Dear cj, The report below, from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is very revealing. For one thing, it is a good example of how major U.S. policy is generally determined - not by debate among our elected representatives, but offline - outside the official government process - under the direction of elite think tanks, of which CFR is the most prominent. In "Toward an American Revolution" (available in full on our website), Jerry Fresia shows that such offline decision making is precisely what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they designed the Constitution. In order to glean the full meaning of a report like this one, it is necessary to read between the lines, to notice what is not said, and to correlate the information with other signs of elite thinking, such as changes in the propaganda content of the mass media. See what you can figure out, and I'll share my own observations after the report. rkm ============================================================================ Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2000 12:13:01 -0400 From: Nurev Ind Research <•••@••.•••> Organization: Nurev Independent Research To: Activist Mailing List <•••@••.•••> CC: "•••@••.•••" <•••@••.•••>, Columbia List <•••@••.•••>, Eternera Mailing List <•••@••.•••> Subject: Here is who is responsible for the current conditions in the Middle East. ---<snip>--- Understanding the New World Order by Joshua2 BY WHAT AUTHORITY IS THE CFR MAKINING POLICY FOR THE USA ,THE MID-EAST, AND THE WORLD? --- After the failure of the Oslo peace accords, the CFR who are neither elected nor appointed by anyone, gathered their Court Jews and House Arabs to try to salvage a process that benefits neither Jews nor Arabs in the Mid-East. The purpose of these efforts is to claim stability for the area, and form a trading block of nations with rules favoring International Big Business. It is clear that the Palestinians will not get what they want. It is clear that Israel will not have it's security where it needs to be. This is a recipe for disaster. ---<snip>--- ------------------------- U.S. Middle East Policy and the Peace Process Report of an Independent Task Force Sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations Henry Siegman, Project Coordinator The Council on Foreign Relations, Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan national membership organization founded in 1921, is dedicated to promoting understanding of international affairs through the free and civil exchange of ideas. The Council's members are dedicated to the belief that America's peace and prosperity are firmly linked to that of the world. From this flows the mission of the Council: to foster America's understanding of its fellow members of the international community, near and far, their peoples, cultures, histories, hopes, quarrels, and ambitions; and thus to serve, protect, and advance America's own global interests through study and debate, private and public. THE COUNCIL TAKES NO INSTITUTIONAL POSITION ON POLICY ISSUES AND HAS NO AFFILIATION WITH THE U.S. GOVERNMENT. ALL STATEMENTS OF FACT AND EXPRESSIONS OF OPINION CONTAINED IN ALL ITS PUBLICATIONS ARE THE SOLE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE AUTHOR OR AUTHORS. The Council on Foreign Relations will sponsor independent Task Forces from time to time when it believes that a current foreign policy or international economic debate of critical importance to the United States can benefit from the advice of a small group of people of divergent backgrounds and views. Most, but not all, Task Force members are also members of the Council, and the Council provides the group with staff support. The goal of the Task Force is to reach a consensus on the issue; if a strong and meaningful consensus cannot be reached, the goal is to state concisely alternative positions. The Report of the Task Force reflects the general policy thrust and judgments reached by the group, although not all members necessarily subscribe fully to every finding and recommendation in the Report. For further information about the Council or this Task Force, please contact the Public Affairs Office, Council on Foreign Relations, 58 East 68th Street, New York, NY 10021. Copyright1997 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. The Report may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and except by reviewers for the public press), and without written permission from the publisher. CONTENTS Acknowledgments Preface Executive Summary Findings and Recommendations Introduction The End of Incrementalism Defining American Interests in the Middle East U.S. Priorities in the Peace Process The Syrian-Israeli Track The Need for a Bold Initiative: A New Declaration of Principles Refugees The Palestinian Economy The Role of Allies in the Peace Process Preparing for a Middle East at Peace Members of the Task Force Dissenting Views Additional Views ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The work of the independent Task Force on U.S. Middle East Policy and the Peace Process went through several stages, each contributing significantly to the final product. During the initial study phase of its work, the Task Force was chaired by former Senator William S. Cohen, who resigned from his chairmanship and from the Task Force when he was nominated by President Clinton to serve as secretary of defense in December 1996. During this initial study phase, the work of the Task Force was organized and directed by Stephen P. Cohen, president of the Institute for Middle East Peace and Development, who produced summaries and syntheses of presentations made to the Task Force by a wide range of Middle East experts and of the Task Force's own deliberations. In the second phase of the Task Force's work, a new document was prepared by two members of the Task Force, Shibley Telhami and Dov Zakheim. That document, which underwent change in significant respects, served as a basis for the Task Force's final recommendations. I wish to express my deepest appreciation to