Gerald Honigman is a Florida educator who has done extensive doctoral work in Middle East studies, has lectured on numerous university and other platforms. He has debated many of the best Arab and pro-Arab academics in public debates and on television. Mr. Honigman is widely published in academic journals, magazines, newspapers and other publications.
Sun May 06, 2007 10:49 am It's All In The Timing...Rice's Meeting With Syrians
It's All In The Timing...
by Gerald A. Honigman
I'm a reasonable sort of guy...really.
I'm all for logic, exchange of ideas, and so forth. In fact, I'm often accused of being too loquacious...if you know what I mean (my publishers certainly do).
Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice was at Sharm el-Sheikh on May 3rd attending an international what-to-do-about-Iraq conference. The Syrians have been pressing for better ties with the United States--ties soured due to their murderous shenanigans in Lebanon and Iraq contrary to Washington's desires.
Notice I left out their actions involving Israel. Not an accident...
Secretary Rice met with her Syrian counterpart, Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, the first high-level contact in a few years. This marked a turnaround from the previous approach which required a change in Syrian behavior first.
While this was recommended earlier by the Baker-Hamilton Commission (see http://www.britanniaradio.co.uk/?q=node/375 ), it had largely been placed by the Bush administration onto the backburner until a marked change in Syrian behavior was forthcoming.
The Syrians or their local stooges have been eliminating one Lebanese leader and patriot after another who dared oppose Damascus's vision of Lebanon as being merely its western province. Additionally, good evidence points to Syria as being the haven for both Saddam's missing WMDs and "militants" crossing the border into Iraq.
So, Washington has good reason to be miffed.
But, as I said above, what's wrong with a chat?
In theory, perhaps nothing...
But in this case the logical outcome of such dialogue is indeed a problem.
The mid-19th century British Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, once said something to the effect that nations don't have permanent friends...just interests. Keep this in mind.
The New York Times report about Rice's meeting quoted American officials as stating that they do not plan to trade away Lebanon for Syria's help in Iraq. As State Department spokesman, Sean McCormack, put it, "The Lebanese people have no better friend than the United States."
Now, who could find fault with that statement? Certainly not me.
But here's the problem...
The State Department has long known what carrot of choice would be used at the proper moment--and it ain't Lebanon.
As I had written much earlier, despite Syria's deadly hegemonic attitudes and actions towards what it sees as its Lebanese "province;" despite its appalling treatment of Kurds, native Jews, and others; despite its support for terrorists undermining Iraq's attempt at democracy; despite the great likelihood that many of Saddam's weapons of mass destruction found their way to Syria; despite Damascus' support of major terrorist organizations whose aim is the destruction of the Israel and giving safe haven to those organizations within its own borders; despite its record as mass slaughterer of any and all who decent, author of the infamous "Hama Solution;" etc., etc., and so forth...America would be squeezing the Jews right now--not the Syrians-- if circumstances were just a bit different.
You see, it's Israel--not Lebanon--who the Foggy Folks have in mind as the main sacrificial offering.
Keep in mind that not long ago Israel had suggested, itself, that it wanted to resume negotiations with Syria--the nation which, along with Iran, used Hizbullah last summer in a proxy war against Jerusalem.
The Foggy Folks demanded that the Jews not do this.
The time was not yet ripe as far as America--or least the State Department--was concerned.
To hell with what the Jews felt their own, on the scene and in the bull's eye interests required.
But now, things have taken continuous turns for the worse in Iraq--despite Washington's honorable efforts. Any "progress" will most likely not survive an American withdrawal.
So now, it's time to bring out the icing on the cake as far as Syria is concerned...
Former Secretary of State James Baker III pledged to Assad I, butcher of Damascus, during George I's administration, a total Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights.
George II made Baker, Bush close family friend and quail hunting partner (whose law firm represents the Saudis and other Arabs as well), his Special Middle East Envoy. Baker has worked behind the scenes for decades--among other things, taking good care of all of his and his buddies' lucrative Arab petrodollar connections (Condi even has an oil tanker named for her in the Chevron fleet). Additionaly, Baker has a most definite Jew problem as well (not that he's unique--especially in the circles he hangs out in). See http://www.paktoday.com/honig9.htm for a bit more about this.
Note that upon the breakup of the Ottoman Turkish Empire after World War I, the Golan was part of the original 1920 Mandate of Palestine until Britain and France did some imperial trading. The territory had changed hands often throughout the centuries. Jews also had a long history here.
Recall how Syria used the Heights to rain death and terror on Israelis below prior to the 1967 War--which it also largely instigated. And, in 1973, Israel was attacked on its holiest day,Yom Kippur, from the Syrian side of the Heights as well. This time, the combined Arab assault almost succeeded in Israel's destruction. Today, the Syrians have even better weaponry and the same murderous intentions as far as Jews are concerned.
Not long ago, an Israeli Prime Minister offered, as was done after 1967, an almost complete return of the Heights in exchange for true peace. The exception would cover a tiny stretch of land protecting Israel's water sources.
Think about what usually happens to such land when others are attacked from it. Are the victims that generous and understanding in the aftermath of wars launched from those territories aimed at their very destruction?
Think about how much territory--including land acquired by the United States far away from home--has changed hands this way...
Israel currently controls the passes Syrian tanks would use to roll down hill to kill Jews. From the Heights, Israeli artillery can send Assad II and friends a calling card if need be. Right now Syrian artillery and gunners can't do this anymore to Jews. And right now Israel is assured that an enemy sworn to its death will not be in control of its water supply.
That's what's at stake with America's forthcoming new approach with Syria.
What would America do with such an enemy (need I ask)?
A key element in Baker's recent Commission's plan involved the resurrection of his old idea to appease Arab dictators--in this case Syrian ones--at the Jews' expense.
Numerous politicians and military experts who have visited the Golan and have seen what Israel is up against have said that a complete Israeli withdawal from an area so vital to its security--given the nature of the enemy it faces, in particular--is both unreasonable and suicidal.
Those who hold that a return of the Golan to Syria will bring peace are the fools' fools.
But, in the State Departments's case, foolishness has nothing to do with it.
The Foggy Folks know the Syrians very well. So, it's even worse.
No friends...just interests.
The ball is now in Israel's court.
Olmert and his suicidal gang must go.
New elections are a must, and Israel must, unfortunately, once again learn how to say "no" when its own vital interests are at stake...even if it must say it to its best friend.
Too bad another American President has allowed it to come to this point.
Others, like Ronald Reagan, understood that U. N. Security Council Resolution 242 did not expect Israel to withdraw to its 1949 Auschwitz/armistice lines and was entitled to secure and defensible borders. Reasonable compromise was the ticket.
Unfortunately, George II, by apparently allowing the State Department (which opposed Israel's rebirth in the first place) to once again have its way with the Jew of the Nations--is proving Lord Palmerston right once again.
"Unfortunately, George II, by apparently allowing the State Department (which opposed Israel's rebirth in the first place) to once again have its way with the Jew of the Nations--is proving Lord Palmerston right once again.
He had many of us fooled."
Thank you for the excellent points, I must agree! I have long wondered why Israel alone of all the nations in wars...must return captured territory.
Ultimately, I feel the world will pay for that Faustian bargan.