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Posts tagged ‘Lebanon’

Damage Assessment of Israel’s ‘Clean Break’ Plan

Damage Assessment of Israel’s 'Clean Break' Plan

Damage Assessment of Israel’s ‘Clean Break’ Plan

Neocon Middle East Policy: The ‘Clean Break’ Plan Damage Assessment” is a 112 pages book, Written by Adam Shapiro and E. Faye Williams ; Published by : Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc. (IRmep) (March 1, 2005)

A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm is a definitive Middle East strategy authored and implemented by operatives in the highest levels of the US government. There is just one problem. The plan was a strategy for Israel, not the United States of America.

The book reviews strategies and consequences of the “Clean Break” plan authored by Richard Perle, David Wurmser, and Douglas Feith in 1996. It analyzes the core assumptions of the policy, cost of tactics that have already been implemented and discusses the likelihood others will be executed in the future.

Neocon Middle East Policy then turns to the most difficult questions of all, “Can a policy crafted for a foreign government and presented to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serve as a blueprint for US regional policy? At what cost in credibility, blood, treasure and American integrity? At what cost to Israel?” Neocon Middle East Policy is a must-read for anyone concerned about the convergence of US and Israeli foreign policy in the Middle East.
Contributors: Adam Shapiro, Dr. E. Faye Williams, Khaled Dawoud, Mohammed Kaddam. Edited by Grant F. Smith, Publication Date: April, 2005 ISBN # 0-9764437-3-2 Cover Price $9.95 Shipping Weight 9 Ounces, Paperback: 112 pages, Publisher: Institute for Research (March 1, 2005), ISBN-10: 0976443732, ISBN-13: 978-0976443735

IT SAYS:
The Israeli policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” (ACB) Policy Initiatives (Source: Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, IRMEP 2003)
Increase U.S. Congressional Support
1. “Electrify and find support” of key U.S. congressional members
2. Strategic cooperation with U.S. on missile defense
3. Gain more support among members of Congress with little knowledge of Israel
4. Harness support to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv
5. Identify Israel with the U.S. and “western values”
6. Utilize Cold War rhetoric to make Israel’s case to the American people
“Peace for Peace” Palestinian Solution
1. Eliminate movements toward a “comprehensive peace” and substitute with the “Peace for Peace” strategy
2. Stress “balance of power” as sole test of legitimacy, enforce agreements
3. Nurture alternatives to Arafat
4. Seek legitimization of “hot pursuit” of Palestinian militants
5. Eliminate “land for peace” concept, use negotiations only as a forum for communicating resolve
6. Establish a joint monitoring committee with the U.S. for measuring Palestinian compliance
7. Withhold U.S. aid to Palestinians
8. Promote Human Rights among Arabs to isolate Palestinians in Arab Constituencies
9. Legitimize 2000 year old historical land claim
10. Foment Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for peace
Contain, Destabilize, and Roll Back Regional Challengers
1. Challenge Arab countries as “police states” lacking in legitimacy.
2. Fortify regional alliances. Work with Turkey and Jordan to insert hostile Arab tribes into Syria
Syria
1. Publicly question Syrian legitimacy, assume treaties with Damascus are in bad faith
2. Contain Syria, strike select targets
3. Reject “land for peace” concept on the Golan Heights
Iraq
1. Install a Hashemite monarchy in Iraq
2. Isolate and surround Syria with a friendly regime in Iraq
Lebanon
1. Engage Syria, Iran and Iraq in Lebanon
2. “Wean” Lebanese Shiites from Iraq toward Jordan
Economic Reform
1. Eliminate Social Zionism from the economy.
2. Reform the overall economy, cut taxes
3. Show maturity and economic self reliance from the United States
4. Eliminate need for defense by U.S. military forces
5. Remove U.S. aid leverage over Israel
6. Relegislate a free trade zone, sell off public lands and enterprises
Zionism
1. Rebuild Zionism, rejuvenate the national ideal
2. “Shape the regional environment” in favor of Israel, “transcend foes” rather than contain them
3. Pre-emption as the preferred national defense strategy
Although ACB readers can identify nearly 34 distinct and actionable goals eloquently stated within the document, they may be summarized in five overarching policy goals:
1. Increase U.S. Congressional Support
2. “Peace for Peace” Palestinian Strategy
3. Contain, Destabilize, and Roll Back Regional Challengers
4. Economic Reform
5. Rejuvenation of Zionism

