« Screwjack | Home | Abe Lincoln and The Gonzo Way »

Gary Hart on the Middle East

“Politics is the art of Controlling your environment.”

–Hunter S. Thompson

Today I have to give you the grim news about what Gary Hart had to say last Wed. about the Middle East.  When I started the blog, I didn’t intend on getting into this sort of topic because I am not a statesman. But the headlines on every decent newspaper in the country are making me worried & angry.  So here is a small excerpt from my interview with Senator Gary Hart, whom Hunter respected and admired deeply: 

Anita Thompson: You have been paying attention to  the midde east and the security of this country for so many years, as you were one of the people to issue a warning to the administration 8 months before Sept 11.  Warning that something like that was going to happen.  You talked to Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, you talked to Condoleezza Rice.  I know neither Bush nor Cheney would see you. After it happened, so many organizations and journalists said "God, why didn’t we listen??"  Can you tell us if peace is possible in the Middle East?

 Gary Hart: Well, it’s necessary because of this: the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.  In sixty years since the founding of Israel, you could have these wars where somebody wins and somebody loses, and Israel usually won, and whoever was attacking would go home and sulk and still hate Israel and then frictions would continue.  And one terrorist group would give way to another.  But by and large, except for the ’67 war where two other armies crossed borders, it was low intensity conflict—terrorist kind of operations, suicide bombers.

But we are somewhere between five and twenty years away from all kinds of not just countries, but other kinds of organizations getting weapons of mass destruction.  So we can’t have this continuing friction over there because sooner or later,( I mean Israel does have [weapons of mass destruction] even though they won’t admit it,) but what about when Saudi Arabia gets them? When Egypt gets them? and then the arsenals are not protected… God only knows.  So I think unless you want the whole Middle East blown up, we have got to figure out a solution to this.

AT: If you could give Condoleezza Rice some advice?

GH: Well, I would  give it to George Bush and it would be “you wasted five years and we’re partly to blame for what’s going on.”  We can’t negotiate peace by ourselves.  Clinton came as close as anyone.  Other presidents have tried: Carter, even Reagan (or people around Reagan.)  But the one clear thing is if we are not involved diplomatically on a continuing basis trouble is going to happen.  So we have to be present and visible and that means the president (who hates it there, who [doesn’t go] there… being visible and telling people in the region that he, the president and this country cares about what’s going on over there.

AT: Cares about peace.

GH: Yeah.  And lay out an agenda, when he isn’t up there then it’s the secretary of state, the national security advisor, any senior diplomat he’s got to constantly appear going from Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Beirut, Damascus.  [Currently] We are not talking to anyone.  It’s crazy.

AT: So the lack of communications is crazy.

GH: And leadership.  Leadership crystallizing, saying “ok, here’s what you want” and then going to the next guy “ok, here’s what they want.  What do you want?”   and being that broker, and constantly keeping the governments focused on that agenda… .  And the United States, at least up to now, can still do that.  But we are losing enormous credibility.  Bush just didn’t want to be involved.  So it’s a race.  It’s a race against time. Time is a critical factor.  When terrorist organizations or their sponsors get a hold of weapons of mass destruction, the whole situation then changes.  Because most weapons will get into the hands not of reasonable people but people who hate Israel so much that they are willing to drop the bomb right in the middle of Tel Aviv and kill about a million Israelis.

AT: And you, not long before September 11th, you actually issued a similar warning. And nobody listened. 

Until next time, your friend,

Anita Thompson

The impression I got from the senator is that in two years, if we get a decent administration with leadership ability, we might have the beginnings of peace in the middle east.

Email this to a friend

Email this entry to:
To prevent misuse of this service, only one recipient is allowed per email

Your Name* : required
Your Email* : required

* This information is used for the sole purpose of identifying you in this email you are sending. We at Owl Farm hate spam just as much as you do, and will never sell or give out any of your personal information to third parties. Ever.