Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Pakistan: A Solution for the Long Run

Pakistan’s President, Pervez Musharraf, has always had a great knack for staying in power, having to cling to his rule from the beginning. For the first few years, he ruled as an outright dictator, staying afloat due to his command of the military and his periodic promises of democracy. When the moment came for “democracy” to ensue, Musharraf rigged both the Presidential and Parliamentary elections to effectively prolong his authority. Whenever pressure mounted from the United States to help in the “war on terror,” Musharraf’s army mounted modest operations in the Northwestern borderlands; whenever pressure mounted from the locals and Muslims, Musharraf eased back on such operations.

And, as international pressure mounted in the face of the latest wave of riots, Musharraf removed his uniform, becoming an official citizen. This is not as surprising as it may seem; Musharraf would not have made such a move if he knew it would spell the immediate end of his power. Doubtless he still has considerable influence over the army. Doubtless still more, though, his influence will never be as strong as it was. Indeed his generalship provided the base of his power, and so the loss of his uniform will most likely start the slow, yet sure passing of Musharraf’s authority.

As Musharraf fades away, a new authority will rise in Pakistan. Who or what replaces him, though, and under what circumstances they do, will be long in the making. Anyone with any power will likely be in the mix. Amidst this uncertainty, the United States could use its considerable influence over Pakistan to try to shape what becomes of post-Musharraf Pakistan. At best, the United States could help point Pakistan towards an era of relative lasting peace in Pakistan while also furthering vital U.S. interests in Pakistan. At worst, the window of opportunity will close for awhile, and Pakistan will, at best, continue to live on the edge of chaos, with the conflict against the jihadists and the fate of the nuclear arsenal hanging in the balance.

A balanced formula that would accomplish a majority of U.S. interests in Pakistan remains elusive, given all the variables in Pakistan that influence U.S interests. Stability, so crucial for a nuclear nation like Pakistan, has been hard to come by in Pakistan’s modern history, and its brief reigns have come at terrible prices, almost always in the form of military dictators or corrupt nominal democracies. Intra-Muslim splits and class divides have made ultimate stability especially elusive. Regardless of the security situation, no Pakistani government has ever exercised adequate authority over all regions. In particular, the determined Pashtuns of Waziristan have resisted outside control for centuries. Unluckily enough, for the last few years these proud and hospitable people have given refuge to Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In their new home, these organizations have remade themselves into the potent threats that they were in Afghanistan. Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal has been a nuclear proliferation nightmare ever since its creation. One of its operators, A.Q. Khan, ran a kind of nuclear black market, with nuclear technology originating from him turning up from Libya to North Korea. Pakistan itself could be the setting of nuclear disasters, given the instability in the country containing the warheads. The proximity of such dangerous groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban to such devastating weapons creates even more disaster potential should Pakistan descend into chaos.

The current policy directs a disproportionate share of focus towards stability, which has made it both ineffective and self-wounding. Since Musharraf has long been viewed as the only perceivable option for stability, the United States has supported him rather unilaterally, meeting virtually whatever concessions he offered, even as many of them came at the expense of other U.S. interests in Pakistan, so that a stable Pakistan could keep a tab on its nuclear arsenal. Ironically, what Musharraf brought to Pakistan was far from stability. It brought, at most, fragile lapses of violence, often punctuated by riots, most recently last month’s lawyer protests. Like his predecessors, Musharraf’s rule did not extend through all of Pakistan, including volatile Waziristan where the extremists are hiding out.

Now that Musharraf’s end looms, the United States should start to formulate a new policy. This policy should, among other things, demand more of the Pakistani authority than just stability. The United States cannot let other national security interests suffer because of the fear of chaos and its ramifications. The United States should have learned from the Cold War that propping up an unpopular leader only works up to a point. Granting these leaders such drastic diplomatic leverage as Musharraf enjoyed only wounds the United States for the sake of a stability that would likely not last. If the United States stops negotiating against itself, maybe then it would have enough leverage of its own to further more of its interests, such as gaining custody of A. Q. Khan.

Achieving each of these policy goals separately would require a sizeable amount of brain and manpower. On the other hand, a Pakistan that remains stable in the long-term would make furthering U.S. interests a great deal easier. The United States would do well to help encourage Pakistani leaders to create a framework that would maintain long-term stability. The power void caused by Musharraf’s decline provides the perfect opportunity for this.

