Magazine article The Humanist

The Issue at Hand

Magazine article The Humanist

The Issue at Hand

Article excerpt

What can explain the arbitrariness of George W. Bush's choices for nations we're all supposed to despise? As John M. Swomley points out in "Bush's Axis of Enemies" in this issue, there are other nations besides the six that Bush has fingered which are deserving of criticism--and in more important ways. Furthermore, the Israel/Palestine and India/Pakistan conflicts, to name two, warrant more of our attention and pose greater and more immediate threats to world peace than do the curious collection of countries that make up the president's catalogue of the forces of "evil."

In fact, the troubles in Israel and its occupied territories are so critical and deep-rooted that no foreign policy makes any sense that doesn't give this part of the Middle East a top priority. But to address this situation, it's important to understand those historical, cultural, and religious factors that lie at the root of the present crisis. David Schafer provides that in "Origins of the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict."

Such rational approaches to foreign policy, however, while vitally necessary, often fail to attract wide popular interest. This may be because they seem to take a distanced look at distant issues. To help people recognize the personal significance of international developments, it's essential to bring these home to the heart and to generate a greater familiarity between the peoples of the world. This is what a number of our honored essayists from the Humanist's 2001 contest have made possible for us to address here. …

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