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

May 15, 2003

Pax Americana and EU opposition

EU wants to prevent American hegemony in ME.

Debka resports some startling things,
Now that the Iraqi war over, he [Javiar Solana when visiting Riyadh just after the bombing] said, a fresh effort must be embarked on to curtail American domination over Middle East political processes. The situation had changed from what it was before the Iraq conflict; now, the UN, the EU, Russia and the other Security Council members are in a position to stand up to American hegemony.

The road map is the perfect vehicle. It was formulated with American participation by the UN, EU and Russia. Washington tried to shelve the plan when US secretary of state Colin Powell was on his way to the Middle East last week, but the Europeans and Arabs can easily recover it. First, the Security Council must be called into urgent session to discuss the deteriorating situation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank as a result of Israeli military counter-terror operations. At the end of the debate, the road map will be put to the vote. The US as a signatory can hardly demur or exercise its veto. Neither will Britain oppose the draft for fear of jeopardizing its fence-mending efforts with Europe. Anyway, Tony Blair would rather see the UN assuming a role in the Palestinian conflict than in Iraq.

After adopting the road map resolution, the Security Council, Solana explained, will have to create an inspection or monitoring team to supervise its execution. This will meet Yasser Arafat’s long-held ambition for an international body to move into the borderlands between Israel and Palestinian areas. Israel will be compelled to pull out of Palestinian locations and to give up its fight against terrorists.

Solana assured the Saudi foreign minister that he had already obtained French, Russian and German assent to his plan. In Damascus, he saw no difficulty in persuading the Syrian president to jump in as a way of pushing back the heat applied to him from Washington to get rid of his terrorist bases and connections.

The European official’s road map initiative was one of the causes of Powell’s failure on Wednesday May 14 to win Russian president Putin round to Washington’s proposal to lift UN sanctions on Iraq. The US badly needs revenues from Iraqi oil sales to fund reconstruction and the imposition of law and order. Russia and the other governments who opposed the American war on Iraq now see their way to punishing the Bush administration for going ahead anyway as well as holding a lever for sinking US postwar plans by withholding funding and forcing Washington to report back to the Europeans and Security Council to gain their approval for further progress. The powers vested in the security council format of endorsement coupled with an international inspections mechanism will thus be reinstated to bend Washington as well as Jerusalem to their will.
The EU obviously means business. My belief that it didn't have any more stomach for opposing the US after Iraq, terrribly under estimates its resolve to go its own way and challenge the US. Can the US afford to knuckle under as this implies. I think not. Will a compromise be worked out. I hope not because it will involve concessions by Israel.

Once again the US must choose, unilateralism over compromise. If not, the ME plans will be a total failure and we will be back to business as usual.