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Volume 3, No. 1 - June 2003

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Roadmaps by any other name
Editorial Team

The single biggest dividend of the Iraq war is claimed to be the roadmap being laid out for the Israelis and Palestinians. Roadmaps are suddenly in vogue, with one being rumored for another flashpoint - Kashmir. The question is how are these roadmaps any different from the numerous attempts at resolving these two seemingly intractable issues. In the case of the Israel-Palestinian roadmap, it appears to consist of Palestinians being asked to end violence, while Israel will freeze settlements and agree to a land for peace deal. But such a solution was tried and tested before, and it failed. The Oslo and Camp David accords were based on similar frameworks. The problem is that such frameworks are easy to scuttle, and each time light appears at the end of the tunnel, Palestinian suicide bombings and attacks on settlers have torn apart such roadmaps.

The Bush administration answer is that the new roadmap is part of its post-September 11 strategy of pre-emptive dominance. That strategy may serve well to prevent many nations from overtly threatening the United States, but whether it can resolve centuries-old hatreds, and counter ideologies based on intolerance for other religions, is doubtful at best. How will the strategy head off suicide bombings at Israeli malls and restaurants? The Palestinians have support among Israeli Arabs, and delineation of a border is not going to create a firewall inside which Israelis can live in peace. The bleeding will continue, and head
towards the eventual conquering of Israel by Palestinians.

Now let's take up the rumored roadmap for Jammu and Kashmir. As in the case of the Israel-Palestinian roadmap, the one for South Asia is likely one of the old ones tried and discarded but now resurrected under new nomenclature. There have been many previous attempts, such as Simla, Lahore, Agra, that were scuttled sooner or later by Pakistan. As in the case of the Mideast, the issue is not about land, or freedom, its about one Islam's intolerance for all other religions. Conquering of what has now become Pakistan is not enough, Kashmir is the next outpost to be taken. Let us say a roadmap formalizes the victory of Islam over Jammu and Kashmir, or part of it. Will the Indian subcontinent be free of "flashpoints" in that case? One only has to look back at history to realize that the Islamic aim is to conquer the rest of India. Thus ANY concessions are likely to be seen as victory for jehad, and a roadmap to the ultimate aim of establishing the Islamic Ummah.

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