Bush Administration Puts Arafat, and Arab world, on Notice

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

If this is true, how long will it be before total Arab world opposition to the U.S. led war sets in, with all its awesome cascading effects? But is this a true assessment?


Bush Administration Puts Arafat on Notice

9 November: In one of Washington’s most dramatic policy turnarounds in half a century, President George W. Bush has announced that a Middle East peace is not a prerequisite for winning the war against terror. “There’s no doubt in my mind,” he said, in a joint appearance with visiting British prime minister Tony Blair November 8. “We’ll bring al Quaeda to justice, peace or no peace in the Middle East.”

The US president thus abandoned the diplomatic campaign to buy Arab support for his world war on terror in the coin of a Middle East settlement, announcing he was going ahead with or without the Arabs. DEBKAfile’s political analysts term this policy somersault a mortal blow to US relations with the Arab world and a turning point in the ties between Washington and Jerusalem. It also devalues the various European Middle East mediation initiatives hinging on major Israeli concessions to the Palestinians and negates the accommodationist policies espoused by Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and his left-wing following.

But the worst drubbing of all, the US president reserved for Yasser Arafat in person. It was articulated clearly and curtly by his national security adviser Condoleezza Rice in a statement in Washington Thursday. President Bush will not see Yasser Arafat at the United Nations this weekend, she said, believing the Palestinian leader does not take seriously the US war on terrorism and the al Qaeda terror network. ”There are responsibilities that come with being the representative of the Palestinian people, “ she pointed out. “And that means to make certain that you do everything you can to lower the level of violence, everything that you can to root out terrorists.”

Those sentences are interpreted by DEBKAfile’s Middle East sources as a message to Arafat that the United States no longer regards him as a political leader with the requisite attributes for representing the Palestinian people - a blunt threat to Arafat’s leadership. To sharpen the message, Rice continued: “You cannot help us with al Qaeda and hug Hizballah – that’s not acceptable – or Hamas. The president continues to make that clear to Mr. Arafat and there are no plans to meet with Mr. Arafat in New York.”

Ms. Rice with those words incidentally confirmed what DEBKAfile has been reporting in the last 11 months, that Arafat has established a covert partnership with the Hizballah for collusion in terrorist operations against Israel. By this relationship, the Palestinian leader placed himself in range as a target in the American war on terror. Now the Americans have put him on notice; he must at this twelfth hour change his ways, drop his ties with terrorist groups such as Hizballah and suppress the Hamas, the Jihad Islami and the Front for the Liberation of Palestinian, or else he and the Palestinian people will take the consequences.

That ultimatum is meant not only for Arafat’s ears, but also for Syrian president Bashar Assad, who explains to the Americans that the Hizballah is only a popular liberation movement; and for Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, who the day before refused a US demand to freeze Hizballah assets in Beirut banks. That ultimatum has cleared the way for the United States to take its anti-terror war to Lebanon and fight all those who “hug” terrorist organizations.

The Bush statement and its follow-up by Rice are Washington’s reply to moderate Arab rulers, such as those of Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who made their backing for America’s war on terror conditional on a precise definition of the term terrorist and on a Middle East settlement acceptable to the Arabs. Those rulers, out of a natural concern to preserve their own regimes, have stalwartly refused to let their domestic terrorist groups be defined as terrorist and therefore fit targets for the US-led war on terror. The Bush administration has now short-circuited their maneuvers and put them on notice alongside Yasser Arafat.

Copyright DebkaFile, Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), November 08, 2001



-- jimmie-the-weed (thinkasur@aol.com), November 09, 2001.

Hooray. Right from the very beginning Bush made it loud and clear about terrorists: you are either with us or against us. Now maybe some of the terrorist-coddling states will finally get the message.

