humble though they are, I will share in the best interests of returning Palestine to the rightful, title holders and bringing the disenfranchised Hebrews to America where they belong and where they are needed.

Providence

Mark:

Darden Cavalcade; I've seen your posts in other forums, and admire the wise presentation of your viewpoint here. You've done a nice job of differentiating between immigration and illegal, unregulated immigration, and your points are well taken.

Of course, you are right that Canadians don't see the immigration poliies of our government as invasive, generally speaking, and expect those entering the country to be questioned as to the purpose for the visit, destination and expected length of stay as well as presentation of satisfactory ID. To my mind, those are far from unreasonable requirements, and I accept them as such when I visit the United States.

I don't know what that argument had to do with the subject article, but I wanted you to know that reasoned, thoughtful opinion politely rendered is a breath of fresh air that offers genuine hope for the future. Best regards;

Mark, Victoria, Canada

Chaotician:

Saul:

One thing the Decider has proved is that belligerent, unilateral, arrogant actions in support of American Fascist ideology only make things worse, much worse! Likewise, blind allignment and support of the Zionist occupation of Palestine is the root cause that prevents any peace in the world and makes America a target for every terrorist in the world; with no gain morally, economically, or politically for Americ. One presumes the supporting politicians are well rewarded for their manipulation of our policies; after all the bribes would be a small part of the "foreign" aid provided to keep Israeli military forces well equiped, the "illegal" settlements well guarded and funded, and the war industries humming!

Having America take its place as a member of the international community working cooperatively to achieve world peace, disarmament of all offensive weapons, destruction of all nuclear weapons, and work to minimize environmental destruction and stop global warming would be far, far better than American intervention and misguided agendas!

Mark:

The trouble with the Bush agenda for "defending and advancing freedom and prosperity in the world" is that they were just honeyed words to suck in suporters. Bush didn't really mean it, and worships nothing but his own worst instincts. I agree that a new president's desire to run an engaged America that supports its own interests by offering support and advice to countries wishing to better themselves would be welcome. Such an America would have been welcome under Bush. A rampaging juggernaut bent on overthrowing sovereign nations without due cause, or at the behest of lobbying special interests, would not be welcome under a president Obama, Clinton or McCain....or anyone. Simply changing the leadership is meaningless without a change in direction for the country. Quite often any potential enemy's willingness to talk or to otherwise reach an accommodation has been downplayed by the media's and special interests' yammering for a sensational and destructive war, to culminate in the carving up and redistribution of the cenemy's assets and the scattering of its people. I sense the same desire on the part of this piece's author.

Poile:

I wonder why the WaPo links Singer to their site as he is the most biased writer I know of.

Mike:

"the result of America turning inward would be open season for every rogue regime, terrorist group, and megalomaniac dictator.

Sounds great to me. I am ready to see the rest of the world get just what they want. We can spend our money on ourselves and I'm sure that Russia and China will be more benevolent than that bad old USA.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

AARON,

I repeat: you chrish your hatred of Palestinians? Be my guest. But if you want to be normal, see a shrink. They can cure the mildest to the most virulent form of phobias.

As for 'educated opinions', try finishing your high school and then read Robert Aumann, He is jewish you know, and he used to be a diehard hawk now turned intelligent swan. Here is his website, at Hebrew university in Jerusalem:

http://www.ratio.huji.ac.il/

Also check wikipedia for Robert Aumann.

And, please, do get rid of your obsessive hatred.

Aaron:

Wow Mohamed, just some insults now?
What do you mean by "Accomadation" of the Palestinians? Beleive me, I hate the Zionazis and Ashkenazi white supremacists, but by refusing to accept the exsitence of ONE INCH of the Jewish state, the Palestinians have tied Israel's hands. Even when Isreal evacuates the West Bank and East Jerusalem, it will never be enough until Israel is destroyed and YOU KNOW THIS. Try preaching compromise in Gaza, or an alternative interpretation of the Koran, and see how long you survive. Nice and safe to preach here, you can even print your full name, because there is no danger you will be murdered for your opinions. I, unfortunately, cannot.
You seem reasonable, pathetic insults aside. If Pakistan was full of people like you, things would be great. But instead you are here, benefitting from everything we have built, and we must send troops to Pakistan, birthplace of the nuclear black market, to keep Islamists from nuking us in their sick quest to establish the global caliphate. Sitting here whining and blaming America and Israel, you are powerless against these people. Thankfully for you and your freedom, we are not.