Secretary William Cohen for his wise counsel and guidance while he served as chair of the Task Force during its early study phase, although he took no part in the Task Force's subsequent deliberations and takes no responsibility for its recommendations. We are equally indebted to Stephen P. Cohen, Shibley Telhami, and Dov Zakheim (none of whom is necessarily in full agreement with the final report), without whose efforts the Task Force's exertions would not have reached a successful conclusion. We are indebted to James R. Tanenbaum; Stroock, Stroock & Lavan; the Jonathan and Frances Ilany Charitable Foundation; John C. Sites, Jr.; and the Monterey Fund, Inc., whose generous financial support made the Task Force Report possible. My thanks also to Barbara McCurtain, Magda L. Aboulfadl, and Jonathan S. Paris of the U.S./Middle East Project staff for their administrative support. Our largest debt is to the members of the Task Force who labored patiently for nearly a year to fashion a set of thoughtful recommendations to help put the peace process back on track. If the Report contributes even in small measure to this goal, I know they will feel more than amply rewarded. PREFACE The independent Task Force on U.S. Middle East Policy and the Peace Process, sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations, began its work when the Middle East peace process still seemed "irreversible" but was already encountering serious difficulties. That was in the aftermath of the traumatic terrorist acts committed against Israeli civilians in February and March 1996 and immediately following the May 1996 Israeli elections, which brought a new Likud-led government to power. The Task Force's undertaking--to assess U.S. peace policy in light of these developments--assumed greater urgency with every passing day as the peace process encountered ever greater difficulties and then reached the dangerous impasse that it now faces. The Task Force's mandate was to identify important U.S. interests in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf and to examine how U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israel negotiations can best serve to advance those interests. It was not the Task Force's mandate to engage in a broad review of U.S. policy toward the region. The impasse in the peace process has created conflicting reactions in the foreign policy community and in the public at large. Some argue for greater American distance from the conflict, since "we cannot want peace more than the parties themselves," while others urge a far deeper and more proactive American role, given the potential damage to important American interests in the region if the conflict is not resolved. In view of the passions that are aroused by the Israel-Arab conflict, the results achieved by the Task Force are quite extraordinary. To be sure, the Task Force did not escape those passions, and several of its members dissent vigorously from some of the Task Force's main recommendations. But even the dissenting minority (with but one exception) agrees with several of the Task Force's major findings: that the incremental "confidence-building" measures no longer work and have now turned into a prescription for conflict; that the time has come for the parties to define a framework for the negotiation of final-status issues; that a Palestinian state, however constrained in its sovereignty, is an essential component of such a framework, along with measures that assure Israel's security (for the minority that dissented, the trade-off for statehood is Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem); and that the United States must be deeply engaged in the peace process, even if it cannot and should not impose a settlement. They also agree that the first priority of U.S. peace efforts must be the Palestinian track, even as efforts continue to get Syria/Lebanon-Israel negotiations underway. Members of the Task Force agree that the situation has deteriorated to a perilous point and that without strong and determined U.S. leadership to put the peace process back on track, it can easily lead to renewed conflict, with potentially devastating consequences not only for Arabs and Israelis but for important American interests in the area as well. Henry Siegman Project Coordinator Executive Summary Major setbacks to the Arab-Israeli peace process in the past year have jeopardized the historic opportunity to achieve broad Arab-Israeli reconciliation that emerged with the Oslo Agreements between Israel and the Palestinians. The current impasse threatens a total collapse of the peace process, which could have the most serious consequences for important American interests in the region. These interests include the uninterrupted flow of oil, the survival and security of the state of Israel, the security and stability of friendly Arab states, and the prevention of both terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. A broad Arab-Israeli peace is therefore an important American interest, and the sooner the better. Palestinian-Israeli peace remains the most essential step for a broader regional conciliation and must remain the first priority of American diplomacy. THE END OF INCREMENTALISM AND FACILITATION Since the Oslo Accords, two major principles have characterized U.S. policy toward the peace process: 1. Acceptance of Oslo's incremental approach of progressive movement toward ever larger areas of Palestinian self-governance that is matched by Palestinian efforts to prevent the impairment of Israel's security. Progress in this incremental process was expected to build to a level of mutual trust that would enable the parties to tackle the more difficult final-status issues of borders, settlements, Jerusalem, and refugees. 