-- Big Cheese (bigcheese@multimax.net), November 09, 2001.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/middle_east/newsid_1646000/164 6921.stm

Friday, 9 November, 2001, 12:33 GMT

Saudi anger at US silence

The Saudi government is in the Mid-East spotlight

By BBC Middle East analyst Roger Hardy

Saudi Arabia has expressed anger and frustration at the failure of the Bush administration to come forward with an expected initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal reportedly said it was enough to "make a sane man go mad". His remarks follow a statement from the White House that President Bush would not meet the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat at the United Nations this weekend.

The crisis in US-Saudi relations pre-dates the 11 September attacks against the United States. In August, Crown Prince Abdullah - who runs day-to-day policy in Saudi Arabia - wrote to Mr Bush saying the US failure to stop Israeli-Palestinian violence was putting the kingdom in an impossible position. The Saudis say Mr Bush responded by promising a new Middle East initiative, and they are now furious that no such initiative has materialised.

US hard line

The Arabs had expected a major policy speech by Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, but there is still no clue as to when it may be delivered, and not much hope it will contain anything new. And now the White House has cancelled an expected meeting at the UN between President Bush and the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. US officials say they are in no mood to reward Mr Arafat since they say he is not serious in stamping out violence. As Mr Bush prepares to speak to the UN General Assembly on Saturday - where he is expected to renew his call for global backing in his fight against terrorism - he can ill afford a serious rift with his allies in the Arab world.

Copyright, British Broadcasting Corp., Fair Use for Educational and Research Purposes Only

-- Robert Riggs (rxr.999@worldnet.att.net), November 09, 2001.

It seems to me that what the US has done is put a bit of heat under Arafat and the Saudis. ALL these parties need to sweat a bit. They are taking the US desire to keep Arab support as weakness and have done little to really act.

Yes, the US wants Arab support, but the US NEEDS Arab action even more. The Saudis and Arafat have been playing games. That won't work any more.

As indicated in articles below, it may be that they are just moving Arafat down a notch (to Powell) to keep him humble and apply pressure. HE needs to have the status of having Bush's ear and he's been taking it for granted. Now he has to prove he is willing -- and able -- to stop the attacks on Israel AND take an active stand against the PNLF, Hamas, and Hezbolla. There are many high level "players" in the PLO who want power and have support. This includes ones that have proven they could negotiate a peace settlement for the PLO are ready to take over if Arafat fails.

Arafat blew in when he spurned Barak's offer. They had 90% of everything they wanted -- including 1/2 of Jerusalem. The PNLF attacked Israel to get the reprisals inorder to scuttle that deal.

The PNLF has to be controlled!! They are dead set against ANY settlement. People are blaming Israel (and rightfully so for their part because of Sharon). However, IMO, the reason there is not a settlement already is because Arafat can/will not control/reject the Militant PNLF, Hamas, Hezbolla.



Friday November 9 3:47 PM ET

Powell Tries to Heal Rift with Saudi Over Mideast

By Elaine Monaghan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Secretary of State Colin Powell on Friday tried to dispel impressions of a rift with key ally Saudi Arabia after it blasted President Bush for refusing to meet Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.

Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said Bush's failure to use his visit to the United Nations General Assembly this weekend to meet Arafat ``makes a sane man go mad.''

In an interview conducted in Washington Thursday with The New York Times, Prince Saud also said his government was ''angrily frustrated'' that the Bush administration had failed to begin a promised new Middle East peace initiative.

``Well, I was with the foreign minister last night and I can assure you he is quite sane and has not gone mad,'' Powell told MSNBC in an interview.

``Anybody who works with the Middle East on any one day or another might feel the tendency to be extremely frustrated, angry and annoyed. It happens to me all the time,'' he said.

``But we all are in this together and we're all going to move forward together to bring peace to this region.''

Powell said Prince Saud was very supportive of U.S. efforts including attempts to get violence ``down to nothing,'' asking Israel to remove its forces immediately from areas occupied in recent fighting and calls for a truce and talks.

He gave interviews to all major U.S. networks in a clear bid to reduce any impact of the remarks by the Saudi minister, whose country is a key partner in the U.S. war on terrorism following the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Powell told Fox News he was hoping to meet Arafat this weekend and that Bush would meet him ``when the time is right.''