Hasan Mir:

Aaron says : "Sorry, but while Islamism is the only other option, you (except Iraq) will have to life with dictators in the Arab world. You have only the hatred, genocide, jingoism, mysogeny and murder espoused by the Koran and the Hadith to thank for that. When Islam and politics separate permanently, we will be right there to support the people. Right now all the people seem to care about is destroying Israel, and anyone who says different or trys reform is taken out by a takfiri."

Wow.You promote democracy and claim that it is part of your "values". But not willing to accept democracy as long as it brings Muslim Brotherhood or religious theocracy.Only democracy acceptable to you is the one that brings a govt caters to your need even though you are not from Middle East or cares a little about those countries.

Anyway, I pray when you and your fellow Zionists wake up someday and realize that Democratic Institutions does not create itself. It does require a conducive environment for democratic institutions to flourish.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

AARON,

You enjoy your sickness? Be my guest.

But if I were you, I'd call a shrink.

Then, after I am cured, I'd check up on the Robert Aumann website.

But then again, maybe before you do that, you should finish your high school education, otherwise you won't understand a thing!

Aaron:

Dear Hasan,

Sorry, but while Islamism is the only other option, you (except Iraq) will have to life with dictators in the Arab world. You have only the hatred, genocide, jingoism, mysogeny and murder espoused by the Koran and the Hadith to thank for that. When Islam and politics separate permanently, we will be right there to support the people. Right now all the people seem to care about is destroying Israel, and anyone who says different or trys reform is taken out by a takfiri.

We will sacrifice our soldiers to free the oppressed minorities of Iraq, but we can only do one country at a time. If Iraq becomes a constitutional government and al Qaeda is defeated, it may provide an ispiration to break with the religious demagoguery of the last hundreds of years and enable true democracy to flourish everywhere in the middle east. We will be with you 110%.

Break the chains of the Imams and those who scapegoat and try to annihilate Israel and the Jews, and you (and the whole world) will have peace and freedom. While most of the population follows the Imams and takes the Koran litterally, we in the House of War have very limited (and sad) choices.

With respect, an appeal for friendship, and solidarity against dictators,
Aaron

Aaron:

Mohamed,
I admit its a difficult situation. No one was more against the Iraq war than I (when I was listening to people like Scott Ritter). But neither you nor I, nor anyone, had any power to stop it, once the towers fell. Since you clearly enjoy your freedom in the west, why not the Iraqis? Trap Al Qaeda in a losing effort, foster legitimate government and judicial institutions of the people, for the people, by the people, not some genocidal dictator, doesn't sound so bad, considering the alternative SURRENDER TO AL QAEDA as the democrats propose.

Regarding Duran and the Israeli treatment of the Palestinians, you ignore that the Arabs of Palestine, as well as the whole Arab/muslim world, have been locked for 70 years in the struggle to annihilate Israel. In 1944 the Jews learned of the 11th missing commandment "Do not get murdered" and have been acting accordingly. Meanwhile, scapegoating Israel and the Jews is the main force that keeps Arab/Muslim dicatators in power, to the detriment of their people.

Regarding those dictators/monarchists and Americas support for them, as bad as they are, Islamism is the true evil on this earth and the real threat to global peace and prosperity. If the Islamists were not the only other option, there would be no dictators. Definitely a crappy situation. Let's see how Iraq does as a secular multicultural democratic state with universal respect for human rights. If it is impossible, then we have no choice to do whatever we have to to keep Islamists from gaining any more control of the worlds energy resources.

