Tuesday, November 21, 2017

'Drain the swamp' not the State Department

'Drain the swamp' not the State Department

By Arnold Pinsley

The State Department definitely needs to be drained.  It has a history of 85 years of one costly mistake after another.  Our noble chaps felt that a little character with a moustache was a joke - in the name of isolationism, folks like Watson (IBM) and Joseph Kennedy (steel) continued to sell him materials necessary to his war machine; no attention was paid to the terms of the treaty that ended the 'War to end all wars' which forbade his nation the development of a military.  From 1938 until Treasury Secretary Morgenthau intercepted a cable in 1943, State Department stonewalled any mention of what was happening to the Jews, Gypsies, and physically and developmentally challenged in the way of Hitler because it might hinder the war effort - no bombing of railroad tracks or trains taking people to extermination or slave labor camps (where slaves died in three to four months due to starvation or beatings); the numbers slaughtered exceed 25 million.

In 1945, General Stillwell, Commander of the China, Burma, and India theater was charged with Communist sympathy and brought back to home in disgrace for, horror of horrors, suggesting that we achieve a rapprochement with the Communist Chinese because Chiang Kai-Shek wasn't fighting the Japanese and the Communists were.  In 1950, following the policy set re General Stillwell, State and Defense stumbled into the US into a Korean Conflict, also including the Chinese which carried us into 1953 when an agreement to cease hostilities was hammered out - why are there 35,000 US troops still stationed on the border?

1948 saw the establishment of Israel which State advised President Truman not to recognize.    In 1953, State and the British Foreign Office conspired to assassinate Mossadegh, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, because he wanted to nationalize the country's oil resources and together these two organizations made Reza Pahlavi Shah of Iran.  Luckily he died of cancer before the British and Americans could kill him for the same crime as his predecessor - not to worry, these two organizations saw to it that the country became a theocracy.  The Iranian theocrats nationalized the country's oil reserves as soon as they took power with nary a peep from the State Department or the international captains of industry.  Every attempt to remove the theocrats from power by the citizens of Iran has been ignored by the State Department.  We are told that the Iranian people love us; one wonders why.

President Eisenhower was besieged by State and Defense to bail out the French in their attempt to maintain control of Vietnam (then called 'French Indochina').  Immediately after WW II, the State Department purged anyone with any real knowledge of China and Southeast Asia.  President Eisenhower had sufficient gravitas and intelligence to withstand the pressure from State, Defense, and CIA - unfortunately his successor did not have his gravitas and we entered a military engagement in Vietnam which cost more than 50,000 lives with many more seriously wounded not to mention the even greater number of Vietnamese maimed or killed.  Wonderful way to negotiate a favored nation trading alliance, don't you think?

Now let us move on to Israel where State Department activities have for more than 50 years resembled Einstein's definition of insanity, 'performing the same failed experiment over and over again in the hope of a successful outcome'.  Isn't that brilliant?  Obviously State believes that the 22% of the original British Palestine Protectorate left as a homeland for the Jews and made part of the League of Nations Charter and, in its turn, the United Nations Charter was way too much land - State has been pressuring Israel to cede more and more land to the 'Palestinians' who are virtually all of Saudi or Syrian descent.  They arrived in Judea and Samaria in 1948 after King Abdullah I of Transjordan had ethnically cleansed all Jews from that area and destroyed countless Arab villages so that massed Arab armies would be able to sweep the Jews of Israel into the sea.  Said Arabs were then lodged in 'Refugee' camps like Sabra and Shatilla where they are kept in squalor as stateless refugees to this day - no pressure from State Department to change this at all - a disgraceful policy.

It is obvious that State has never forgiven some Jews for having survived WW II, because treatment accorded Israel is abominable. The State Department wants to keep providing money to PA/PLO/Fatah which has been in administrative control of 98% of the land in Judea and Samaria for more than two decades and continue paying millions of dollars per year to the PA.  A large portion of this largesse has paid salaries to terrorists convicted of murdering Israeli citizens and handsome pensions to families of deceased martyrs to the PA cause.  Every PA social media organ is used to incite violence against Israelis without a word of condemnation from our State Department.  No condemnation from these 'professionals' regarding the firebombing of more than 200 churches in Iraq and violence perpetrated against Christian Arabs in the past two decades either.  In 1986, the population of Bethlehem was 75% Christian, today it is barely 10%.  Now our State Department accedes to a Russian proposal that an Iranian camp be located in Syria within three miles of the Israeli border (see BBC aerial photos of the site).  That is really going to create a stable environment in the area, isn't it?