2. U.S. reliance on Israel and the Palestinians to negotiate their own agreements with minimal American intervention, except to help manage crises when they occur, provide moral and political support, and rally international backing. These two principles served the peace process well up to the Hebron agreement of January 1997. However, the collapse of confidence between Israelis and Palestinians over the last year and the ability of opponents of peace on both sides to exploit incremental measures to their advantage have brought the peace process to a dangerous impasse. The two major principles of U.S. policy no longer work: Incrementalism, far from building confidence, now threatens to undermine it further; and an American role limited to facilitation will not enable the parties to resume successful negotiations. The time has come for a change in U.S. policy and for a bold American initiative to induce Israel and the Palestinians to agree on the broad contours of a final settlement that can satisfy the minimal aspirations of both parties. Only the promise that these aspirations are achievable can revitalize the peace process and sustain it to a successful conclusion. While the United States cannot and should not impose a settlement on the parties, only an American willingness to offer a road map to a final settlement and to influence the parties to proceed in that direction is likely to break through the current impasse. ------------------------------------------------------------------------ MIDDLE EAST ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Secretary Baker and Ambassador Djerejian participated in the consultation hosted by the Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation in Washington on May 31, 1995. The discussion involved American, Arab, and Israeli officials and leaders in the business community. Both Secretary Baker and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres spoke before the group on the future of the Arab-Israeli peace process. The main points Secretary Baker made were: * Palestinian self-government and Israeli security have become inextricably linked. For the Palestinian Authority, Israeli security must be a top priority; if the Palestinian Authority does not improve Israel's security, there will be no Palestinian self-government. For Israel, the future of the Palestinians is a top priority; only a stable Palestinian society can deliver long-term security to Israel. * The United States should take an assertive role in Israeli-Syrian talks. This should include the presentation of concrete proposals to break deadlocks on critical issues of land, peace, and security and, if necessary, the preparation of a draft agreement to be used as a working text in further negotiations between the two sides. The United States should be prepared to station troops on the Golan Heights as part of a multilateral peacekeeping or monitoring force if such a force is necessary for a final agreement between Israel and Syria. A final agreement between Syria and Israel will not only reinforce Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and strengthen peace with Jordan, but will lay the necessary groundwork for the economic cooperation that provides the best long-term guarantee of a stable Middle East. * In large part because of American engagement, the Middle East today enjoys a unique window of opportunity. But there are extremists who want to see that window slammed shut. America must do what it can to see that the window remains open. This requires steadfast involvement in the peace process, and it also includes a regional military presence sufficient to contain the ambitions of renegade states such as Iran and Iraq. Finally, it means sustained support for Israel and the moderate Arab states. Ambassador Djerejian participated in the consultation sponsored by the U.S./Middle East Project of the Council on Foreign Relations at the Aspen Institute Wye Center in Maryland on June 11-20, where he made a presentation on Syria in the peace process. Ambassador Djerejian gave a number of speeches on the Arab-Israeli peace process and U.S. policy toward Islam, including presentations before the Arab-American Anti-Defamation League, the Temple Beth Israel Congregation in Houston, the Houston Philosophical Society, and the Tiger Bay Club in Pensacola, Florida. He also appeared on McNeil-Lehrer PBS News and CNN on the Israeli-Syrian negotiations. ---<snip>--- ============================================================================ Dear cj, One thing that is very clear is that a significant shift in American policy is prescribed by this report: THE END OF INCREMENTALISM AND FACILITATION ... ... The United States should be prepared to station troops on the Golan Heights as part of a multilateral peacekeeping or monitoring force if such a force is necessary for a final agreement between Israel and Syria. The U.S. has been wary of stationing troops in and around Israel - recall the fiasco when the Marine compound was bombed following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon. They left pronto. U.S. troops on the Golan heights would signal a major policy shift, and would need to be backed up by all kinds of security forces, including most likely a significant naval presence. And once such a force was in place, the argument for keeping it there would be all too obvious. If trouble continues, its presence is obviously needed; if things calm down, why would we take away the successful stabilizing force? But there is little in the report to indicate that this shift in policy is going to fundamentally relieve tensions. Consider these excerpts: A broad Arab-Israeli peace is therefore an important American interest, and the sooner the better. Palestinian-Israeli peace remains the most essential step for a broader regional conciliation and must remain the first priority of American diplomacy. Palestinian self-government and Israeli security have become inextricably linked. For the Palestinian Authority, Israeli security must be a top priority; if the Palestinian Authority does not improve Israel's security, there will be no Palestinian self-government. A final agreement between Syria and Israel will not only reinforce Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and strengthen peace with Jordan, but will lay the necessary groundwork for the