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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 20, 2003

What must the US be thinking

According to DebkaFile,
Contrary to some media reports, the policy-makers of the Bush administration are very simply not all that interested in being directly involved in the new Palestinian government or even the “road map” drawn up by the Middle East Quartet. Some Israelis present the road map as Washington’s vehicle for buying its way back into the good graces of the Arabs, the Europeans and the United Nations, after occupying Iraq.

DEBKAfile’s Washington sources say the Bush administration has a quite different use for the “road map”, namely, to demonstrate that reaching Baghdad was not the be-all and end-all of America’s strategy, but a move in the larger design for reshaping the Middle East – and not only by military means. An example of America’s non-military options for achieving change would be the “road map”.

At the same time, Bush and his advisers are under no illusion about the malign nature of Arafat, Abu Mazen’s ability to stamp out the terror he perpetuates, or Mohamed Dahlans’ intentions. Washington means to avail itself of the “road map” as a device for charting its next steps in Iraq and in relation to Syria. It will be kept handy for future actions in the Middle East against the Hizballah, the Jihad Islami, the Hamas and other Palestinian groups.

America’s victory in Iraq has exposed a stark reality for both the Palestinians and the Israelis. In a lightening operation, US military forces conquered Baghdad and toppled Saddam Hussein whom the Palestinians judged invincible. Ariel Sharon in two years of bitter warfare captured Ramallah and disabled key sections of the Palestinian machine of terror, but was not able to overthrow Arafat. His regime is still in place however after severe jolting.

The Americans are pushing Sharon, Abu Mazen and the Europeans into taking the final step of Palestinian regime change. Washington will meanwhile busy itself in other parts of the Middle East.
Terrorist busters. Who ya gonna trust?