Modern Pakistan has never been very successful under centralized rule, but historically the Indian subcontinent has done fairly well under decentralized rule. Indeed, the subcontinent reached the peak of its prosperity nearly 2000 years ago under the decentralized Gupta Empire. Perhaps a return to a decentralized framework would facilitate a similar stability and peace. In modern political terms, perhaps a federal framework would thrive. Powerful regional authorities could not only help to check the power of the central government, but could also help to ensure that the central government would not distort the democracy or deny the population of their rights. If activists truly feel their country can accomplish democracy, they should be more than willing to give a federal framework a shot. In addition, a more decentralized rule over the provinces would be appealing to the quasi-independent fringe provinces like Waziristan. Under a federal framework, they could retain their independence through the system rather than in spite of the system. They may be more likely to cooperate with U.S. demands for Al Qaeda and the Taliban if the possibility of such a plan were at stake. If such a plan succeeds in facilitating some sort of lasting stability, then perhaps the nuclear arsenal would be secure for awhile and Pakistan could become more prosperous.

Getting such a plan through power-consolidating figures and institutions, especially the army, would be challenging. However, soon Pakistan will not have a sole figure or institution with unquestioned power. Musharraf was once, but he has sealed his decline. A few people could potentially succeed him, but that would take several years, leaving Pakistan without an insurmountable authority figure. During this lapse, the United States, with its influences over various groups and its economic clout, could have an opportunity to encourage the formulation of this idea. The results may not be ideal, but considering what the reality is, it sure seems worth a try.

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Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Armenian Genocide Resolution: An Unlikely Source for Congress’ Potential Legacy

The Democratic majority that stormed to power in the election of the 110th Congress had great expectations to put an end to the tide of President Bush’s controversial policies.

Nearly a year later, though, all the Democrats have to show for their promise is a minimum wage increase, fiery partisan rhetoric, and potentially landmark Iraq policy bills squashed by Bush’s veto.

Now Congress threatens to finally make a real difference, and even they themselves are surprised by it.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee had a largely symbolic objective in mind when it voted to send a resolution to the floor that labeled Turkey’s killing of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide. In light of recent events, though, it appears that this decision will have a lot more practical impact than intended – or sought.

Within a day the Turkish ambassador was recalled from Washington, and within a week the Turkish parliament authorized a potential invasion of Northern Iraq, in defiance of the United States, to round up Kurdish rebels stationed there. Even so, this may only be the beginning: Turkey has the potential to immediately affect U.S. policy, European policy, and the long term stability of the Middle East.

In an America where Iraq remains such a heated issue, it seems astonishing that U.S. politicians would tread so heedlessly on a nation that plays such a critical role in Iraq. For the military, no country plays a more important part than Turkey, which has become the logistical keystone for the U.S. military. Around 70% of air shipments to Iraq are flown across Turkey and that an array of supplies, particularly fuel, passes through Turkey en route to Iraq. Should Turkey stop providing logistical support, the U.S. military would have to resort to longer, less efficient, and costlier routes (as if Americans weren’t paying enough for the war already!)
Another, more destabilizing Turkish action regarding Iraq, though, would soon dwarf any fuss over logistics. The recent vote by the Turkish parliament could precede a move that many in Turkey have deemed necessary in the wake of the growing chaos in Iraq: an invasion of Kurdish Northern Iraq. The fallout of this move could fundamentally alter the stability and geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

In an essence, though, the current boundaries in the Middle East are somewhat arbitrary, which is the underlying cause of the tensions leading up to this drama. Although, some thought was given to ethnic differences, the post-World War I borders, carved out of the domains of the former Ottoman Empire, were designed primarily to further the colonial ambitions of Britain and France in the region. In fact, such reckless boundary making led to meshing of a Kurdish bloc, a Sunni bloc, and a Shiite bloc together into a single country: present day Iraq. U.S. troops are currently witnessing the latest melee in the perpetual cycle of violence/authoritarianism in Iraq.

