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Rep. Ron Paul: The Fatal Conceit

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    The Fatal Conceit in the Middle East by Rep. Ron Paul January 23, 2007 http://www.antiwar.com/paul/?articleid=10373 Former President Carter s new book about
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 23, 2007
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      The Fatal Conceit in the Middle East
      by Rep. Ron Paul
      January 23, 2007

      Former President Carter's new book about the ongoing conflict between
      Israel and Palestine has raised the ire of Americans on two sides of
      the debate. I say "two sides" rather than "both sides," because there
      is another perspective that is never discussed in American politics.
      That perspective is the perspective of our Founding Fathers, namely
      that America should not intervene in the internal affairs of other

      Everyone assumes America must play the leading role in crafting some
      settlement or compromise between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
      But Jefferson, Madison, and Washington explicitly warned against
      involving ourselves in foreign conflicts.

      The conflict in Gaza and the West Bank is almost like a schoolyard
      fight: when America and the world stand watching, neither side will
      give an inch for fear of appearing weak. But deep down, the people who
      actually have to live there desperately want an end to the violence.
      They don't need solutions imposed by outsiders. It's easy to sit here
      safe in America and talk tough, but we're not the ones suffering.

      Practically speaking, our meddling in the Middle East has only
      intensified strife and conflict. American tax dollars have militarized
      the entire region. We give Israel about $3 billion each year, but we
      also give Egypt $2 billion. Most other Middle East countries get money
      too, some of which ends up in the hands of Palestinian terrorists.
      Both sides have far more military weapons as a result. Talk about
      adding fuel to the fire! Our foolish and unconstitutional foreign aid
      has produced more violence, not less.

      Congress and each successive administration pledge their political,
      financial, and military support for Israel. Yet while we call
      ourselves a strong ally of the Israeli people, we send billions in
      foreign aid every year to some Muslim states that many Israelis regard
      as enemies. From the Israeli point of view, many of the same Islamic
      nations we fund with our tax dollars want to destroy the Jewish state.
      Many average Israelis and American Jews see America as hypocritically
      hedging its bets.

      This illustrates perfectly the inherent problem with foreign aid: once
      we give money to one country, we have to give it to all the rest or
      risk making enemies. This is especially true in the Middle East and
      other strife-torn regions, where our financial support for one side is
      seen as an act of aggression by the other. Just as our money never
      makes Israel secure, it doesn't buy us any true friends elsewhere in
      the region. On the contrary, millions of Muslims hate the United States.

      It is time to challenge the notion that it is our job to broker peace
      in the Middle East and every other troubled region across the globe.
      America can and should use every diplomatic means at our disposal to
      end the violence in the West Bank, but we should draw the line at any
      further entanglement. Third-party outsiders cannot impose political
      solutions in Palestine or anywhere else. Peace can be achieved only
      when self-determination operates freely in all nations. "Peace plans"
      imposed by outsiders or the UN cause resentment and seldom produce
      lasting peace.

      The simple truth is that we cannot resolve every human conflict across
      the globe, and there will always be violence somewhere on earth. The
      fatal conceit lies in believing America can impose geopolitical
      solutions wherever it chooses.



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