Thursday, October 25, 2007

A Conversation with Saudi Businessman Amr Khashoggi

from Saudi-US Relations Information Service

Everyone acknowledges there is a real threat from violent extremists and that threat exists whether you are in New York City, Madrid, London, Beirut, Baghdad or Riyadh or anywhere else. However, I cannot accept world leaders advancing their own agendas under the banner of the “war on terrorism” at any cost. One country cannot bomb another country to smithereens just because you want to kill a few terrorists. Have you looked at the statistics coming out of Iraq? There are American casualties to be sure, but there are 10 or 20 times those numbers of casualties among Iraqis many of whom are innocent men and women and children. The whole security infrastructure of Iraq was totally demolished and rendered ineffective, so I cannot see how the United States expects to win the peace. Winning the war is easy, but it has a heavy price to pay both in human and physical capital. Now we hear of an imminent threat to invade and bomb Iran. No thanks; we would rather deal with the Iranians through our own diplomatic and civil means and channels. You have not won in Iraq or in Afghanistan. What makes you think you can win in Syria or Iran?

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