Jewish World Review May 14, 2002 / 3 Sivan, 5762
We had that coalition basically in place - then the Pentagon let loose a new strategy for nuclear targets that placed Russia and China at the top of the list. That had to be one of the dumbest moments in Washington.
The nuclear strategy list proved to those inside Russia and China that America was talking out of both sides of its mouth and could never be trusted completely.
Of course, the post-World War II history of relations among the U.S., Russia and China has been filled with so many spins that not one of those countries can be expected to blindly trust the others, but there are common ambitions that could make such a coalition one of the most important alliances of the last 50 years. I say that because the number 2 billion is always used when those concerned about the Arab world explain why we have to be aware.
If we were able to create a serious alliance with China, Russia, India and Pakistan, we not only would have removed the threat of that numbers, but we also would have brought together major players and major threats in the nuclear arena.
There are surely those who will remark that we cannot bring anything like that off because China is so busy selling arms to Arab states and because Pakistan is Muslim and because the hatred and suspicion between Pakistan and India cannot be exceeded. The harsh reality is, though, that nations do not have friends, they only have interests.
Bin Laden and his desperadoes respect nothing other than themselves and other Muslims willing to murder Americans and Jews. Since communism is supposedly godless, terrorists can have no more than contempt for Russia and China, while the polytheism of India must seem no more than infidel barbarism to them.
What this means is that we have a remarkable opportunity to begin increasingly serious motion toward a new set of alliances. There will be hills, plateaus and slidings back down into the valley. But that does not make this impossible.
Its importance is beyond question, primarily because we have no real allies in the Middle East other than Israel, particularly since Saudi Arabia is a counterfeit friend that has financed terrorist camps and even got Bin Laden's family out of America on a private jet when the Sept. 11 mastermind's identity was unveiled.
What we have in common with those in Russia, China, India and
Pakistan is a desire for a modern life, not a turning back of the
clock 500 years, as Bin Laden would have it. That desire is
enough upon which to build a delicate but profound
JWR contributor and cultural icon Stanley Crouch is a columnist for The New York Daily News. He is the author of, among others, The All-American Skin Game, Or, the Decoy
of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994, Always in Pursuit: Fresh American
Perspectives, and Don't the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing. Send your comments by clicking here.
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