Magazine article The Nation

Seismic Changes

Magazine article The Nation

Seismic Changes

Article excerpt

The United States has finally opened a diplomatic dialogue with the Palestine Liberation Organization, in the wake of Yasir Arafat's momentous December 13 speech in Geneva. In Soviet Armenia, the U.S. aid to earthquake victims suddenly seems altogether natural, as if American and Soviet soldiers were embracing at the Elbe River in April 1945 at the end of their common struggle against Nazism - a struggle that produced not the peaceful world then predicted but the bitter, frequently suicidal cold war.

George Bush is taking office at a time when forty years of history seem to be melting away. Soviet troops will leave Afghanistan on February 15, the warring parties in Namibia have just reached a peace settlement (see Gwen Lister and Mark Verbaan on page 18) and the contras are barely a blip on the political radar screen. The Israelis are not happy about the U.S.-P.L.O. connection, but they cannot ignore it, and peace in the Middle East is closer as a result. …

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