Jun 6 2009
As Hillary Clinton invalidates prior agreements between Israel and the Bush Administration and Barack Hussein Obama kowtows to Syria, I can only wonder when this administration will see fit to attack our only ally in the Middle East?
Clinton shreds Bush-Israel settlement understandings, fuels US-Israel row.
US secretary of state Hillary Clinton roughly rejected any secret Bush agreements with Israel on expanding settlements. Her intention was to have the last word and so shut down the Obama administration’s argument with Israel over a West Bank settlement freeze. But she only threw fresh fuel on the fire when she stated emphatically on Friday, June 5, that according to the negotiating record which Bush officials turned over to the Obama administration, “There is no memorialization of any informal and oral agreements.”
Israel officials have protested that Barack Obama’s demand for a total freeze on settlement expansion contradicts a series of understandings – some written, some oral – with Bush officials which permitted expansion under certain conditions. This argument was put forward by prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu in his wide-ranging talks with the US president on May 18 and reaffirmed by Israeli officials when they met US Middle East envoy George Mitchell in London ten days later.
Elliott Abrams is quoted Friday by the Washington Post as acknowledging last week that there had been unwritten understandings between Washington and Jerusalem, as Brig. Herzog affirmed. By repudiating any such understandings – written and spoken – Clinton has dragged US-Israeli relations into a new trough. It is now a straight issue of word against word, Washington versus Jerusalem’s. This is a dark point for restarting any peace process between Israel and Palestinians or other Arab governments for an accord on substantial issues which have defeated every past peace effort.
The Netanyahu government is now facing its first real test. In Washington, the gloves are off. If the prime minister holds to his defensive, accommodating posture toward on the settlement issue and fails to punch back with demands that the other side – and the United States itself stand by former accords and commitments – he will find himself inexorably forced back step by step on other vital security interests, including Iran’s accelerated nuclear weapons program.
Obama kowtows to Damascus while Syria rigs Lebanese poll.
In less than a month after US president Barack Obama renewed sanctions against Syria over the Assad regime’s involvement in terrorism and dabbling in weapons of mass destruction, another of his envoys, George Mitchell, is on his way to Damascus to explore the chances of renewed Syrian-Israeli peace talks. A US military delegation has also been consigned to discuss the expanded flow of terrorists from Syria into Iraq.
None of these actions, any more than the UN nuclear agency’s discovery of “man-made uranium particles” near Damascus, has slowed the American dash to thaw relations with Syria as part of Obama’s new Middle East direction. The new relationship was clinched by US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s and Syrian foreign minister Walid Moualem on May 31. Its underlying imprint was strong in the US president’s June 4 speech of reconciliation to the Muslim world in Cairo.
DEBKAfile analysts note that he never mentioned Syria or Hizballah once – even in the context of the “extremists” whom he condemned. And his reference to Iran’s nuclear program was noncommittal, implying that he had no trouble accepting its right to enrich uranium.
Clinton diplomatically avoided referring to Syria’s intensive interference in Lebanon’s parliamentary election Sunday, June 7, or the tens of millions of dollars laid out for bribes and the hundreds of covert agents deployed to rig the vote in favor of the radical Hizballah-led March 8 bloc. The radical bloc’s almost certain victory is tantamount to a pro-Iranian, pro-Syrian coup in Beirut. DEBKA
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