Let us now look at other incomprehensible policy messes; Iraq, Afghanistan, and Arab Spring.  President Bush, Sr. had sense enough to stage a pretend conflict with Saddam Hussein where Saddam was allowed to remain as a bulwark against the Iranian theocrats - his son decided that he had to do better than daddy and remove the bulwark.  Not the best idea Bush Jr. ever had and here Colin Powell, Secretary of State, was never able to meet with Bush Jr. alone to explain to him the danger inherent in removing Saddam.  I don't know whose idea it was to enter Afghanistan - I do know that when Representative Wilson wanted a few million dollars for schools and hospitals for Afghanistan after we had armed the Mujahidin to help them defeat Russian incursion, the cornucopia was suddenly dry.

In 2001, the Bush Jr Presidency was encouraged by two of the worst characters ever to advise a President in this nation's history, Cheney and Rumsfeld, to enter Afghanistan.  It is now the longest conflict in American military history and our State Department has done little if anything to negotiate a cessation of hostilities.  The Arab Spring is still paying dividends in slaughter and mayhem.  President Clinton had sense enough to realize that a dictator in Libya could be counted on to keep the nasties at bay; Secretary of State Clinton couldn't see this and she had to remove him.  Libya is a massive training ground for many lovely terrorist groups and a tribal battle ground today.  Egyptian military had enough sense to remove a Muslim Brotherhood Caliphate before it could become a fully functional destabilizing force in the Middle East.  US State Department denied weaponry to the Egyptian military and almost drove it into the arms of the Russians.

State and Defense treat the Turks with kid gloves even though, as Orhan Pamuk writes in his autobiography, 'Istanbul', 'the music of Armenian, Greek, and Ladino is no longer heard in the streets of Istanbul', and the Turks have been engaged in engaged in almost a century of denial of Armenian Genocide and uninterrupted slaughter of Kurds.  Although Iraqi  and Syrian Kurdish tribes did a great deal of the heavy fighting against ISIL, State Department in conjunction with Russia, accords them no seat at a bargaining table.

Doesn't make for a great resume, does it?

Friday, November 3, 2017

The international versus the local character of the Arab/Israeli conflict

By Barry Werner

It is a mistake to view the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as a dispute just between the Palestinian Arabs and the Israelis. It started long before there was such as thing as Palestinian identity and it has never been just a local conflict. Until the PLO was given the role of the sole representative of the Palestinian People, there was no such thing as a Palestinian People. The Arab world as a whole started the conflict to prevent a sovereign Jewish community from being established in the lands that the followers of Mohammed conquered in the 7’Th Century. The Arab war aim was to merge Palestine with “Greater Syria”, not to create an independent state for the Arabs of Palestine. Most of the Muslim world joined in and it became a wider Arab/Muslim conflict against Israel.

The conflict became internationalized even further. The Middle East was a locus of competition between the West and the Soviet Union in the Cold War. The Soviet Union armed the Arabs against Israel and the Kremlin demonized Zionism (the political left in the Western world still repeats that propaganda today). The Non-Aligned group of countries used opposition to Israel as a way to express their anger over past Western colonialism and sided with the Arabs. The West’s geopolitical and economic interests were seriously affected and so resolving the conflict became an obsession for them and for the UN.

After the combined Arab countries (and Cuba) failed to destroy Israel the Arab world created the PLO to continue the fighting. Reframing the conflict as a struggle for Palestinian nationalism rather than as a war by the Arab World against the Jewish People so soon after the Holocaust was intended to make the Arab cause more palatable to the West, but only as long as the ultimate goal of destroying the Jewish state was accomplished.

