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Friday, December 15, 2006

Iraq - Arab-Israeli Peace Linkage - in which direction?


Almost everyone who knows, seems to agree that there is linkage between the Iraq fiasco and the Israeli-Arab conflict. There is linkage, but not in the direction that they think there is linkage.

The Iraq Study Group report proclaims, "The United States will not be able to achieve its goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Like so much else in the report, the statement is backed by nothing more than the authority of the study group. No logical reasons are given as to why, if the Israeli-Arab conflict is solved, the Sunni and the Shia and the Kurds of Iraq will lie down together, and a little child shall lead them.

In the New York Times, Ethan Bronner tells us Israel Is Not Linked to Iraq, Except That It Is. Except that Bronner pulls a bait and switch ploy. His article doesn't hardly mention Iraq. All the linkage that is discussed is linkage to the Iranian problem:

... Mr. Olmert called for the establishment of a sovereign Palestinian state and said he would seek the help of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries to make that a reality.

For the first time he praised elements of a 2002 Saudi-sponsored plan calling for full diplomatic relations between all Arab states and Israel in exchange for such a Palestinian state (under certain conditions). Senior Israeli officials have met in recent months not only with Jordanians and Egyptians but - most notably - with Saudis.

The reason: Israel's overriding concern is the rise of Iran and its nuclear program, especially because Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called often for Israel to be wiped off the map and has dismissed the Holocaust as a myth.
"The Saudis are saying to us, 'We are afraid of Iran and want to work with you
but the Palestinian issue has to be solved,' " a senior Israeli official said...

The unstated assumption is that Iran is behind the unrest in Iraq. But all the orthodox thinkers, and especially the Iraq Study Group, would be the first to protest that Iran is only a small part of the problem - they are taking advantage of the situation perhaps, but surely, they didn't cause the disaffection of the Sunni minority.

Continued here

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