25 October 2007

What's sauce for the goose ...

Sometimes the hypocrisy of the world's greatest power is a wonderful thing to observe. When the Americans felt threatened by Saddam Hussein's Iraq, they launched an all out war and reduced the country to a state of bloody chaos. As it turned out, there really was no threat but, hey, everybody makes mistakes. When Hezbollah guerrillas from across the Lebanese border attacked an Israeli army patrol killing eight soldiers and capturing two, the U.S. wholeheartedly supported Israel's blitzkrieg against Lebanon. But when Kurdish paramilitaries raid Turkey from across the Iraq border, killing dozens of Turkish civilians and soldiers and capturing eight men, American diplomats urge caution and insist the hostilities be resolved by negotiation.

So what are the rules here? When a Christian or a Jewish nation is threatened, full scale violent retaliation is justified, but when a Muslim nation is threatened, dialogue must rule the day? If the Americans practiced what they preached to Turkey, and preached the same sermon to Israel, what a wonderful message they would send. And how much better off the Middle East would be. But asking the Turks to take the high road while they and their dearest friend take the low road sends a message that invites contempt.

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