ed koch 88.
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The following is the first JPost.com blog post by Ed Koch, former legendary Jewish mayor of New York City.
President George W. Bush, vilified by many, supported by some, is a hero to me.
Why do I say that? It's not because I agree with the President's domestic agenda. It's not because I think he's done a perfect job in the White House.
George Bush is a hero to me because he has courage. The President does what he believes to be in the best interest of the United States. He sticks with his beliefs, no matter how intense the criticism and invective that are directed against him every day.
The enormous defeat President Bush suffered with the loss of both Houses of Congress has not caused him to retreat from his position that the US alone now stands between a radical Islamic takeover of many of the world's governments in the next 30 or more years. If that takeover occurs, we will suffer an enslavement that will threaten our personal freedoms and take much of the world back into the Dark Ages.
Our major ally in this war against the forces of darkness, Great Britain, is still being led by an outstanding prime minister, Tony Blair. However, Blair will soon be set out to pasture, which means Great Britain will leave our side and join France, Germany, Spain and other countries that foolishly believe they can tame the wolf at the door and convert it into a domestic pet that will live in peace with them.
These dreamers naively believe that if we feed the wolves what they demand, they will go away. But that won't happen. Appeasement never works. The wolves always come back for more and more, and when we have nothing left to give, they come for us.
Radical Islamists are very much aware that we have shown fear. For example, we have allowed the people of Darfur - dark skinned Africans - to be terrorized, killed, raped and taken as slaves by the supporters of the Sudanese government, radical Islamists. The countries surrounding Iraq - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan - made up of Sunni Arabs, know that for them, the wolves who are the radical Shi'ite are already at their door.
The New York Times reported on December 13, 2006, "Saudi Arabia has told the Bush administration that it might provide financial backing to Iraqi Sunnis in any war against Iraq's Shi'ites if the United States pulls its troops out of Iraq, according to American and Arab diplomatsâ€¦The Saudis have argued strenuously against an American pullout from Iraq, citing fears that Iraq's minority Sunni Arab population would be massacredâ€¦The Bush administration is also working on a way to form a coalition of Sunni Arab nations and a moderate Shi'ite government in Iraq, along with the United States and Europe, to stand against 'Iran, Syria and the terrorists."
This Saudi response will take place notwithstanding that until now, according to The Times, "The Saudis have been wary of supporting Sunnis in Iraq because their insurgency there has been led by extremists of Al Qaida, who are opposed to the kingdom's monarchy. But if Iraq's sectarian war worsened, the Saudis would line up with Sunni tribal leaders."
The Times article went on to state the opinion of an Arab expert, Nawaf Obaid, who was recently fired by the Saudi foreign minister after Obaid wrote an op-ed in the The Washington Post asserting that the Saudis were prepared in the event of an American pullout to engage in a "massive intervention to stop Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias from butchering Iraqi Sunnis." Obaid went on "suggest[ing] that Saudi Arabia could cut world oil prices in halfâ€¦a move that would be devastating to Iran."
The Times reported, "Arab diplomatsâ€¦said that Mr. Obaid's column reflected the view of the Saudi government." When writing about affairs of state in distant places, unless you are on the scene talking to knowledgeable participants, the most reliable sources to support conjecture with "facts" are the superb reporters of the great international newspapers like The New York Times.
Surely this turn of events in Saudi Arabia undoubtedly replicated in other Sunni-dominated countries - Sunnis are 80 percent of the world's Muslim population. This will give support to my proposal, advanced nearly a year ago, that we tell our allies, regional and NATO, that we are getting out of Iraq unless they come in. That may well work, and they will come in, in large part and share the casualties of combat and the financial costs of war.
Doing what I suggest is far better than simply pulling out, which is the direction in which we are headed, notwithstanding the President's opposition. I think at the moment simply getting out and not making an attempt to bring our allies in is supported by a majority of Americans and would be supported by a majority of Democrats in the Congress.
For me, staying is clearly preferable, provided we are not alone and are joined by our regional and NATO allies, aggressively taking on the difficult but necessary task of destroying radical Islam and its terrorist agenda if we don't want to see radical Islam destroy the Western world and moderate Arab states over the next generation, or as long as it takes for them to succeed.
Two other requirements are needed to bring the war in Iraq to a successful conclusion: first, require the Iraqi government to allow greater autonomy for the three regions - Kurd, Sunni and Shia.
The second requirement is that the national Iraqi government enacts legislation that will divide all oil and natural gas revenues in a way similar to that of our own state of Alaska.
The Alaskan state government takes from those revenues all it will need to finance government and provide services and the balance is divided among the population of Alaska, in a profit sharing program.
That would settle the major Sunni problem which has been being cut out of oil revenues because the country's oil is located only in Kurdish and Shiite areas. If the Iraqi government refuses our demands, our reply should be "Goodbye. You're on your own." This proposal was suggested to me by Mike Sheppard in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
It won't be easy to implement this proposal. But President Bush has courage. Now is the time to use it.
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