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Hard to disagree with what Khalidi said in the interview.

Reader comment on item: Rashid Khalidi's Appointment at Columbia University

Submitted by pmv (United States), Oct 30, 2008 at 17:55

Its clear he has his own bias, so does everyone. But he is right when he says legitimate intelligence operations in the united states have been gutted (and I'm paraphrasing) by unqualified idealogues. He's also right when he says american 'media' under-reports and distorts mideast political events and news. Its really hard to argue otherwise, unless your talking with a typical 'these-days' american whose been trained to believe a sound-bite is no different than a documentary.

American and isreali nationalists themselves should be frightened by the prospect that functional intelligence (and their defense) has been replaced by amateur political circus. In my opinion, this is the most dangerous threat (and recent legacy) either country faces and will face for some time. Bigger than any virtual external enemy. America isn't going to give up its 'world's cop' title easily, but imagine the police showing up at a standoff with water pistols and big red targets painted on their backs and heads- akin to what the state department and national security umbrella is now.

As for folks who say palestinians don't recognize or want the isreal's existence? They have short memories. Before the first antifida most palestinians (more than 80%) supported and understood the economic and cultural necessity of the state of isreal in poll after poll. After isreal fired 280 million bullets at rock throwers and terrorized the territories that situation reversed itself, and gave fringe movements the 'ammunition' of despair they needed to get people to strap on bomb vests and commit vicious crimes against women and children and anything else moving.

Bad policy feeds idealogues better than any fundementalist movement can do organically. Start using 'good policy' and in a few decades the situation will right itself again, lose patience and you'll end up empowering the very people on both sides of the conflict that neither overall population benefits from. Testosterone talk by a jihadist overjoys a militant zionist the same way rambo-ist occupation by a zionist settler overjoys a wahabiist jihadist. None of it benefits the sane.


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