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The quickly resolved crisis of the so-called United Arab Republic has a few lessons for the student of Near Eastern affairs. The first is that the regimes erected on the ruins of British and French presence are not so stable as their improvised leaders pretend; the second lesson is that their policy of conquest or, rather, non-colonialism, carries in it the seeds of destruction; and the third lesson points to the great force of nationalism which in this, as in other parts of the world, is shaping the destinies of old and new peoples.
Judging by its aspects in the Near Eastern countries, nationalism is a complex phenomenon. In the eyes of the Egyptians, for example, the awakening is baptized by the name of “revolution,” although for the Western eye the country seems to dream the eternal dreams of the slow-rolling Nile. The catchwords on everybody's lips are “industrialization,” “unity of all Arabs,” and “Israel must be destroyed,” —a mixture of realism and illusions.
President Kennedy has it within his power to end the Cold War. Two equally dramatic and effective paths are open to him to accomplish this purpose. He can end the Cold War by capitulating to Communist demands in Berlin, in Laos and in the disarmament dialogue, or he can end it by starting a hot war.
As long as Mr. Kennedy and the American people regard these alternatives as morally wrong and politically unwise, which I hope will be a long time, we will have to adjust to the perils and pitfalls of a notso- peaceful-coexistence. In this protracted conflict involving nuclear weapons (in being), unconventional warfare, diplomatic negotiations, trade, ideas and loyalties—in this novel twilight zone between war and peace—has the traditional doctrine of the just war any relevance? I believe it has. attempt to support the thesis that the traditional doctrine is relevant in principle to the nuclear-missile age, first by suggesting six necessary elements present in all moral-political decisions and then by sketching a brief outline for a “responsible” just war theory.