Skip to comments.Iraqi Move Puts Israel In Lonely U.S. Corner; Peres: Ousting Saddam a 'Must'
Posted on 09/19/2002 4:28:48 PM PDT by RCW2001
UNITED NATIONS Saddam Hussein's surprise acceptance of "unconditional" United Nations weapons inspections put Israel on the hot seat this week, forcing it into the open as the only nation actively supporting the Bush administration's goal of Iraqi regime change.
Israel and its supporters have insisted for weeks that while they sympathize with the administration's hard-line stance toward Baghdad, they were reluctant to advocate any position openly. The reluctance was fueled by fears that critics would claim the United States was going to war on Israel's behalf or even, as some have suggested, at Israel's behest.
But Israel's diffident stance appeared untenable this week after most capitals welcomed the Iraqi announcement Monday that it would accept the return of weapons inspectors without conditions. The Iraqi gambit seems to have reversed the momentum created by President Bush's forceful speech to the U.N. General Assembly on September 12 and left only Jerusalem, and to a lesser extent London, backing Washington in its determination for regime change in Iraq.
"The campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must," Foreign Minister Shimon Peres flatly told reporters this week in New York, after a meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell. "Inspections and inspectors are good for decent people, but dishonest people can overcome easily inspections and inspectors."
"Saddam Hussein is the dictator with the worst record," Peres said. "This is not a war against Iraq. It is a campaign against Saddam Hussein."
While the dramatic shift at the U.N. has pushed Jerusalem closer to Washington, diplomats and observers warned that it might increase American pressure on Israel both to moderate its stance toward Iraq and to soften its views on talks with the Palestinians.
In particular, observers pointed to heightened American fears of an Israeli retaliation to an Iraqi attack provoking a regional escalation especially at a time when the U.S. appears to be unexpectedly isolated in its confrontation with Baghdad.
"The U.S. would not welcome Israeli participation because it is not needed and would only complicate the political reaction from the Arabs," said Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA's counter-terrorism division. "It would also likely hurt Kuwait and Qatar, two Arab countries from which U.S. force will be deployed."
The same dangers would exist, several observers said, in the event of a total collapse of ongoing Israeli discussions with the Palestinians. Arab politicians, including King Abdullah of Jordan, have speculated that Israel might use the disruption of an American-Iraqi war to move against the Palestinians, warning that such an Israeli move would provoke "chaos."
Israeli officials acknowledged this week that they had received indications of American nervousness, though it was unclear whether or not there had been a formal American request for Israeli restraint on either front.
In the months leading up to this week's U.N. drama, Israeli officials have warned more than once that Israel would retaliate in the event of an Iraqi strike, hinting that they believed Washington would not object. Last week, however, Israel's military chief of staff, Lieutenant General Moshe Ya'alon, told the Knesset foreign affairs and defense committee that "America would be very happy if we are not involved in this attack, at least at this stage."
"Let them do the job alone," Ya'alon told lawmakers, according to Israeli news reports.
Israel's new ambassador to the United States, Danny Ayalon, quickly responded to Ya'alon's reported comments by telling reporters that Washington had not asked Israel to stay out of any military action against Iraq.
Gregg Sullivan, a State Department spokesman, confirmed that there were "no indications" that Washington had asked Israel to refrain from retaliating to an Iraqi attack.
"I suppose we'll talk about implications later on," he added.
Peres, asked whether Washington had made a formal request for Israeli restraint, remained vague.
"I would leave it to the circumstances," he said. "There are so many variations that it would be unwise to elect one."
He said that in the event of a war, however, Israel would behave as a "responsible soldier and a loyal one."
"There will be one war and one command," he said. "We don't suggest there will be two wars and two commands. Within that, Israel will take all the measures to defend itself and Powell said the U.S. would also take measures to protect us."
On Friday, an Iraqi cabinet minister threatened that Baghdad would attack Israel if it took part in an American military strike. Israel "will suffer a profound and an unforgettable strike if it interferes in the war," Iraqi Trade Minister Mohammed Mahdi Saleh told the United Arab Emirates newspaper Al-Khaleej.
In another nod to Washington's concerns, Peres said Israel would not halt ongoing discussions with the Palestinians in the event of a war.
"The Israeli policy is clear. We are not going to link the Palestinian issue to the Iraqi one, and we will continue our talks with the Palestinians no matter what happens," he said.
Sullivan, the State Department spokesman, said Washington had asked Israel to continue discussions with the Palestinians regardless of whether or not there is a war with Iraq.
Last weekend, Americans started providing security training to some 30 Palestinians, mostly members of Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, with Egyptian and Jordanian assistance and partial Saudi financing.
Diplomats agreed that Iraq had managed at least momentarily to halt the momentum created by Bush's speech last week at the U.N.
"Saddam was very clever on this one," a diplomat at the U.N. told the Forward. "He knows that most countries want the inspectors back in quickly but that only America and to a lesser degree Great Britain are demanding regime change."
After Iraq agreed to admit U.N. weapons inspectors without conditions, Washington dismissed the move as a tactic meant to split the Security Council and called for a new council resolution spelling out in precise terms the steps Iraq needs to take to meet U.N. demands.