Definitely I have a lot of respect (and love) for you and I pray for peace, particularly between the tribes of Abraham. Best advice, STOP TRYING TO DESTROY THE JEWISH STATE. If you could change things in the Muslim world, I'm sure you would, but even openly talking of such things will get you TWO 9MM IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD FASTER THAN YOU CAN SAY "TAKFIR." Regarding economics, I prefer Brad DeLong's website. If you are right, and we hit a huge recession, I'm sure dramatic changes will be made. One of them will not be washing our hands of the Middle East and pretending that Muslim world can sort out its hatreds and everything will just be hunky dory.

wretching:

OH RIGHT!
The jews are sooo anxious for
American blood and money to be out there bombing everyone Israel doesn't like...(everything)

-or nations or peoples who hate Israel (same thing, Israel is universally detested...name one friend of the savage marauders).

AND then we get ADVICE to American candidates from Singer. Is there nothing too disgusting from this sneering Israeli?

wretching:

OH RIGHT!
The jews are sooo anxious for
American blood and money to be out there bombing everyone Israel doesn't like...(everything)

-or nations or peoples who hate Israel (same thing, Israel is universally detested...name one friend of the savage marauders).

AND then we get ADVICE to American candidates from Singer. Is there nothing too disgusting from this sneering Israeli?

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Aaron,

In addition to what I said above, let me tell you about 9/11 although I expect it to be hard for you to believe.

The US had been furiously trying to invade Afghanistan long before 9/11. They pressured Mary Robinson, who was then (circa October 1999) UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to underwrite a push for such an invasion on the ground that the Taliban were oppressing their women. Even Jan Goodwin, author of the book “In the Name of Honour” which castigated the practice of ‘honour killings’, was outraged saying that an invasion would be equivalent to the school bully hitting a small boy that whose toy he is coveting on the neck with a heavy hammer on the pretense that he was protecting the boy from the fly that was about to bite him on the neck! Mary Robinson refused to countenance the imposition of UN sanctions that would have been a prelude to an invasion.

That episode was followed by the United Nations World Conference Against Racism held in Durban, South Africa on 18 and 19 August 2001. I happened to be in Durban at that time because that was where my family was while I was working with the African Development Bank in Cote d’Ivoire. Mary Robinson was presiding that conference and did so in her usual super-human way. The Non-Aligned Nations, together with the Arabs and other Muslim countries, had proposed a resolution equating Israeli treatment of Palestinians with racism. The US and UK had, even before the conference, threatened to boycott it. Having sent low level delegations, they now threatened to walk out. Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and therefore knowledgeable about bullies pushing weaker guys around, sought to negotiate a compromise. No matter how much the NAM (Non-aligned Movement) succeeded in getting the Arabs and Muslim nations to accept increasing doses of watering down their resolution, the US/UK would have none of it. They finally effected their walk-out. Mary managed to salvage the Conference because even Germany, France and of course Norway and other Scandinavians, even Australia, New Zealand etc. refused to follow the US/UK in their folly.

The attempts, by the Arabs and the Muslim nations, to express their indignation had met with an utterly mad arrogance. There no doubt had been forces at work in the back ground that had prepared contingency plans, just in case the usual imperialist folly still won the day. These forces, in hindsight, must have included Bin Laden and the guys who flew the plane into the Towers.

I assure you that, in Durban at that time, every one who was lucid enough to have listened carefully and who, additionally was following closely on developments in the matter, must have known that something dramatic was going to happen. One did not have to be among the intelligence community to know that.

The conspiracy theorists (among whom Robert Fisk sometimes counts himself) might be wrong, but even I sometimes, in moments such as this one when I recount the details, I wonder how could the intelligence community not have known.

But, of course, about two weeks after UNWCAR there was 9/11. Mary Robinson was vetoed by the US from even considering the possibility of considering succeeding Koffi Annan as UN Secretary General.

If you could speak to Mary Robinson, she would have revelations to make to you, far more damaging to your arguments than anything that Hans Blix or Scott Ritter or Jan Goodwin could articulate.

Again, Aaaron, peace and blessings be on you and on all of humanity. And do try to visit Robert Aumann’s website, named Institute for the Study of Rationality.

Hasan Mir:

AAron says : "If the Middle East (other than Israel) shared our values of individual freedom, non-lethal capitalist competition, and constitutional democracy, obviously we would not need to be there in force to ensure the survival of Western civilization."