The Kurds trapped inside the Iraq border were formerly part of a distinctly Kurdish region in the Northern Middle East. The rest of the Kurdish population were encased by the borders of modern Turkey, Iran, and a little bit of Syria. Many Kurds long for a country of their own, in their ancient homeland, free from the oppression they have faced in the countries they were forced into. As the Iraqi Arab sects have engaged in the latest civil war there, the Kurds of Northern Iraq have grown ever more independent from the rest of Iraq, only loosely governed (as if any part of Iraq really isn’t at this point) by the Maliki government. It would seem that the possibility of Northern Iraq attempting to secede from the rest of Iraq to form Kurdistan does not seem so farfetched or far off. Such secession would send shivers up the spine of the Turkish government, since an independent Kurdistan would likely hold great appeal for the Kurds of Turkey, who have long been at the mercy of their Turkish rulers. Indeed, Turkey fears that Southeastern, Kurdish Turkey would in turn try to secede as well and become part of the new Kurdistan. To prevent this security nightmare scenario, Turkey would invade Northern Iraq with the goal of quelling the Kurdish Separatist movement (PKK) and demonstrating the futility of trying to form a Kurdish state.

An invasion of Northern Iraq would burst the security bubbles of the surrounding countries. The Kurdish regions of Iran and Syria would likely try to secede from their respective states and join up with the new Kurdistan, causing great unrest and massive oppression. The Turkish military would be stretched to the limit occupying Northern Iraq while simultaneously trying to prevent the secession of the Kurdish region of Turkey. In the chaos, the remainder of Iraq could split into Sunni and Shiite states that might try to invade Northern Iraq for themselves to capture the oil fields there. The conflict between these new states could spill over into neighboring countries already reeling from the Kurdish shockwaves. Or, neighboring countries could join in on the fray to try to annex the Sunni and Shiite states and to even make a foray into the oil fields of the North as well. Meanwhile, the U.S. military would find itself in a quagmire many times as thick as now, attempting to reunify the shattered elements of Iraq, as they are presently, but with increased intervention by Turkey and potentially other nations. Indeed the U.S. and Turkish militaries might engage each other, causing ugly diplomatic repercussions. The inevitable abuses of Kurds by the Turkish military would most likely lead to Turkey’s expulsion from NATO and may bring about an end to any remaining positive Euro-Turkish relations.

Such diplomatic consequences could ultimately make Turkey the biggest loser of the invasion. Fear of such repercussions have managed to check the Turkish military so far, but should incidents like the Armenian genocide resolution continue to pile up, and should the situation in Iraq continue to spiral out of control, Turkey may feel that it has no choice but to invade.

Even still, it remains relatively unlikely that such a catastrophic scenario will unfold solely as a result of the genocide resolution. Nevertheless, the genocide resolution is the latest source of ever growing tension between Turkey and the West that threatens to fundamentally alter the role of Turkey in the world.

Though Turkey has long had one of the largest Muslim populations and, as the Ottoman Empire, was once the champion of the Muslim world, since the 1920s it has had a tradition of state-enforced secularism, dating back to the rule of Ataturk. Such secular administration and society has made Europeans more willing to work with Turkey. Even as the Muslims of Turkey felt an allure to the political and cultural trends of the nearby Middle East, the policies of the Turkish government would often partially reflect the influences of Europe. Ataturk decided long ago that Turkey would be better off as a secular caterer to Europe, and that continuing trend has arguably been his greatest legacy.

Turkey, as a result, became something of a Western island in the Middle East. Europe and America have generally been able to present enough incentives to maintain a fair degree of such influence in Turkey. Most recently, Europe has considered Turkey as a candidate to join the European Union, and Turkey has taken several Euro-friendly steps necessary to fulfill the requirements for EU membership and to appeal to leaders of the EU, such as France and Germany, to admit it. America, along with its superpower status, sends annual economic and military aid to Turkey, and in turn Turkey has long been a supporter of Israel.

However, tension has started to mount between Turkey and the West. U.S. policy debacles with regards to Iraq, torture, and the “war on terror” as well as the unilateral fashion with which such policies were executed have worked to isolate America from everyone, and Turkey is no exception. In fact, Turkey is feeling particular pressure from the tide of anti-U.S. sentiment in the Middle East from its large Muslim population. Try as they might to distance themselves from America, Europe has been tarred with the same brush nevertheless (they call it the West for a reason). As a result, association with the West has lost some of its allure of old, and Turkey wonders, for good reason, whether to continue to defy its disgruntled Muslim base to be in league with an increasingly unpopular West.

