News Log

Saturday, March 30, 2002 News | Last exit before Armageddon
The truth, as Anthony H. Cordesman, senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, argued in a recent New York Times op-ed piece, is that "the situation has essentially become asymmetric warfare rather than Palestinian terrorism and Israeli counterterrorism. Each side has escalated the violence using the methods available to it. For the Palestinians, this is suicide bombing and smuggled arms. For Israel, it is tanks and attack helicopters."

Viewed in this context, the answer to stopping the violence is not merely to condemn terrorism, but to address the issues that have led to this war. Israeli rage at Arafat is understandable. The corrupt and power-drunk Palestinian leader has indeed winked at terrorism, if not actively ordered it. But even if Arafat demanded that it stop, he would be unable to enforce that demand -- unless a real political solution, such as that offered by the Arab peace plan, was at hand. Without a political agreement, not merely a cease-fire leaving the unacceptable status quo in place, the militants in Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the Tanzim and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades would see no reason to lay down their arms -- and the Palestinian Authority no reason to try to force them to. News | "I'm under fire!"
The government has set the country on a war footing, ordering the mobilization of more than 20,000 reservists. This feels like the big one, and Sharon knows that he has to deliver if he is to staunch the dramatic loss of support for the way he has dealt with this intifada. His soldiers have already started to die, two during the assault. The escalation has caused Palestinian casualties too -- at least 5, say medics, during the Thursday/Friday assault....

Palestinian spokesmen not only blame Israel for keeping Arafat from Beirut, where the Saudi peace initiative was accepted anyway. They also see a bloody calculus behind the move, believing that a military attack is the standard Israeli response to any peace move from the Arab side...

Although the Israelis have promised the U.S. that Arafat won't be harmed in the assault on his compound, the Palestinians insist harm is indeed the aim of the operation. "They want to kill, exile or capture me," Arafat said, shortly after the incursion on the Arab-language satellite-TV station Al-Jazeera. "They will have to kill me. I want to be a martyr in the Holy Land."

Tuesday, March 26, 2002
Some time soon... Books | "Can Asians think?"

There are 400,000 to 500,000 Asian students in the U.S. These people, often at the top of their classes at Harvard and Stanford, return to their countries and run organizations. When they go back, they're not going to be passive and take all the wisdom that's been given to them and say that's the gospel truth. Maybe they'll have a different point of view. That's why it will happen. It's the unleashing of the creativity of hundreds of thousands of Asians that will change the dynamic.


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