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Bush "Oh My..."

Posted August. 21, 2003 21:21,   


Days ahead of the second anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks, which prompted the war against terrorism by the United States, the Middle East policy of President George W. Bush is undergoing a serious crisis as a string of terrorist attacks escalate.

"Persisting terrorist attacks put the President Bush`s Middle East policy on a test bed. Fresh doubts about the administration`s peace "road map" for post-war reconstruction of Iraq and the dispute between Israelis and Palestinians are both on the rise,” the Washington Post noted.

On Wednesday, a day after the terrorist attacks in both Baghdad in Iraq and Jerusalem in Israel, the U.S. State Department issued an alarm that Al Qaeda was trying to conduct terror attacks against U.S. citizens in Yemen.

Al Qaeda, which announced last week that “we`ve organized combat groups in Iraq,” has reportedly succeeded in organizing the `Jaysi Mohammed` (Army of Mohammed) with the remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime.

Despite campaigns against terrorists, Al Qaeda, the main enemy of the U.S., has been expanding its organization and even new small sized terrorist groups are also rapidly emerging, experts noted. These terrorist groups seem to be aiming at easy targets, such as the U.N. organization.

Not only the lawmakers of the Democratic Party, the biggest opposition party of the country, but also lawmakers of the ruling Republic Party are voicing opposition to the Middle East Policy of the Bush Administration.

The leadership of the Democratic Party, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry criticized Bush by saying that “in terms of the Middle East issues, President Bush is leading the U.S. in the wrong direction. Republican Sen. John McCain also condemns the Middle East strategies of the Bush Administration, saying “the U.S. should change its existing policy and more U.S forces should be dispatched.“

As criticism escalates, the Bush administration is somewhat showing its willingness to change its Middle East policy. The administration began to draw up a plan that will let U.N. peace keepers deploy in Iraq, making it easier for countries that are hesitating in sending their forces to Iraq, like India, Pakistan and Turkey, to send their troops to Iraq under the umbrella of the U.N. Once the plan kicks off, it can also ease the criticism against the U.S. on the monopoly of Iraq reconstruction projects.

As the tension between Israel and Palestine escalates again, President Bush dispatched John Wolf, special Middle East envoy, Wednesday to Israel to revive the Middle East peace road map and demanded the Palestine Authority dismantle armed extremist groups.

The U.S. is in a dilemma as every time it makes efforts to establish order and reform a government in the Middle East, terrorist attacks take place. By making the U.S. repeat the same process all over, terrorists are trying to stir up further anti-American sentiment, experts pointed out.

The U.S. is in a catch-22 situation as its efforts to root out terrorism seem to actually stimulate the growth of terrorist groups. The Middle East policy of the Bush administration seems to be at a crossroad.

Ki-Tae Kwon kkt@donga.com