RIYADH (AFP) - Saudi King Abdullah opened the annual summit of Gulf leaders with a warning that the Arab world was on the brink of exploding because of conflicts in the Palestinian territories, Iraq and Lebanon.
"Our Arab region is besieged by a number of dangers, as if it was a powder keg waiting for a spark to explode," he told the rulers of the oil-rich monarchies gathered in Riyadh for a two-day meeting to the backdrop of mounting sectarian violence in neighboring Iraq.
No kidding? What gave it away?
Was it the fact that Hamas, the entity that tries to kill Israelis at every opportunity, gets support from the king's oil revenue? Or was it the fact that Iran's oil money supports Hezbollah, Israel's other sworn enemy, to the north?
They have something that the world needs and they use the spoils to support groups that wish to push Israel into the sea. But Israel isn't shrinking fast enough, so I guess it's going to be a bit tense until they do. But we can all pretty much count on the fact that Israel isn't going anywhere without a fight; and the radical elements that seek Israel's destruction are not going to give up the fight, either.
The answer to all of this can be found in a quote from the late Jeanne Kirkpatrick that I recently posted:
We have war when at least one of the parties to a conflict wants something more than it wants peace.
I threw this up in that post without comment, merely as food for thought that day (and because I was pressed for time). But if we look at it closer, we can see that there is much truth in this statement.
One side can want peace so very badly. They can give in and succumb to pressure from all areas around them. They can sign pacts, withdraw troops, release political prisoners, and can even offer up almost everything the other side is asking for except for control of a capitol city. And yet, if the other side does not want peace, it's all for nought.
The bottom line is this:
As long as one side views war as a better option than peace, we will have war. When one side will begin to love the lives of their children more than they love to kill innocents on the other side, we will then have peace, and not until.
So, when the Saudi king says the entire middle east is living in perilous times, we must accept the fact that he knows what he is talking about. Because in his country, schools teach their children to hate one of the nations, in that region. His country also rakes in astronomical amounts of money from oil revenues and yet finds little to spend it on except for superfluous palaces for its royal family. What little is given to his Palestinian brethren is not used for education, not used to build an economy, and not used to strengthen the general well-being of the population. But it is used to acquire rockets to shoot into Israel and other destructive tools.
Until that changes, this speech he made will be able to be used (and re-used), anytime the Arab community gets together to talk about why the region is ready to "explode".