While British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw expressed what he called a "high degree of skepticism" toward Iraqi compliance, Russia and China said the Iraqi acceptance of inspections was a victory for concerted international efforts.
"Now our main task is to ensure that the inspectors can get to Iraq as soon as possible and start their work," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters.
France held the middle ground, saying that the U.N. must take Iraq at its word and send inspectors, but that the U.N. must also hold Saddam to his words.
Despite the swirling debate, Sullivan said there were no substantial differences among council members. While he acknowledged Washington was the only country openly advocating regime change, he said it was a natural consequence of U.N. resolutions.
Nevertheless, he said the administration was willing to give the inspections "one last chance."
"We are ready to do it, although we are very skeptical and we believe Saddam will thwart them like he did in the past," he added. "When he fails, we will need to use other means."
The diplomat at the U.N. said that even if Washington agrees to the return of inspectors, there would still be a strong likelihood that disagreements would surface between Washington and Baghdad, either during negotiations over the scope of the inspectors' mandate or after the inspectors hit the ground in Iraq.
I'm sure it is. But still, they were upset and bent on telling this filtering site off. JD wrote a "press release" which he proceeded to press into the grubby little hands of folks like Madrussian, NimbleBunny, kudzu, Voegelin et al with a plea to spread the word to all cyberspace.
Geeez. You a firebug or something?
Apparently the Backward didn't get the memo.
So the Backward prefers Iraq and Saddam's corner?
Deathwish. Saddam is going down.
Will O.D. on B-2.
Im sure they were upset, and bent.
Madrussian, NimbleBunny, kudzu, Voegelin; yes, those are some grubby hands, I wouldnt press their hands, even if I was running for office. My keyboard rebels as I write this, it forgot them.
Nothing like being banned. It will generate hits, of the SamFran, NatVan, Duke variety, but to some a hit is a hit.
America seems to be moving the other way. Wonder what happens when the power goes off in Iraq.
Handsome dude, love the shirt, the fingers, and especially the napkin (from Shoneys, I suspect) on his head. Bad attitude, though, good thing he was "interacting" with the press, wouldn't want him to break his keyboard fingers. Some forums would be out multiple hits.
Think we know him?
In fact, LF has been open to all since late August.
Does JimRob know you waste his bandwidth trashing on other sites?
SurfControl realized their error and reclassified the site as a news site.
So, you're an advocate of censorship then?
The spam posts are often rated down and people have the ability to adjust their view threshhold so they don't even see it.
I'll bet you a cigar that the "reclassification" won't last ;).
Oh, please, if you fall off that high horse you might hurt yourself.
I dont have a lot of interest in a long winded discussion of the merits of LF.
Re your censorship nonsense, free speech doesnt guarantee publication as Im sure you well know. That's why your skunk isn't below the fold on the NYT. Competing media providers, whether print or internet, enforce standards of what they wish to publish, or what commentary they wish to include on their site, and consumers exercise choice as to whom they wish to patronize. Thats not censorship any more than the fact that my local Ford agency doesnt sell Chevies is restraint of trade.
Some sites, like FR or LP use their own standards of content propriety in determining what they will allow to be posted.
LF used restricted membership (past tense, I know, its open now) to control the viewpoint of its membership, and uses the LF mob to rate (censor, in your terms) the spam posts.
Same result. Posters can vote with their keyboards as to which method they prefer.
Is this a particularly pathetic attempt to have the facts about "LibertyForum" hidden?
Let's have a few facts. Kudzu, by her own admission from Saudi Arabia and an avid antisemite, has close to 20% of all posts on the forum. Texoma, known to many of us, have around 14-15%. Laconas, old nazi, is #3, I think. These three would seem to be close to 50% of all posts on LF. In addition, there's handful of hi-volume posters with more or less Nazi/Jihadist views - Skunk with his slimedripping holocoust celebrations, Voegelin with his Jews under every bed, and JRadcliffe with his screeches about "going to KILL everyone trying to get him to obey a law he doesn't like" are quite representative of the forum overall tone.
Think you stand a snowball's chance in h*ll? I don't.
False. LF used a restricted membership during its beta testing phase only to test the software, server load, etc. It wasn't restricted to control any viewpoint.
...and uses the LF mob to rate (censor, in your terms) the spam posts.
False. Users can set their rating threshhold to the lowest setting and see every post including the spam. No posts are deleted.
That's why it's important to save bandwidty, global warming shortage (or is it controled by a worldwide conspiracy) you know.
Navel gazing? That like cow tipping?
So it's true what I hear, there are anti-semites, or should I say Jewhaters, there. Not many here anymore. Most of them migrated I guess. :)
Actually, they're not. Usually, it goes something like this:
Mr. Normal: Normal, sane argument. Mr. Joohater: But the Joooos...... Mr. Normal: Another piece of sanity. Mr. Joohater: But the Jooooos..... Ad infinitum.
Your classic or garden variety Antisemite has a Jewish problem which can only be solved in the way Hitler sought to, or if he is put down. Literally. His Jewish problem is over when all Jews are dead or when he is dead. He is mentally as incurable as a pedophile (and there is probably a considerable overlap between the two groups).
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.