Rulers from Kuwait, saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, OMAN, Egypt are all known dictators and US allies. Pres Bush during his visit will meet leaders from most of those countries. Same rulers who does not share your values.

I strongly believe if USA wants to see a democratic middle east,it will have to stop supporting those very regimes that does not share your "values".

And you are projecting yourself to be quite the hypocrite by denouncing the Middle Eastern countries for not sharing your values while you and your peers don't have any problem selling billions of dollars worth of arms to them , you don't even raise your eye brows when US investment banks raises billions of dollars of capital, you dont question the US treasury's decision to sell billions of dollars worth of treasury bonds.

You and your values!!!

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Aaron,

No, Sir! I don't release those among the Umma who ought to have known beter from responsibility. Far from it. That is why, although I wish to be a good Muslim and I believe in forgiveness and even 'turning the other cheek' (with the proviso that 'turning the other cheek will ACTUALLY improve the behaviour of the offender), I have insisted, in my previous postings in response to comments by Saul, that I believe in the Game Theoretic approach to morality, which rests on the 'optimal penal code' algorithm for improving the opposite side's behaviour so that the optimal outcome FOR ALL STAKEHOLDERS OR PLAYERS to be optimized.

That is also the reason why I prefer to describe myself as "Muslim boderline agnostic".

My analysis is completely in line with the revised position of Robert Aumann, the Jewish Mathematician who won the Nobel prize in Economics and who had supported the Israeli far right when his initial flawed Game Theoretic-based analysis of the Israeli-Palestinian case convinced him that, in an 'infinitely repeated game', an Israeli hard-line strategy is 'dominant', to use the technical Game Theoretic term. More recently, he has revised his opinion and argued that a softer, confidence building appraoch with significant accommodation of Palestinian aspirations is, in fact, the dominant strategy. He has explained his turnaround by clarifying that the 'game' is not 'infinitely repeated'.
I apologize Aaaron, for not giving you all the details of the references, but I have given them in the past, and if my memory serves me right, even in a posting under a previous WAPO commentary by Saul Singer.

Best regards. Peace and blessings be on you and on all humanity.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

DARDEN CAVALCADE,

Of course, every country, not only America, has not only the right, but the DUTY to "demand that immigrants immigrate in accordance with the law of the land".

What I am saying is not that the US should forego that right. What I am saying is that those who are native-born Americans are pushing it too far to make as if they are doing a favour to recent immigrants --- I know that US immigration requirements are as tough as Canadian. If you have read the opinion piece by Samuelson in today's edition of WAPO, you will realise that my children will be working and paying through their noses for the pension benefits and other public spending on behalf of older people (not MY parents, in spite of the care my mother gave my daughter when she was growing up). Samuelson exgerates it by saying that it can become so severe that they may not be bale to afford children of their own. Do you have any idea what kind of sacrifices we have had to make to get our children where they are now?

Yey, you will see in the days to come that America will insist that Pakistan has become so unstable it will have to have bases within Pakistani teritory to conduct operations against insurgents. Do Pakistanis have the same right to refuse? We will see how this plays out in coming weeks.

But, I assure you that, being North American-educated, I love liberal minded Americans who are fair and who have a sense of solidarity first and foremost with their own less-fortuante citizens, then with the rest of humanity.

Best regards.

aaron:

Mohamed, thanks for educated opinions. While blaming everything on the US, you conveniently release the "Umma" from any responsibility. If 9/11 had not happened, no matter how much Bush wanted to attack Iraq, it would never have been backed by the majority. If the Middle East (other than Israel) shared our values of individual freedom, non-lethal capitalist competition, and constitutional democracy, obviously we would not need to be there in force to ensure the survival of Western civilization. However, we live in the "House of War," and until that fact changes (maybe you should work on that problem, instead of safely venting here) we will from now on act accordingly. If you want to help, convince your brothers in name to abandon Jihad and enter the modern age of freedom, prosperity, and democracy, remove the hate-mongering and mysogeny from the Koran and Hadith, end the pathetic incitement in the education system, and separate Islam and politics permanently. I'm glad you enjoy our freedom, but since you are obviously powerless to address the real problem, don't blame us if we "irresoponsibly" defend ourselves from hate-indoctrinated barbarians hell-bent on our destruction.

