The Double Standards Game

The current war in Iraq as well as the Palestinian question have highlighted the double-standards that exist behind American foreign policy, and thus has made plain for all to see, that the U.S. is an unwilling broker for peace.

Many commonalities exist in comparing Iraq and the Palestinian issue. Both involve an oppressed population fighting to improve their lot. Also, both crises involve terrorism against civilians, most notably by Hamas and Al-quaeda.

But yet American policy with regards to these two conflict zones have taken contrasting routes.

For example, in response to recent Congressional trepidation expressed of an 87$ billion aid package destined in part for Iraq, Colin Powell asserted that without financial aid, Iraq “will remain a source of violence and terrorism fueled by poverty, by alienation, and by despair.”

In other words, Mr. Powell is asserting that there is a direct relationship between the economic and social well-being of Iraqi’s with the proliferation of terrorism and violence.

But if we turn our attention to the Palestinan question, we see that Mr. Powell’s careful and logical analysis (as with Iraq) has given way to incomplete and disingenuous statements, claiming that an end to violence is dependent on “crack[ing] down on terrorist groups, or progress toward peace in the Middle East will stall.”

How very curious that when Palestinian terrorism is mentioned, little attempt is made by American officials to find out what is fueling it. Is Colin Powell suggesting that the Palestinians live life in the lap of luxury and freedom, that terrorism is some amarphous, unkown creature? Or is he suggesting that Palestinians are all “naturally” terrorists?

Or then again, is Powell and the U.S. government purposely turning a blind eye to some of the reasons behind Palestinian terrorism, in order to ensure that the sacredness of the Israeli-American relationship not be breached at any cost?

The U.S. has never been an honest broker in the Middle-east, and this will only change when it decides to reverse its unconditional surrender to the myth that Israel is a democracy and its only trustworthy ally in the mid-east.

ziad chatila

history major


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