cj#1138.2> The Middle East – Washington’s plans

2000-10-16

Richard Moore

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: "•••@••.•••" <•••@••.•••>,
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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 
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