"Have IQs dropped since I have been away?" queried Ripley from the Aliens film franchise, after being salvaged from hyper-sleep for sixty years. Churchill or Roosevelt might ask the same thing about grand strategy today in regards to the Middle East.
Enough piffling diplomacy.
The Irish peace deal was sealed with a $100 billion peace dividend, payable over ten years; the Israeli-Palestinian peace will be commenced with one: the proverbial cart before the horse. Removal of all the settlements alone, as precedent has shown, will cost $80 billion, less if some settlements remain.
Placing 500,000 Palestinians into prefabricated homes ($50,000 each) $25 billion; assorted "regional" infrastructure--inclusive of Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, southern Syria and northern Egypt--providing ports, airports, highways, communication networks, schools and hospitals to promote regional industry, commerce, education, health etc., perhaps $300 billion more.
All in all, the Near East peace dividend, paid by a "coalition of the willing," will cost less than the $2 trillion dropped on the Iraq War and generate future revenues and benefits far in excess of its cost.
Does this sound as implausible as the failed means and methods employed over the past sixty years? The Europe that waged bloody wars, ethnic, religious and gratuitous, for over 2,500 years, is today represented by an economic union.
What is the difference between Haganah and Hezbollah, Hamas and the Irgun, the Stern Gang and Fatah? If three Israeli prime ministers were leaders of these previous terror groups--excuse me, freedom fighters--can the Palestinans be denied the same opportunity to demonstrate their statesmanship as leaders of a new nation, and suffer the consequences if they cannot? The answer is no.
Put the money on the table, and then talk peace.
Sioan Stephen Bethel
Oct 8 2009 - 10:10am