One resolution condemning genocide will probably not dismantle U.S.-Turkey relations, but it will add to the trend that has been a recent source of tension between the nations. Eventually, should the trend continue, Turkey may distance itself from Western objectives in favor of the objectives of Middle Eastern powerhouses, such as Iran. To be fair, such a shift would not be without consequence for Turkey: they would doubtless lose countless economic and political benefits from the West. But as this trend continues, it becomes ever more likely that Turkey will slowly, but surely cease to be in the sphere of the West.

That being said, it should be reaffirmed that genocide should not be tolerated: there is no greater crime than to wipe a population off the face of the Earth. However, there is a time and a place for everything, and now is not the time to further antagonize Turkey.

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Thursday, September 13, 2007

As Bush Maintains a Stranglehold on Torture, he Further Strangles his Country’s Safety

If there is one thing that defines President Bush, it is that he never wavers in his support of his beliefs. Some praise his loyalty and persistence. Others sigh at what he unquestionably supports and groan at the lengths he goes to support it. Perhaps none of the President’s actions have drawn more breath than the aggressive interrogation methods applied to “enemy combatants” detained indefinitely without basic legal rights. Last July’s executive order was the latest statute implemented in a long line of legislation by a President that has not hesitated to supersede both the Geneva Conventions and various Supreme Court decisions regarding such methods. The President has exploited every legal loophole and has toed multiple Constitutional boundaries as he remodeled and reworded legislation so that he could retain the authority to detain any handful of people overseas and treat them however he pleased. The President thought that the techniques would succeed in making the country safer, and that the safety of the country justified the means. Unfortunately, the evidence, far from applauding the President’s judgment, shows not only that the aggressive techniques do not work, but that the internal and external repercussions of torture far outweigh any benefits the President hoped the procedures would bring.

Torture is as old as civilization itself. Ever since the formation of the first security forces torture techniques have been used to wrench information out of its victims. Whatever its form, the extraction of information through torture has always been justified by one thread of logic: the more aggressive and painful the methods of interrogation, the more and better quality information extracted. This thought is logical up to a point, but then makes the wrong conclusion. The basis of torture logic is man’s most fundamental instinct: avoiding pain at all costs. Based on this, torture logic follows that if a man knows that how much pain he suffers depends on the whim of another, then he will try to please that man so that the pain may stop. This logic is fine so far. But then it is assumed that the easiest way for the victim to appease his captor would be to reveal the truth, when in fact that it is far easier instead to tell the captor what he wants to hear. Anyone with experience interrogating prisoners will soon realize that, if under enough pain, prisoners will say anything for the pain to stop. He would confess to any wrongdoing; name any names; reveal any diabolical scheme, so long as it would spell the end of his suffering. Information harvested from torture is unreliable at best and misleading far too often. With detainees unearthing any answer requested, it is very easy to find evidence to support even the most obscure and absurd policies. The Bush Administration should know all too well by now the disastrous consequences of this, as they used evidence extracted during the torture of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi to formulate the argument that Saddam Hussein had links to Al Qaeda, which they trumpeted to the public to gain support for the war. It seems that now al-Libi’s testimony was just the torture talking; he later admitted that his testimony was false, and that he said it in order to avoid cruel treatment. President Bush only had to look so far as the Army field manual to realize that the “use of torture and other illegal methods is a poor technique that yields unreliable results… and induce the source to say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear.” But the President is apparently so devoted to his beliefs that he will overlook any source that argues against his beliefs.

