Friday, November 14, 2003

Blumenthal on Blair, Bush and Sharon

Sidney Blumenthal has written an incredible behind-the-scenes look at how Bush screwed both his poodle, Tony Blair, and the Palestinians, in kowtowing to Sharon and the neocons who, hidden behind the scenes, control the deep intrigues in the White House. In this case, Eliot Abrams was the neocon point man whose job it was to scupper any chance Blair and the Palestinians might have at negotiating a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On Abrams:

"During the Iran-contra scandal, Abrams had helped set up a rogue foreign policy operation. His soliciting of $10m from the Sultan of Brunei for the illegal enterprise turned farcical when he juxtaposed numbers on a Swiss bank account and lost the money. He pleaded guilty to lying to Congress and then spent his purgatory as director of a neo-conservative thinktank, denouncing the Oslo Accords and arguing that 'tomorrow's lobby for Israel has got to be conservative Christians, because there aren't going to be enough Jews to do it'."

Abrams ensured that peace would be impossible by undermining the position of Palestinian prime minister, Abu Mazen:

"Abu Mazen was scheduled to come to Washington to meet Bush a month later. For his political survival, he desperately required US pressure on the Sharon government to make concessions on building settlements on the West Bank. Abu Mazen sent a secret emissary to the White House: Khalil Shikaki. I met Shikaki in Ramallah, where he gave his account of this urgent trip. He met Elliot Abrams and laid out what support was needed from Bush if Abu Mazen - and therefore the road map - were to survive. Abrams told him, he says, that Bush 'could not agree to anything' due to domestic political considerations: Bush's reliance on the religious right, his refusal to offend the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the demands of the upcoming election. Shikaki pleaded that Abu Mazen presented 'a window of opportunity' and could not go on without US help. 'He has to show he's capable of doing it himself,' Abrams answered dismissively."

Sharon's man in the White House managed to avoid the thing Sharon fears most in the world: peace. The Palestinians and the Israelis continue to suffer, and Blair is made to look like a darned fool.