Jewish World Review Oct. 23, 2001 / 6 Mar-Cheshvan, 5762

Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp
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Good out of evil --
IN the book of Genesis, Joseph says to his evil-thinking brothers, "You meant evil against me; but the Creator meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive." Is it conceivable that anything good could come out of the evil of Sept. 11? The answer is yes, and I have faith that it will.

Consider this: The New York Times reported last week that Russia is stepping forward as a "new friend in need, offering its oil fields as a secure alternative to dependence on the turbulent Persian Gulf."

As I write this, President George W. Bush is in China discussing trade and world commerce with the same Chinese political leaders with whom we had only a few months ago been in direct conflict over a shoot-down of one of our surveillance planes. The president told reporters that China did not hesitate to stand with the United States against terrorism, and he went on to say that "the economic future of my nation and this region are inseparable."

I agree with former Rep. Lee Hamilton as he wrote in USA Today recently that "Out of these tragedies come new opportunities to swing the world onto a more peaceful and secure axis." It begins with countries like Qatar, devoutly Islamic but at the same time coming to understand that its very survival depends upon modernization and becoming a part of the community of nations. For us, it means finding ways to assist countries like Qatar so they feel confident enough to confront the mob in the street the way Pakistani Gen. Pervez Musharraf has done so courageously in Pakistan.

But it means more than standing down the mob in the street; it also means closing down the institutions of terror such as the "kindergartens of terror" -- the Madrassa schools -- that indoctrinate and instill hatred in young men. It means offering individuals who are currently without hope -- who otherwise fall prey to religious fanaticism -- political and economic freedom in which to practice their faith, fulfill their humanity and find it possible to tolerate the different faiths of others.

For Russia and the United States, this international war on terrorism marks the end of the Cold War. Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally cast Russia's lot with the West, and the "Westerners" have finally won out over the "Slavophiles." The emerging deal on oil is indicative of the changing relationship.

And consider the emerging bilateral effort between our two nations to control nuclear arms and to establish a new kind of global nuclear deterrence -- not only between us and them but also between the two of us and the rest of the world. The most remarkable manifestation of this historic new correlation of forces can be seen in the cooperative deployment of Russian and U.S. tactical nuclear weapons inside the territory of the former Soviet Union -- at former Soviet bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan -- which occurred within a few days of the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks.

Russia and the United States recognize that the greatest danger right now is Islamic fanatics getting their hands on the Pakistani nuclear arsenal. I believe Dr. Gordon Prather is correct when he says, "Bush and Putin have just put certain nation-states on notice that if they can't -- or won't -- prevent their nukes from getting loose, we'll do it for them."

Even in the Middle East, where the assassination of an Israel cabinet minister has brought the region to the point of all-out war, Yasser Arafat's appointment of the respected Dr. Sari Nusseibeh to be the Palestinian Authority's chief representative in Jerusalem offers some hope.

"The average Israelis are just the same as the average Palestinians -- and just as human," he said.

He also seems to recognize that Osama bin Laden seeks to use the Palestinian-Israel conflict to his own perverted ends and not to the benefit of the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinians' real ally," he said, "is their foe Israel because both have a joint interest in building a future on these lands." This can be and must be the basis of any peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

On the Kemp family bulletin board -- the fridge -- my wife Joanne has a family reminder that "Problems are opportunities brilliantly disguised as insurmountable barriers." What is true for us as individuals can also be true as nations, and hopefully, we are at such a point -- no longer floundering around in search of purpose and direction in the post-Cold-War world but at a new beginning for this new millennium.

Jack Kemp is co-director of Empower America and Distinguished Fellow of the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Comment by clicking here.


10/16/01: Watching Iraq
10/12/01: The putrid stench of evil
10/04/01: Trade, terror and truth
10/01/01: Drive this scourge from the face of the Earth
09/25/01: Bush emerges as leader for his time
09/06/01: Middle East Madness has a chief instigator
08/30/01: It's about economic growth, stupid!
08/22/01: Phlebotomizers at the IMF
08/17/01: The Greenspan Recession
08/08/01: From Kyoto to Bonn, no science equals nonsense
07/25/01: Fiddling while the world economy freezes
07/19/01: Schundler should be New Jersey's next governor
07/12/01: Second wind for the global economy
07/06/01: An interest-rate target with no bull's-eye
06/28/01: Tax harmonization --- American-style
06/21/01: Warming diplomacy --- at what price?
06/13/01: A party that stands for nothing deserves to lose
06/07/01: No peace in the Middle East
05/30/01: Jeffords' palace coup
05/24/01: A supply-side energy plan
05/16/01: Getting Lincoln right
05/10/01: A good reason to borrow
05/01/01: Supreme Court makes racial profiling the law of the land
04/26/01: Campaign finance reform: silencing the lambs
04/17/01: Right wanted might in China case
04/12/01: How minority entrepreneurs can save the tax cut
04/04/01: Whose privacy is it?
03/29/01: A letter from Seoul
03/20/01: Ignore the double talk and double the tax cuts
03/13/01: Don't give up the bully pulpit on Social Security, Mr. President
03/06/01: Another attack on the economy
02/28/01: It's time to end deflation
02/21/01: Building blocks of humanity
02/15/01: Trumping the propaganda
02/06/01: The Gipper at 90
01/30/01: Kicking off a season of economic growth
01/24/01: The Bush tax agenda
01/17/01: Debating the Clinton legacy
01/10/01: No need for another Social Security commission
01/03/01: Truly a Golden Age, if we can keep it
12/27/00: The Grinch who turned off the holiday lights
12/20/00: Forging ahead
12/13/00: A new tax system for the 21st Century
12/07/00: Global government in retreat
11/30/00: An open letter to Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan
11/21/00: Don't forget the guy in charge
11/15/00: Civic virtue, civic vice
11/08/00: Memo to the president-elect
10/31/00: Scare tactics won't work
10/24/00: Prosperity in the balance
10/11/00: Al Gore's economics of fear
10/03/00: Al Gore IS debatable
09/27/00: Government should protect our online privacy
09/13/00: The most important issue
09/05/00: Defeating the Gore blitz
08/29/00: Workers of the world, rejoice
08/22/00: Just the facts, Mr. President
08/08/00: Reclaiming Lincoln's legacy
06/23/00: A renaissance for urban America?
06/16/00: Capital access can bridge 'digital divide'
06/08/00: Some friendly advice for Rick Lazio
05/26/00: Is the economy being saved or destroyed?
05/22/00: Immigration and the promise that is America
05/12/00: Stock market roulette or snobbery?
05/04/00: Is Rule of Law whatever we say it is?
05/01/00: Myths happen

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