The list of questions we must each ask ourselves before we vote in November is virtually unending. I have at least a dozen concerns and I'm having a wearisome time prioritizing them. Most certainly, extending the wars in the Mideast is near the top of the list. It's bad enough that the present administration hasn't ended our involvement there, a change of presidents could be even more disastrous.
Mitt Romney is very apt to follow a harder line of combativeness in that region in order to (1) support the policies of his long time friend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and (2) to appease the powerful Jewish lobby in the United States, trying to filch a substantial portion of the Jewish vote away from Obama. A Romney White House is certain to intensify the rhetoric against Iran, maybe even to the point of military intervention. Regardless of who is in the White House, our foreign policy will continue to be dictated to us by Tel Aviv, further escalating our long-term, ill-advised and unproductive involvement in the Arab world.
I don't blame Iran for wanting nuclear weapons (or any neighbor of Israel for that matter). Israel has shown itself an aggressor nation with a strong penchant to attack anyone (including the United States - which it has done), if it deems it in their best interest to do so. The 45th anniversary of the attack on the most decorated ship in U.S. Naval history (USS Liberty - June 8, 1967) came and went yet again with no mention in national news of Israelis unprovoked attack, in international waters, on a U.S. Naval ship leaving 34 dead and 174 wounded of a 294-man crew. Don't believe that, google it.
Mitt Romney has also promised to increase financial aid to the Jewish state, which means military aid. Obama recently released $70 million to help Israel expand production of a short-range rocket defense system, which should make their neighbors more nervous than they already are.
We give freely to Israel while asking little in return. In the meantime the Palestinians continue to suffer under Israeli policies denying them the opportunity to live decently and embrace a more peaceful position as neighbors. The last President to truly pursue the cause of peace in the Middle East was Jimmie Carter 35 years ago. Since then our policies have been more disruptive and destructive than helpful. So when you think to ask yourself, “why do they hate us so much,” you might start with our unconditional support of Israel at the sacrifice of the rest of the Middle East.
David L. Snell — Dillsboro, N.C.