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Friday, February 13, 2004

"Let them hate so long as they fear."

The following is an excerpt innocently quoted from a brilliant article by Gideon Samet in today's Haaretz newspaper. Needless to say, and sorrowfully, I share his insights:

"... Sharon's continuing success also includes the enlistment of the American president in the cause to prevent any initiative for a peace process. Indeed, there's something hypnotic and almost horrifying about George Bush Jr.'s behavior. He's becoming a kind of American Arik, leading his country, against stiff opposition, into a war for which seemingly there's no alternative.

The political counselor at the U.S. embassy in Greece, John Brady Kiesling, announced this week to Secretary of State Colin Powell that he was resigning from the Foreign Service. The resignation came in a letter that Kiesling unconventionally released for publication. It's a courageous letter that could be written by quite a few senior Israeli officials burdened by Sharon's dangerous political games.

"The policies we are now asked to advance are incompatible not only with American values but also with American interests," wrote Kiesling. The veteran diplomat, who served in the past in Tel Aviv, numbered the administration's failings with regard to the Iraq war, saying his conscience does not allow him to go on, and quoting the saying from the days of the Roman empire, "oderint dum metuant" - "let them hate so long as they fear."

He was too polite to add that the saying, according to Roman historian Suetonius, was a particular favorite of the Emperor Caligula.

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