Now, America is reeling from the consequences of her President’s unwavering sentiment. The effort that the President put into making his beliefs reality has bred great internal turmoil for America. The torture taking place overseas has brought new life to the debates over the laws of war, the definition of torture, and the morality of such torture. These topics have become another set of ideological trenches that divide the American people. As debate rages over abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research, among other things, does America really need another thing to divide her, particularly with an international terrorism conflict at her heels? Even more fiery debates have been ignited over the legality of torture. In his quest to make his beliefs reality, the President has pushed the law to the limit, and then some. He has weaseled his way through every logical roadblock by means of strict interpretation. He has looked at the wording of the law rather than the intent of the law. It is painful to watch America, supposedly the hearth of freedom and justice in this world, find excuses not only to torture, but to detain indefinitely with no practical means of challenging detention. While on his law-skirting ride, the President has brought the legitimacy of separation of powers into question by wielding power thought to be held by the courts and Congress (though, to be fair, Congress had been lulled by the Bush Administration into passing laws that augment executive power). The President has gone so far that he managed, without much of the public knowing it, to push a law through Congress, the Military Commissions Act (MCA), that strips us of our habeas corpus! How, one might ask, could this have possibly happened? One of the Act’s definitions of an enemy combatant is “a person who, before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006,” (that, by the way, makes it an ex post facto law, also unconstitutional) “has been determined to be an unlawful enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense.” This definition specifies any person – not any alien or any foreigner -- meaning it applies to anyone, including US citizens! Our freedom is now at the whim of the President and the Secretary of Defense. Sure, it says one would be tried under a “competent tribunal.” Sure, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Administration could not detain someone under the MCA without trying them. But really, after all Bush has done to bend the law, are any of these legal safeguards safe? If the Constitution’s safeguards aren’t even good enough, how can these things be any guarantee of freedom? The Separation of Powers – that centuries-old statute that has long been one of the cornerstones of our Constitution – has been charred, and now habeas corpus, almost a millennia old, is now gone. And why? For interrogation techniques that don’t even work.

As our President continues to defend and implement such futile techniques, he darkens our image abroad. In his quest to insulate America from terrorism, the President chose to defy the Geneva Conventions while continuing to criticize other nations’ human rights abuses. Any chapter of history, and for that matter life, would show that hypocritical behavior is a surefire path towards illegitimacy, and current events would serve as yet another proof for this theorem. Until very recently, America was the champion of the human rights movement, which made its scathing criticisms of human rights offenders abroad carry significant weight. Now, however, it is too easy for countries like Russia and China, long two of the most prolific offenders, to condemn the techniques practiced behind the bars of Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere in rebuttal to our continual allegations against them. By resorting to torture, America has rendered herself illegitimate as a human rights proponent. Not only has this set the human rights movement back decades, but it has also opened a rift between America and her allies, even as they grow more disdainful of her in the wake of the Iraq debacle and other unilateral antiterrorism foreign policy measures. Our interrogation policy is one of a growing number of reasons that make it very costly for nations to associate with us due to our growing unpopularity throughout the world. Every minute we torture someone fills a day’s airtime for various propaganda machines worldwide, particularly those of Iran, Venezuela, and Al Qaeda. Indeed by torturing people held indefinitely, we infuse legitimacy into Al Qaeda’s demonization of us, and as a result increase their following. Would any one of us soon forgive someone who tortured a loved one or a friend? Do not expect the peoples of the Middle East to be any more forgiving. When an innocent detainee is released finally, scarred for life, he will not forgive us. He will not understand our motives or sympathize with us. He will live in bitterness of us, and perhaps may even become what he was imprisoned for. When an unemployed Muslim youth listens to an Al Qaeda broadcast, he will not forgive us. He will heed the words of Osama Bin Laden and believe them to be true due to our actions. At the very least, he will likely frown upon America; oftentimes, such a person will swell the ranks of Al Qaeda. When an insurgent contemplates how to treat a captured US Marine, he will not forgive us. He will play by the rules of war – the ones we have played by. In war it has always been an eye for an eye, and despite the unique nature of this conflict, this ancient idiom holds true. The worse America treats Guantanamo detainees, the worse insurgents will treat American military and citizens they capture.

President Bush instituted torture because he thought it would make America safer. In the end, only the intention turned out to be applaudable. Torture, morality aside, does not even work. Torture has divided America and annihilated our most fundamental legal safeguards. Torture has alienated our allies, emboldened our enemies, and endangered our servicemen abroad. Torture has been misjudgment at its worst. And yet, the consequences will continue to pile up, as President Bush just took a recent step in the wrong direction. Maybe as the consequences become clearer, he will finally see the errors of his ways and start moving in the right direction again. Or maybe he will be forever condemned to condemn America by implementing what he believes is effective, necessary policy. If that is the case, at least he has less than two years left. Then again, it is daunting to think of the harm that can be done in two short years, and even more foreboding to think of what happens if his successor continues his mishap. More likely, though, is that this torture policy will be cleaned out along with Iraq policy. The big question is this: by that time, just how much lasting damage will it have done?

