The terrorist attacks of the past week in India that killed hundreds are a somber reminder that we as Americans must carefully rethink our diplomatic policy toward the Middle Eastern region of the world.
And while Obama’s election should bring the end of the War in Iraq, more change is needed.
The latest flare-up of tensions between India and Pakistan serves as a striking reminder of why our Middle East policy is so flawed.
We tried to make a deal with the devil by cooperating with Pakistan’s authoritarian, terrorist-coddling, human-rights abusing government. We also claim to be friends with India’s government.
India and Pakistan are mortal enemies who are constantly at knife’s edge over the disputed territory of Kashmir. We’ve been playing both sides of a dangerous game. Our last attempt to play both sides occurred with Iran and Iraq during their war, and we soon ended up at war with both our former allies.
The Pakistanis and Indians have long-standing issues regarding religious and diplomatic differences. There is nothing that a western Christian government is going to accomplish by trying to bring peace in a religious dispute between Hindus and Muslims. We need to quit being the world’s policeman; we are not part of the solution to India or Pakistan’s problems.
It isn’t just our relations with India and Pakistan that are flawed. Our diplomatic policies with the entire Middle East need to be changed. As I’ve noted in a previous column, we are allied with Saudi Arabia, which carries the distinction of being arguably the worst abuser of human rights on the entire planet.
One would expect that since we treat the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia as good pals, we’d also be on good terms with the Iranian regime. But while we arm Saudi Arabia to the teeth, we condemn Iran for building a military and compare them to Nazis while claiming they have nuclear weapons.
We all remember Bush lying about WMD’s in Iraq this time is no different. Iran and Saudi Arabia both have horrid militaristic fanatical Muslim-led governments. It is entirely hypocritical to ally with the Saudis while threatening to bomb Iran back to the Stone Age.
Finally, our policy toward Israel has to be scrapped. It’s no wonder why most of the Middle East hates us when we treat the authoritarian Israeli regime as if it were a world-class democracy.
Israel was illegitimately formed into a nation in 1948 by stealing land from the Palestinians who lived there for thousands of years. Palestinians were driven off from their homes and killed if they didn’t surrender all the land they had owned for countless generations.
As the decades wore on, Israel continued their immoral and entirely unnecessary wars on their neighbors, most recently illustrated with their unprovoked assault on the sovereign nation of Lebanon in 2006. This conflict killed more than a thousand Lebanese civilians and created almost a million Lebanese refugees.
Israel also believes it is the nation of God and can therefore treat Palestinians living within its borders as second-class citizens. Palestinians are frequently detained, are unable to travel to work, and are not eligible for the social services. Israel is treating Palestinians like America treated African-Americans in the Reconstruction-era South.
Israel also continues to build their version of the Berlin wall through Palestine’s land, despite the fact that the United Nations has declared the wall illegal and demands construction be halted.
Israel faces numerous enemies; however, that doesn’t give it unlimited authority to mistreat her citizens and pillage her neighbors.
Our support of the human rights violators such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pakistan breeds contempt around the world. We must adopt a neutral stance in the Middle East or risk further damaging our global reputation.
Ian Bezek is a junior economics major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.