Friedman: Ending the Mideast conflict is essential for our national security

In one of his most recent columns, Breaking Death’s Grip, Thomas Friedman argues:

I haven’t heard many people making the connection between the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and our country’s security. So I’m wondering if Friedman is more than a littled flawed in his logic. Yes, I know he’s supposed to be a big Mideast expert, but he was also convinced Saddam had WMD. So, I posit the following questions:

1)Do you agree or disagree with Friedman’s argument? Or is he just being a “chicken little”? Explain why.

2)Assuming Friedman is right, how can any US president resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while avoiding a political third rail-- being evenhanded with both parties? (Up until last week, I thought this was the moderate viewpoint. Obviously, it’s not.)

Well, first let me preface this by saying we should never have gotten involved in this stupid mess in the first place.
Let me end this by saying how to get out: stop giving money to Israel, Egypt, and the rest of them. You know what’ll happen? Maybe some bloody wars, maybe not. In the end, they’ll have to figure out how to live with each other, and they’ll have to do it the same way the rest of the world learned: the hard way.
All we’re doing is unbalancing the conflict and delaying the inevitable.

I find it interesting that after all this time, Friedman has come to accept the position that I have maintained for years. Maybe this is a good sign if he has any audience in the Bush administration.

I don’t think the situation will have a huge affect on America any time soon, except maybe for our conscience. I think that no one right now is in any position to change the situation in Isreal right now, let alone someone who has to be equal to both parties.

Maybe he is ALSO refering to other countries that have problems/crisis might be tempted to get more attention thru suicide bombings. After all Africa has even worse problems than the palestinians and no one is commiting terrorist acts there against the USA. If it catches on…

If he is refering to the Middle East alone… its kind of late… its catched on already.

Now if the political establishment is ready to allow a deal that is bad for Israel is doubtful… even if its good for Americans.

It is in our best interest to have as few people as possible hating us and wanting to kill us. Therefore, it is definitely in our best interest to see peace in the middle east. The most fair and equitable way to do this is to stop giving Israel money and put pressure on it, along with the UN, to abandon settlements and other sticking points.

And if that conflict spirals out of control, ends up killing millions and disrupts the oil supply for the world, that is somehow better?

If we get involved, people will hate us for being “imperialist”. If we don’t get involved people will hate us for being “isolationist”. If people are going to hate us anyway, we mind as well act to improve stability and peace.

I couldn’t care less what they think of us, as long as they’re not bombing us, firstly.
Secondly, it leaves a very bad taste in my mouth when my tax money goes to financing one side in a blood feud that, far as I can tell, has no good guys, only idiots looking to kill everyone on the other side and take all their land.
If we get involved in a dispute, any dispute, anywhere in the world, given that there is no longer a USSR or any other country that can be considered a threat to us, we do it by choice. If we get involved in disputes like this, we’re automatically taking sides & making enemies.
Unless there is an extraordinarily compelling reason to do so, we shouldn’t. I see nothing extraordinarily compelling in helping out an insignificant desert state with no resources, a tiny population, and a history of belligerency towards its neighbors and of annexing every piece of land it can get away with annexing, an effort that we aid & abet every day we send them money.
No thanks.