He told CNN Bush was totally committed to remaining engaged in the peace process and striving to get Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate in line with a plan drawn up under the leadership of former U.S. Senator George Mitchell.

Publication of the Saudi minister's remarks followed accusations Thursday by national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that Arafat was not serious about the war on terrorism.

``The thing that is so sad is that what is needed to make peace is very little,'' Saud told the newspaper during a stop in Washington en route to New York for the U.N. General Assembly.

He said Bush must establish himself as an ``honest broker'' and ``cannot be an honest broker and only meet with one side.''

Saudi Arabia risked a backlash from conservatives to lend its support to the U.S. campaign to expel Osama bin Laden from Afghanistan for his alleged role in the Sept. 11 attacks.


But Crown Prince Abdullah, who has been running the day-to-day affairs of the oil-rich kingdom since King Fahd suffered a stroke in 1995, has repeatedly criticized Washington for what many Arabs see as its blind support for Israel during the Palestinian revolt against Israeli occupation.

A former Saudi intelligence chief has said the crown prince sent a letter to Bush before Sept. 11, saying the world's biggest oil exporter would be forced to review its ties with the United States unless Washington took active steps to resolve the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

Saudi Arabia depends on the United States for its defense but has found itself walking a tightrope with increasing uneasiness among many Saudis over the presence of U.S. troops in the birthplace of Islam.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Washington's main ally in the war against terrorism, met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Arafat last week.

Blair told Bush he believed the deadlock could be broken and presented Bush with new ideas.

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/htx/nm/20011109/pl/mideast_saudi_dc_3.html ===================

Powell Supportive of Palestinian State

By BARRY SCHWEID, AP Diplomatic Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Secretary of State Colin Powell affirmed his support Friday for establishing a Palestinian state on land held by Israel and said he was trying to arrange a meeting with Yasser Arafat to give peacemaking ``a jump-start.''

Powell said Israel should give up land for peace, as provided in U.N. Security Council resolutions adopted after the 1967 and 1973 Mideast wars.

A decline in violence could pay off in a reinforced cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians and a start on peacemaking gestures, Powell said in a series of television interviews.

Powell said Israel should reopen its borders to Palestinian workers - they were closed to try to screen out suicide bombers - and he urged Arafat to bring violence ``down to zero.''

Powell and Arafat are attending the special session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. Powell said he would like to meet with the Palestinian leader, but the Palestinian mission to the United Nations said Friday that no such meeting has been scheduled.

President Bush, who addresses the assembly on Saturday, has ruled out meeting with the Palestinian leader. The White House's position is that Arafat has not done enough to reduce violence.

Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres is due to meet with Powell on Sunday in New York. Powell also plans to meet with Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa.

``I have seen some progress in recent days and I hope over the weekend to improve upon that progress and keep it moving,'' Powell told CNN.

Powell said Bush was committed to seeing Israel and the Palestinians resume their negotiations on the basis of U.N. resolutions ``that provide land for peace.''

Palestinian statehood is implied by the resolutions, Powell said.

The administration supports Palestinian statehood, and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has accepted the idea, Powell said.

In Jerusalem, Peres suggested Friday that declaration of a Palestinian state could launch the reopening of peace talks. Sharon was unlikely to approve of the idea, although he has said Palestinian statehood was inevitable.

The dovish Peres and the tough-minded Sharon have differing views of a Palestinian state. Peres, for instance, would give the Palestinians control over part of Jerusalem.


-- Jackson Brown (Jackson_Brown@deja.com), November 09, 2001.

I take anything from Debka with a very large truckload of salt. They claimed there were Iraqi troops moving through Jordan months ago without anybody noticing! Debka seems to be mostly Israeli apocalyptic rightwinger's wishful thinking. Ciao

-- Kevin (kevijeps@telus_nospam_planet.net), November 10, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