The international character of the conflict can be seen clearly in the 1970’s worldwide Arab rampage of terrorism and plane hijackings and in the attack on the world’s economy by use of an oil embargo. It was a global Arab attack on the Western world. The Arab world learned that terrorizing the west was a winning strategy that turned the West against Israel. (In recent years the Islamist jihadi rampage in the West is more about demonstrating the dominance of Islam than it is about the Arab conflict with Israel. Israel is now a secondary target; jihadis attack Jews everywhere without regard to their relationship to Israel. The Islamist jihadi movement is about world domination.)

As a consequence of the Western world trying to appease the Arab/Muslim world, the conflict over the land of Palestine was not allowed to be resolved normally. The background to the conflict over the land of Palestine is as follows. In 1948 Jordan and Egypt illegally occupied the West Bank and Gaza. In 1967 Israel liberated the occupied land. But even though the Arab world had seized the land illegally they wanted the land back. The Western world wanted to appease the Arabs and tried to give the West Bank and Gaza back to the Arabs in various “peace initiatives” of its own and in UNSC Resolution 2334.

It is very important to see how the international character of the Arab/Israeli conflict changed with time.

The Arab world’s goals changed drastically with the Six Day War. A new Arab goal emerged, namely erasing the Arab world’s dishonorable defeat in that war. Russia massively resupplied the Arab armies and the Arab world started yet another war in 1973, the Yom Kippur War, but lost again. In 2002, the Arab League proposed the “Arab Peace Initiative”, offering Israel normalization in the region if, but only if, Israel agreed to erase every centimeter of territorial gain it made in the Six Day War. Since the intention was to erase the Arab world’s dishonorable defeat, Israel was either to give back every centimeter of territory conquered in the Six Day War or there would be no deal. (In recent years, the Arab League softened the terms and allowed for an equal exchange of land, and Israel agreed to accept the offer but only as the start of negotiations.) 

In recent years the situation changed drastically again. Now the major Arab countries (Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf countries, and Morocco) see Israel as a potential ally against the religious fanaticism that threatens to destabilize them, the threat of expansionist Iran, and the many severe economic and ecological threats the Arab countries face.

However, the PLO, and its “rejectionist” offshoots, such as Hamas, etc, keeps on fighting and expecting the Arab world and the West to back them up as before (Hamas also looks to Iran for support).

The Western world is still trying to appease the rejectionists as if there has been no change in the goals of the moderate Arab governments.

Two conclusions can be drawn.

First, the West should respond to the new international reality and shift its emphasis from supporting the rejectionist war against Israel to encouraging and supporting cooperation between the moderate Arab world and Israel. The West should encourage the Arab world to normalize relations with Israel and partner with Israel and the moderate Arab governments in addressing the many serious problems that confront the Middle East.

Second, to finally bring an end to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict it should be disentangled from the web of international intrigue and resolved on its own merits. The Arabs waged an “all-or-nothing” war to destroy Israel and lost. An objective peace initiative would emphasize these points:

  •  Israel has by far the strongest claim to the land liberated in the Six Day War of 1967 (the West Bank and Gaza);
  •  It is reasonable for Israel not to allow the hostile, antisemitic, Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza to return to Israel or to become citizens of Israel because they have been taught antisemitism and hatred for Israel for as long as the Palestinian Authority, the PA, has been given the authority to do so by the Oslo Accords. (Not preparing its people for peace was an essential violation of the Oslo Accords by the PA, it’s reasonable that they should have to pay the price for violating the fundamental intention of the Oslo Accords.)
  • For humanitarian reasons, unless the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza can be relocated to other Arab countries (not a likely scenario since all the other Arab countries don’t want them and they have good reasons to be afraid of them) they should be given an independent but disarmed state of their own, or several small independent disarmed states, or whatever, where they presently reside, on only whatever land it takes to maintain them in Gaza or the West Bank. But they should not be given the whole West Bank.
  • The Palestinian Arabs and the Arab/Muslim world as a whole should agree to an end of claims against Israel and publicly recognize the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state. 
  • The Arab/Muslim world should acknowledge Israel for its democratic, inclusive multi-cultural character and its defense of Arab rights and Muslim religious sites.

The Western world should restrain the antisemites among them from supporting the extremist Arabs’ attempt to polarize the world to the exclusion of Jews and Israel.