economic cooperation that provides the best long-term guarantee of a stable Middle East. There is no criticism of Israel for its brutality in the occupied territories and against its own citizens, for its use of torture and death squads, and massive bombardment - instead the victim is blamed: the 'problem' is only that the Palestinians aren't policing themselves aggressively enough! If this 'broad Arab-Israeli peace' can be sold to the general region, under whatever inducements are implied by 'economic cooperation', then the discontent of the Palestinian people will be kept in a pressure cooker, with a stooge Palestinian government holding the lid on, and U.S. Marines nearby to back them up. Rather than peace, we will have institutionalized ongoing tension, with the U.S. keeping a direct hand in its management. And that, as I mentioned in the accompanying posting, is Uncle Sam's favorite way of keeping control of global affairs. --- And I don't think we can treat this report as simply a think-piece, which might be ignored. The situation has been allowed to deteroriate to the point where a shift is necessary, as the report itself makes clear in very strong terms: Members of the Task Force agree that the situation has deteriorated to a perilous point and that without strong and determined U.S. leadership to put the peace process back on track, it can easily lead to renewed conflict, with potentially devastating consequences not only for Arabs and Israelis but for important American interests in the area as well. The current impasse threatens a total collapse of the peace process, which could have the most serious consequences for important American interests in the region. These interests include the uninterrupted flow of oil, the survival and security of the state of Israel, the security and stability of friendly Arab states, and the prevention of both terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It is clear that something must be done promptly, and there is every reason to believe this report, presuming it is bonafide, defines the policy guidelines to be followed. It has been under preparation for some time and this has been well-known in high-level government circles: During the initial study phase of its work, the Task Force was chaired by former Senator William S. Cohen, who resigned from his chairmanship and from the Task Force when he was nominated by President Clinton to serve as secretary of defense in December 1996. --- The report describes the role of the Golan heights force as limited to guaranteeing Israel's security vis-a-vis Syria. But that kind of guarantee requires primarily air power, and could be more appropriately provided by use of carrier-based forces. The prescription of ground forces suggests other missions for the force, and in fact other missions are implicit in the report itself. If Israel's security is to be guaranteed to Israel's satisfaction, then ongoing containment of Palestinian unrest will need to be maintained - and it is highly doubtful that a stooge Palestinian government will succeed at that on their own. So who is to provide backup? Who is going to send in helicopters and tanks and special forces when required? If it's the Israelis, then the situation hasn't really changed, and the 'broad peace' will not be achieved - the conditions found unacceptable to the elite report writers will continue. Israeli military actions against Palestinian civilians is precisely what has the Arab world on the brink of jihad - and unless that part of the equation is changed, the Arab world is unlikely to buy into the CFR plan. But if not Israeli helicopters then whose? I suggest that the covert motive behind the Golan-heights force is to provide a solution not for the Syrian theater, but rather for the Palestinian one. If the U.S. promises the Arab states that it will guranatee an end to Israeli raids, that would probably be the key to getting their buy-in, and the Golan-heights contingent creates a credible force to back up such a promise. The force would have a dual mission: containing Palestinian unrest, and preventing Israeli retaliation when suppressive measures fail. Isreal would obviously object to such a restriction on its 'right of self defense', and so Washington would need to exhibit uncharacteristic firmness with it's upstart client. And such a firmness is clearly recommended by the report: While the United States cannot and should not impose a settlement on the parties, only an American willingness to offer a road map to a final settlement and to influence the parties to proceed in that direction is likely to break through the current impasse. The U.S. is to provide the roadmap, and the U.S. must 'influence the parties to proceed in that direction'. If the U.S. isn't willing to do that, we won't get past the impasse. Thus 'influence' is being used in the sense of 'play hardball', which we already knew because of the proposal to station ground troops in this volatile arena. You can't get any more hardball than that. * The United States should take an assertive role in Israeli-Syrian talks. This should include the presentation of concrete proposals to break deadlocks on critical issues of land, peace, and security and, if necessary, the preparation of a draft agreement to be used as a working text in further negotiations between the two sides. Here 'draft agreeement' is being used, whereas above the world 'roadmap' was used. In both cases we're talking about a document prepared unilateraly by Washington, and imposed on both sides. This has become Washingon's standard mode of operation, in its frequent role as 'resolver of unresolvable conflicts'. While the conflict rages, the U.S. continues to insist on its solution until the parties are forced to agree in order to keep the situation from deterioriating even further. rkm ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ featured article: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Whole_Earth_Review/Escaping_the_Matrix.shtml A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .