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SUMMER WAR RATHER THAN PEACE?
"President Clinton and President Assad of
Syria met in Geneva yesterday in what could
be a last attempt to avoid war in southern
Lebanon this summer."
MiD-EasT RealitieS - Washington - 3/27:
Bill Clinton, and the Israeli/Jewish lobby that pretty much controls
his foreign policies relating to the Middle East, are growing more
nervous and desperate about his foreign affairs legacy. So much
that he has built on political quicksand -- using his now-familiar
style twisting words and concepts to suit narrow short-term political
concerns -- is sinking much faster than was expected.
In Northern Ireland, the attempt to repackage British occupation is
already unraveling. Those who have always championed Northern
Ireland's true independence from British rule haven't been tricked
after all and have managed the guts and convictions to say "no"
to the London/Washington scheming.
In the subcontinent the protagonists race forward toward more arms of
mass destruction; and Pakistan slips toward "failed state" status,
having only China and the "Islamic world" now to turn to. Indeed, the
Clinton trip just completed symbolizes Washington having switched
allies in the region, many in the U.S. -- including that powerful
Israeli/Jewish lobby -- wanting to reposition the U.S. against all
"Islamic regimes" which will not succumb to American dictate.
And meanwhile China races toward semi-super power status, desperate
least to develop enough of a military deterrent so that the Americans
will never be able to do to China what they have done to Iraq and
Yugoslavia. This new great power arms race must be understood partially
as a legacy of American military aggressions since the end of the Cold War.
In the Middle East -- the area where Clinton and his largely dually-loyal
group of primarily Jewish advisers (who in some cases are practically
Israeli agents) -- things may also be unraveling.
No matter what Yasser Arafat signs at this point neither the Palestinian
people nor much of the world is going to consider it the "final settlement"
the Israelis are so desperately trying to package it to be. Indeed,
welcoming the Pope as they did at this "peace process" time, and doing
everything possible to bribe and threaten Syria into compliance, are part
of this much larger strategy to redefine the Middle East their way, just
as was done nearly a century ago when the British and French carved up the
region and established the client regimes -- the legacy of which has
surprisingly endured for so long.
Having been among the major groups that brought the Clinton/Gore team
Washington, the Israelis have all along planned to use them to push
through still greater amounts of American money, arms, and support, for
themselves; as well as for those regimes that could be brought into this
"new world order" -- especially Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
The following article today by Robert Fisk in THE INDEPENDENT, more
than others outlines what the recent Clinton/Assad Geneva meeting was
really all about and how much the Americans continue to act on behalf
of the Israelis at every turn:
ASSAD AND CLINTON
FAIL TO COME TO
AGREEMENT ON RESUMING TALKS
By Robert Fisk, Middle East Correspondent
President Clinton and President Assad of Syria met in Geneva yesterday
what could be a last attempt to avoid war in southern Lebanon this summer.
What was advertised as an attempt to restart Syrian-Israeli peace talks
Bill Clinton trying to accommodate Hafez Assad's demand that a total
Israeli withdrawal from the occupied Golan Heights should be based on the
United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 has now become a race to
prevent a unilateral Israeli withdrawal under fire from Lebanon.
The two men held three hours of talks, through interpreters, at the
Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, with the Syrian leader patiently explaining
he was not going to fall into the same "peace" trap as the Palestine
Liberation Organisation leader Yasser Arafat. He will not make peace with
Israel before guaranteeing the return of all of the occupied Golan, captured
by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war. Mr Arafat signed a peace settlement
then failed to gain a majority of the occupied West Bank or a capital in
As Mr Clinton returned to Washington last night, United States officials
acknowledged the two leaders had failed to nail down an agreement that would
allow the peace talks to resume.
The White House spokesman, Joe Lockhart, said that the talks between
President Clinton and President Assad had been "very useful" but that the
differences were significant and more work was needed to bridge them. The
planned resumption of Israel-Syria talks in Washington this week had
therefore been shelved and, according to Mr Lockhart, it was impossible to
predict when they might resume. The US would, however, continue its attempts
Mr Lockhart said that Mr Assad had "articulated his position clearly
forcefully" throughout the talks.
The US is sending Dennis Ross, the special Middle East envoy, to Israel
today. Mr Ross has spent much of the past three years shuttling around the
Middle East trying to establish common ground for a comprehensive Middle
The Israelis and Americans know that Syria will never allow the former
withdraw from their hopeless war in southern Lebanon without the return of
the Golan. With a Syrian peace still unsigned, Hizbollah guerrillas in
Lebanon "supported by Syria" will continue to attack withdrawing Israeli
occupation troops and Palestinian guerrillas might then be permitted to
attack Israel across the international frontier just as they did before
1982. Israel wants its soldiers out of their occupation zone by July.
Syria has already indicated that it would accept an international presence
the Golan after an Israeli retreat; sources in Beirut suggest that US and
French troops could be permitted to man an early warning station on the
And, if the Israelis do withdraw, the Syrians seem resigned to the opening
diplomatic missions in each other's countries. Mr Assad is even said to be
prepared to compromise on the exact line of withdrawal, perhaps accepting
continued Israeli control of the entire shore of Galilee while negotiating on
joint water rights.
But he wants the whole of the Golan back before a full peace. Mr Assad's
south Lebanon card is a powerful one. If Israel withdraws, only to find that
its northern border is as vulnerable as it was more than two decades ago
and this after two Israeli invasions of Lebanon which cost the lives of at
least 19,000 Lebanese and Palestinian civilians then the Israeli Prime
Minister, Ehud Barak, will be seen to have failed in his attempt to cut his
army's losses in Lebanon. The Lebanese, of course, would bear the cost of
such a war.
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