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Romeo V. Pefianco

Should Bin Ladens control the world?
Romeo V. Pefianco

(Editor’s note: The world will not tolerate 100 Bin Ladens walking around freely.)

THE logic of President Hosni Mubarak (as quoted by Reuters) suggests that the war in Iraq "would produce" more terrorists of similar frame of mind as Bin Ladens, who was seen on TV tape enjoying his best moment after two explosions in NY killed about 3,000 Americans.

Egypt's anti-Iraq past

Egypt was a leading member of the anti-Iraq coalition in 1991, in return for which, according to analysts, the US forgave $7 billion in debt.

Islamic extremists made a few attempts to assassinate Mubarak. If he thinks more Bin Ladens will follow after Iraq's defeat, the logic does not fit in the typical interim between war and peace.

President Sadat was assassinated by members of a military conspiracy on October 6, 1981, leaving a nation on the road to prosperity which Vice President Mubarak (a former air force general) inherited.

Wars big and small

All wars big and small create horrible consequences, especially in the Middle East where wealth from crude oil has lined the pocket of the strong for generations.

(The term strong is a fitting description of kings, princes and generals. Saddam was a ranking general when he grabbed power in July 1979.)

Role of Britain and the US

The British mandate to govern Palestine ended after WW II, and in 1947 the UN voted to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors.

The Jewish National Council proclaimed the State of Israel when the British officially withdrew on May 14, 1948. US recognition came within hours.

The next day Arab forces led by Egypt and joined by Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq invaded the new nation. The UN negotiated a ceasefire in January 1949. Israel was admitted to the UN on May 11, 1949.

(Ralph Bunche, US diplomat and UN director of the Secretariat, forged a truce between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, that earned him the 1950 Nobel Peace Prize.)

More wars erupted between Egypt and Israel until 1974, when both sides agreed to a settlement negotiated by Henry A. Kissinger. (Kissinger shared the 1973 Nobel Peace Prize with Le Duc Tho of Vietnam, who declined the prize.)

In the most audacious act of his career, President Anwar Sadat flew to Jerusalem at the invitation of Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

Ending the war

Before Israel's Knesset, Sadat, on November 20, 1977, pleaded for a permanent peace settlement. Except for Morocco, Tunisia, Sudan and Oman, the whole Arab world reacted with fury.

The peace treaty signed on March 26, 1979, between Egypt and Israel, ended 30 years of war and established diplomatic and commercial relations.

Sadat and Begin shared the 1978 Nobel Peace Prize "for negotiating the peace accord," and earned the praise of the civilized nations.

No permanent peace

History has not recorded permanent peace after the conclusion of countless wars.

When the Ottoman empire sided with Germany in WW I the post war treaties dissolved the empire that reached its peak of power with the fall of the Byzantine empire and its capital, Constantinople, in 1453.

Historians call WW I as the war to "end all wars" after the armistice in 1918. Germany, thoroughly humiliated, happily witnessed the rise of Hitler and Nazism in 1933, less than 15 years after the war "to end all wars."

Hitler held Europe by the throat for 10 years. In June 1944, after the Normandy landings, the Nazi generals who saw the combined forces of the US and Britain, planned Hitler's assassination that almost succeeded.

In the end Hitler killed himself in his Berlin bunker. The good Muslims, after the NY bombings, concluded that Osama bin Laden was not serving the best interest of Islam, which has the biggest following in Indonesia (235 million population).

Mr. Mubarak does not speak for Islam all over the world, numbering some 1.1 billion, if he sees a kind of "role model" in Bin Laden.

The invasion of Iraq is not a logical standard to weigh Bin Laden's contribution to the world of Islam and some 2 billion followers of Christianity worldwide.

Walking with Saddam and Bin Laden

If the Saddams and Bin Ladens among us are allowed to move freely, plan the destruction of a civilization and still find worshippers in Egypt, then even Mr. Mubarak's front yard would not be a safe place for his family. (Comments are welcome at



Today is Saturday,
April 05, 2003