Darden Cavalcade:

Mohamed:

The last time I entered Canada, I was interviewed by a Canadian official. I was asked what the purpose of my visit was and how long I intended to stay. I was asked for identification.

When you emigrated to Canada from India (I think I'm right about that from your earlier posts), did you not meet with Canadian officials, express your intention to remain in Canada, provide identification, and fill out legal documents?

When you became a Canadian citizen, did you not recite an oath of allegiance to Canada in both English and French?

Did you consider the process of becoming a Canadian citizen unreasonable, a violation of a human right, or bullying?

Is it slamming the door in the face of economic refugees for sovereign nations to demand that immigrants immigrate in accordance with the law of the land, the substance of which can be debated, but do nations and their peoples have no right to demand that economic refugees seek refuge according to the law?

I believe you expect of the United States, and Americans, a standard of behavior that not nation or people on earth accepts, including Canada and Canadians.

In 50 years, there will be 500 million Americans. Do you want them crossing the Canadian border at will, settling wherever they please, ignoring your laws?

If you honestly believe as you have written, then you have much work to do at home. In 2060, all that empty space in Canada is going to look very attractive to a lot of people.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

Gary,

There is a difference between the policies of the administration and 'the rest of us'.

Most Americans are decent people. Most, if they read Jared Diamond's recent article explaining that the average Westerner (especially Americans) consumes 32 times of everything that the average person living in the rest of the world consumes, would agree that such a state of affairs cannot continue. The vertiginous decline of the US dollar had been predicted by, say, as all-American an Econonomist as Paul Krugman, and I sincerely believe that Alan Greenspan ( who became Gerald Ford's Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers when I had just completed my graduate studies in Canada and is an excellent monetary economist and macroeconomist) ought to have resigned rather than countenance Bush's catastrophic economic policy. But nobody effectively stood up against the necons.

And the rest of the world is supposed to follow suit like sheep?

gary:

and we end up being the only ones to stand up to the likes of putin,islamo-facism etc. the rest of the world is losing its moral compass. freedom isn't free. bush might not be a likable pres. but don't confuse a hate for him as being seperate from a hate for the rest of us.

Mohamed MALLECK, Swift Current, Canada:

First and foremost, Saul, let's stop this bull about America's borders remaining open. They'll be open for my gynaecologist wife, and my three children all of whom have graduated summa cum laude, do not drink, when of-campus only extremely rarely spend the night out, like good Muslims pray in congregation at the mosque at least every Friday (but more often than not at least twice a day), do a lot of community work which has helped one of them get into med school and the second one about to do so as well. But we chose to be Canadians instead.

America's doors have been slammed more tightly shut on the poor Mexicans and other Latin Americans, I agree that there is a huge mass of low-skilled and unskilled workers, not just in Latin America but everywhere else in the world, queuing at America's doors trying to get in. But, if Latin American dictators had not ben encouraged to purchase weapons to repress their own people, just like some Mid-east regimes are (besides having to purchase outdated weapons to give a sembalnce of being in a position of defending themselves aginst a nuclear-armed Israel), maybe those poor but honest and hardworking people might have studied English and be medical doctors like my wife and my two children.
So, about Americans leaving the world to its own devices, China and Russia have recently sent the clear message about a self-sufficient Asian NATO. Having been a development worker and an internationally-employed macroeconomist for 23 years, I am in a position to know that the US has used its voting power in the Asian Development Bank to slow down Asian macroeconomic convergence and the adoption of a Common Asian currency.

As every busniess news item will tell you, the world will have India and China and maybe other Asian countries to thank in 2008 for avoiding a sharp deterioration in their living standards. America will be cursed all over the world for its profligacy and warmongering that has brought on us the sharp recesion that has already started, and the insecurity that the illegal invasion of Iraq caused to falre up and that is only exacerbated by its provocation of Iran with warships marauding in Strait of Hormuz waters several thousands of miles from the American coast.

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.