The phrase Middle East and the word peace are so contradictory that when put together they become an oxymoron. An oxymoron, as defined by the American Heritage Dictionary, is "a rhetorical figure in which incongruous or contradictory terms are combined". There are very few things in this world that are more contradictory than the words "Middle East peace."
As long as there are Christians and Jews in this world, the fundamentalist Islamic Arabs will never allow peace. The Koran states, under 5:54, "O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them.", under 8:39, "Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah's religion reigns supreme.", under 9:123, "Believers: Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you.", under 2:191, "Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out.", Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it.". As long as there are Muslims that believe in these orders, there can not and will not be 'Middle East peace'.
Even if the fundmentalist Islamics managed to destroy every Christian and Jew in the world, there would still not be peace in the Middle East. Islam has several sects, ie: Shia, Sunni, Sufi, Kahrijite, Wahhabi, Nizari (also known as "Assassins") and more. Many sects believe that followers of other sects are non believers because they follow the wrong sect. The only thing that keeps them from destroying each other is the old saying, 'an enemy of my enemy is my friend'. As long as there are Christians and Jews to hate, they will, pretty much, leave each other alone.
Ever since the State Of Israel was recognized by the United Nations, the Arab countries have been trying to "push Israel into the sea". Many Arab leaders have publicly stated that "they will not be satisfied untill Israel no longer exists". Many Arab leaders openly support the Palestinian terrorists that use homicide bombers, car bombs and rockets to maim and kill innocent Jewish women and children. They even consider the killing of Westerners an added bonus. Since many fundamentalists believe that "unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell" and that "the idolators are unclean", they believe that 'unbelievers' and 'hypocrites' are less than human and that their lives are worthless. The fundamentalists believe that it is their duty to punish the unbelievers wherever they find them.
I realize that not all Muslims are fundamentalists and that many Muslims would embrace peace. The problem is that the fundamentalists are so harsh and so ruthless that most peace seeking Muslims in the Arab world are afraid to cross them, afraid that they will be considered 'friends' of the unbelievers or 'hypocrites' and punished accordingly. Therefore, they keep quiet and the fundamentalists continue to rule the Arab world. The few Arabs that do attempt to stand up for true peace usually end up in prison or dead.
Some Arab countries are considered to have secular governments, ie: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria, and, as such, would presumably be free of fundamentalism interference. The fact is, none of these governments could stay in power without the assistance of, or at least the tacit approval of, the fundamentalists. Each of these countries is rife with fundamentalism, note all of the homicide bombers and terrorists that are exported from these countries. If the leaders of these countries did not have the approval of the fundamentalists, they would be assassinated and new leaders would be elected or installed. Saudi Arabia claims to be our friend and ally, yet many of their religious schools preach terrorism and a large number of terrorist leaders come from that country. Egypt has a signed peace accord with Israel, yet arms are smuggled in to the Palestinians every day from Egypt. Syria is the largest supporter of the Hezbollah group and is also one of the largest exporters of terrorists into Iraq.
The United States has been trying to "win the hearts and minds" of the Arab people for decades. We provide aid in the form of money, we gave Arafat huge sums of money in order to 'help' the Palestinians and he kept most of it for himself, we gave Hussein money to help feed his people and he used it to line his pockets and to pay the families of homicide bombers and we give billions of dollars in aid to Egypt and although they talk peace they still support terrorism. We pour money by the bucket full into Iraq and they elect an Islamic based government instead of a secular government. In addition, we pressure Israel, our only true ally in the Middle East, to give up land and security in the name of peace, even though we know that the Islamic fundamentalists will never make peace with Israel.
I may be wrong, but I don't believe that the fundamentalists will ever allow the United States to "win the hearts and minds" of the Arab people. We can and probably should make them fear us. We can't and won't make them love us. The fundamentalists will never allow their people to love us any more than they will allow 'Middle East peace'. It goes against their religious principles. They are fanatics and will fight to their last breath. As far as they are concerned if they die, fighting us, they will go to Paradise. If they live they can go on fighting the 'unbelievers' and 'hypocrites' thereby fulfilling Allah's wishes.
Short note about the author
David G. Hallstrom, Sr. is a retired private investigator and currently publishes several internet directories including http://www.resourcesforattorneys.com a legal and lifestyle resources directory for attorneys, lawyers and the internet public. For more lifestyle information see http://lifestyle.resourcesforattorneys.com, the Lifestyle directory from Resources For Attorneys.