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

U.S. Policy Fanning the Flames Consuming the Palestinians

Last June, Hamas militants routed Fatah security forces in Gaza, causing Palestian President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the Palestinian Authority there. Now, the United States aims to bolster Abbas and Fatah in the West Bank, which would further a growing rift between the West Bank and Gaza. It is very tragic that it has come to this for the Palestinians, who may have let their last best chance of self-governance slip away. But it is unbearably frustrating that U.S. policy regarding the Palestinian Territories continues to augment the violence and the cynicism engulfing the Palestinian people.

Making Gaza and the West Bank separate entities will not stop the internal bloodshed nor will it make the Palestinians more moderate nor will it make Israel safer. Indeed, abandoning Gaza in light of Hamas’ coup would only strengthen the anti-West extremists there and could prolong the chaos there. An extremist chaotic environment is the perfect habitat for terrorist organizations, and, even worse, individual unaffiliated terrorists. At least when rockets rained down from Gaza before it was clear Hamas was the culprit. With freelance attacks, no one group can be held accountable. Such an environment could force Israel to stay centered around their military, which would stunt its development and undermine its already rocky relationships among other nations.

Splitting Gaza and the West Bank into separate entities would further complicate an already daunting diplomatic situation. Any negotiations of any sort would have to fit well with both Hamas and Fatah in Gaza and the West Bank, respectively. Granted it would not be the first time that Gaza and the West Bank were viewed differently, and it is true that the two regions are far from identical. But the Palestinians of the regions consider themselves, well, Palestinian, and the final goal they work towards is a single Palestinian state. However, if Hamas and Fatah become sovereign in their respective regions, which could likely result from the current U.S. policy, the Palestinians themselves may become divided as such into Hamas and Fatah Palestinians. Consequently, if a Hamas-led Gaza and a Fatah-led West Bank were to both take part in diplomacy, they would be working at cross-purposes, and they would work to shape any agreement hammered out into a form consistent with their distinct ideologies. Even if the Palestinians were not divided on Hamas and Fatah lines, they would be misrepresented by such ideologies in any negotiations.

The Bush administration has a more optimistic end in mind. They believe that if they support Fatah enough in the West Bank, then the Palestinians will see how much better a moderate government like Fatah is at governing than a radical Hamas one. This view may seem seductive, but only because it ignores history, particularly Fatah’s history, and takes an overly simplistic look at the problem.

When many Palestinians think of Fatah, they picture a gathering of corrupt, self-serving, and power-hungry individuals, and for good reason. Before the 2006 parliamentary elections, the Fatah-run Palestinian Authority did not perform many of the basic community services, such as garbage collection, that are taken for granted in Western countries. Indeed, Hamas’ landside victory in the 2006 parliamentary elections was not solely due to its radical ideology but also to the many community services it provided that the government neglected.

Fatah’s faults are only part of the problem, though. By trying to ensure Fatah’s supremacy in the West Bank, the administration is weakening the very democratic instincts they hope to build within the Palestinians. It is hard to be an active, democratic citizen if no matter what the ruling party will always remain in power. Would you vote, join political parties, or organize into interest groups if the Republicans were kept in power by an outside force forever? Putting an unpopular party in power is a surefire way to quell any democratic developments in a country. That is a lesson this country should have learned from the Cold War.

Ultimately the ball is in the Palestinian’s court, and the harsh reality may be that they blew their last reasonable chance at statehood. That does not mean, though, that U.S. policy cannot be a positive force to help unify the Palestinians around the task of building an independent, stable state. Unfortunately, current U.S. policy does just the opposite. It deepens the divisions that resulted in civil war last June, and it could serve as something the Palestinians could blame for their problems rather than something that could help the Palestinians solve their problems. Such policy could contribute to this generation of Palestinians shutting the door on any chance of a stable, unified Palestinian state.

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