Skip to comments.BBC Predicts Bush's Stance=tension with hardliners in his cabinet and with Israel
Posted on 04/04/2002 5:55:45 PM PST by jraven
Analysis: US policy change carries risks
By Jon Leyne BBC Washington correspondent
Under intense pressure at home and abroad, President Bush has finally taken decisive action to intervene in the Middle East. This is a major change of policy that carries many risks for the President.
In his speech in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Bush began with the usual calls on Yasser Arafat to control terrorism.
"Terror must be stopped. No nation can negotiate with terrorists, for there is no way to make peace with those whose only goal is death."
But Mr Bush went on to demand for the first time that the Israeli Government should begin withdrawing its forces from the Palestinian cities recently occupied.
"I speak as a committed friend of Israel," he insisted. "I speak out of a concern for its long-term security, the security that will come with a genuine peace."
'Collision course' But the president went much further than just calling for a ceasefire. He outlined a vision of the future of the Middle East. That vision includes the most explicit calls to date for a viable Palestinian state and more pressure on the Israeli Government to stop settlement activity.
"Israel should also show a respect, a respect for and concern about the dignity of the Palestinian people who are and will be their neighbours," he urged. Those demands present a major challenge to the government of Ariel Sharon. They could set Israel and the United States on a collision course. Final warning to Arafat President Bush's speech also contained what look like ominous words for Yasser Arafat.
"As Israel steps back, responsible Palestinian leaders and Israel's Arab leaders must step forward... I expect better leadership and I expect results."
That will be read, in some quarters, as a final warning to the Palestinian leader.
The immediate question is whether that final warning will be delivered, in person, by Colin Powell next week.
Already the Israelis have announced that the US envoy, Anthony Zinni, is to be allowed to visit Mr Arafat.
But even if the Israelis are agreeable, the secretary of state would still have to explain why he can meet Mr Arafat when the vice-president ruled it out a couple of weeks ago.
Nevertheless, after days and weeks of internal battles within his administration, the president has finally laid out an ambitious new agenda for the Middle East, that answers many of his critics.
The challenge now is how much political capital he is willing to spend to achieve these goals.
It is an ambitious agenda that puts President Bush on a potential collision course both with the Israeli Government and with hardliners within his own administration.
"when will they ever learn?"
Since September the 11th, Ive delivered this message: Everyone must choose; youre either with the civilized world or youre with the terrorists. All in the Middle East also must choose, and must move decisively in word and deed against terrorist acts.
The chairman of the Palestinian Authority has not consistently opposed or confronted terrorists.
At Oslo and elsewhere, Chairman Arafat renounced terror as an instrument of his cause, and he agreed to control it. Hes not done so. The situation in which he finds himself today is largely of his own making. Hes missed his opportunities and thereby betrayed the hopes of the people he is supposed to lead.
Given his failure, the Israeli government feels it must strike at terrorist networks that are killing its citizens. Yet Israel must understand that its response to these recent attacks is only a temporary measure. All parties have their own responsibilities, and all parties owe it to their own people to act.
Would a wimp say this?
Now we know who is in charge of the US.
For the first time, we applaud without any reserve the American President's stance. A fair US policy towards all parties involved in the Middle East is definetly the only policy which will bring Peace in that Holy Land.
To: The President of the United States, G.W.Bush
Let them all know now that we all had enough.
Although the writer is a European so-called "Anti-Semite, Anti-American, anti-, anti, etc etc, who always incited others to reason, hereby, publicly wishes wholeheartedly you succeed on this chosen path of Justice and Peace for the sake of all the innocent populations of the area. Yes, Trouble-makers, blood-thirsty vengeful so-called "leaders" have no place among us in international relations.
In this path you and your Country will surely enjoy historical greatness, provided you persist to hear at all times the wisest advisor of all, JUSTICE AND FAIRNESS. Don't deceive us anymore and we shall stay the closest friends of America as we always were. From us you can expect not only an unpleasant but fair criticism, but also, a true support.
May God help and guide you!
would a "wimp" tell isreal to "negotiate" with the people that are trying to "wipe them of the face of the earth"? yes.
ronald reagan shut this "terrorist" up....what did gwb do? finance yassir?
Hypocrisy, Denial, Betrayal
we waited for 8 years with the klinton's n the demonRATS...
"let george do it deplomacy..."