Monday, November 13, 2006

Bush Prepares Switch on Iraq and Downgrading of US Ties with Jordan and Israel - Debka

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Is Debka reliable? It certainly gives a reliable idea of what the Israeli right and the Israeli Defense Force are worrying about at any given moment. What is the situation? First, Iraq has broken the US military's reputation as "irresistible" and the summer war against Hezbollah has done the same for the IDF. Iran holds the keys and the winning cards in Iraq and Lebanon. Israel has always been considered both an strategic asset and a liability, but after their "andropausal moment" in Lebanon, more liability than asset. James Baker is back and the great "realist" consiglieri is a Texas oil person (PC for "awl may-hen"). I have never believed that the invasion of Iraq was about oil ("awl"), obviously what the oil business ("awlbidness") really wants above all is stability. The people with the oil have to sell it, they can't eat it. Iraq was a neocon project to cow the Middle East and give time to consolidate "Greater Israel"... They blew it. This issue is going to play havoc with the new Democratic Congress and drive a wedge between their anti-war base and their big Jewish donors. DS

Abstract: Monday, Nov. 13, former US secretary of state James Baker and ex-Congressman Lee Hamilton will present their recommendations on Iraq to President Bush in the Oval Office. Their audience will include an array of top administration officials: Vice President Dick Cheney, national security adviser Stephen Hadley, secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte and CIA Director Gen. Mike Hayden, as well as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Peter Pace. Incoming defense secretary Robert Gates will attend as a member of the bipartisan committee.(...) The timing and composition of the conference indicate that the larger decisions are already in the bag with regard to the new US policy on Iraq and a fresh approach to the radical side of the Middle East led by Iran and Syria, mainly at the expense of Jordan and Israel. Monday’s White House conference will be concerned mostly with tying up the last ends and deciding who performs which part of the revised strategy. DEBKAfile’s Washington sources report that Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who is due Monday will be one of the first foreign White House visitors to hear an update on the new policy. He will find he is required to listen rather than speak. Bush will use the occasion to inform him where America’s Iraq policy leaves Israel and the Palestinian dispute. Most of all, the US president will be looking ahead to Wednesday, Nov, 15, when he stops over in Moscow for unscheduled talks with Vladimir Putin. Air Force One was originally supposed to refuel in Moscow and continue without delay to Hanoi for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit later this week. And the Russian president would not normally have come to the airport to greet him. But the US president has decided to seize on the chance of persuading Putin to jump aboard the new American format on Iraq, Iran and the Middle East, on none of which the two leaders saw eye to eye before. The first sign of Bush-Putin collaboration is in the air. DEBKAfile’s Moscow sources report that Iran’s senior nuclear negotiator, national security adviser Ali Larijani spent two days of talks in Moscow on Nov. 10 and 11, during which Putin asked him if Tehran was willing to adapt its nuclear program after Washington agrees to direct negotiations. Once president Bush decided, after his election defeat, to subsume his Middle East policy to the bipartisan model, he lost no time in realigning its elements. He took now time out for briefing America’s regional allies and dependants - whether Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s Kurdish leaders, Abdullah King of Jordan or Ehud Olmert – to name a few. No senior Israeli official was abreast of the seismic changes in Washington’s attitude before the prime minister embarked for the United States. His first stop is Los Angeles to address the North American Jewish Federations Conference. Since he is accompanied by seven cabinet ministers, he can call a mini-cabinet session to update them on his talks with Bush. After those talks, Olmert will follow the best diplomatic traditions of US-Israeli relations, declaring that Israel has no better friend who is more committed to its security that the President of the United States and affirming full assent between the two governments on the issues of Iran and the Palestinians. He will gloss over the reality: the New US Middle East Policy will add another negative layer to Israel’s situation and further aggravate the fallout of its Lebanon War reverses. In fact, Jordan and Israel will be the first two countries in the direct line of fire from the reversal of the Bush administration’s Iraq strategy (which DEBKA disclosed was on the cards anyway ahead of the midterm election) Unlike Israel, King Abdullah - who gambled and lost on Bush standing foursquare behind his plans for Iraq – has at least two alternatives: He can make common cause with Syrian president Bashar Asad and join the anti-Israel Eastern Front with Iran, Hizballah and the radical Palestinian organizations operating out of Damascus or - He can turn south instead of north and accept the protection of the Saudi Arabian-Egyptian alliance. Israel, in contrast, will find itself high and dry in the Middle East. After being downgraded by the Lebanon War’s outcome, the Olmert government will be obliged to accept the crack of the American whip - at least until it can build a new security option that is not dependent on Washington’s new Middle East strategy. A clear-eyed evaluation of this prospect was ventured Friday, Nov. 10, by the new deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh, who urged Israel in a Jerusalem Post interview to prepare to thwart Iran’s drive for a nuclear capability “at all costs”. READ ALL

1 comment:

kelly said...

If the Dems piss of their donors, whether they be Jewish or otherwise, isn't there always someone waiting to take up the slack? Tobacco splits their donations, but eventually gets punished by one or the other party now and then. Isn't it part of the game?
thanks again for putting together these great sources!