In this paper, we evaluate the level of implementation of these five summary goals, and their effect on the interests of the United States. However, no set of policies ever come to fruition without an active and vocal distribution and implementation network. ACB’s legions of American shock troops are many. At its core, key operatives working within the Bush Administration (called the Neocons), policy research “think tanks”, specialty press, and opinion columns have achieved amazing success at seasoning and baking ACB policy agenda items into a tenuous mold as “vital interests” of the United States itself.
The need for “crime scene” levels of evidence linking ACB followers’ complicity in the actions of the U.S. Government at Israel’s behest is unnecessary. Many U.S. actions are simply so inexplicable that consideration of their chief benefactor, Israel, is the only reasonable explanation. And as Americans dismiss Arab government charges that Israel is attacking them by proxy across the region, the evidence shows that the Arabs are correct. “A Clean Break” is, at heart, an Israeli proclamation of “Dirty War”.

Read the full Executive Summary of Institute for Research Middle Eastern Policy, Inc., on The Israeli policy paper “A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” (ACB) at this link

To Be Part of the Global “WE”? Sell The Arabs! (Turkey’s Policy)

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu

This is the very definition of Erdogan’s, and Davutoglu’s, ambitions.

In the recent batch of State Department cables disclosed by WikiLeaks, one scholar was quoted as anointing the Turkish foreign minister “Turkey’s Kissinger,” while in 2004 a secondhand source was quoted as calling him “exceptionally dangerous.” But his abilities, and his worldview, matter because of the country whose diplomacy he drives: an Islamic democracy, a developing nation with a booming economy, a member of NATO with one foot in Europe and the other in Asia. Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is a canny, forward-thinking populist who has drastically altered Turkish politics. Erdogan and Davutoglu share a grand vision: a renascent Turkey, expanding to fill a bygone Ottoman imperial space.

Davutoglu is seen as a champion of Turkish greatness.

Henri Barkey, a Turkey scholar at Lehigh University, pronounces his book “Strategic Depth” as“mumbo jumbo,” adding that Davutoglu “thinks of himself as God”.

Foreign Policy magazine ranked him No. 7 in its recent list of “100 Global Thinkers,” writing that under his leadership, “Turkey has assumed an international role not matched since a sultan sat in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace.”

Davutoğlu is generally linked to the notion of Turkish neo-Ottomanism, which favours a commonwealth with its neighbours and old Ottoman connections. Although his foreign policies have been regarded as neo-Ottomanist by Western and especially U.S. media, Davutoğlu does not accept such a characterization.

One of Davutoglu’s greatest diplomatic achievements was the creation of a visa-free zone linking Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, thus reconstituting part of the old Ottoman space.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The victory of the moderate Islamist AK party in the 2002 parliamentary elections was a seismic event in Turkey, culturally as well as politically. Turkey had been an aggressively secular republic since its establishment in 1923; Turkey’s Westernized intellectuals, living in the coastal cities, especially Istanbul, looked upon the Islamists as bumpkins from the Anatolian hinterland. “These people came out of nowhere,” as Candar puts it.

On the flight home from Brussels, where he conferred privately with Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and met with his European counterparts, Davutoglu was in an ebullient mood. He feels the wind of history filling his sails. Turkey, the crossroads of civilizations, the land where East and West, North and South, converge, is pointing the way to the world’s future. “Turkey is the litmus test of globalization,” he told me. “Success for Turkey will mean the success of globalization.” The world, as Davutoglu likes to say, expects great things from Turkey.

A Chat Between Christian and Muslim in Lebanon

Indoctrination of Children
Indoctrination of Children

Joey Ayoub wrote in his blog Hummus For Thought! an interesting article titled Endoctrination of Children resenting all kinds of religious schooling and influencing helpless children. He said:

[I was sitting last night with a friend of mine and we got to talk about the whole Christians vs Muslims situation in Lebanon. We were both well placed as I was raised in a Christian environment and him in a Muslim one.

Being both proud members of the Flying Spaghetti Church that preaches keep-your-religion-to-yourself-ism, peace and lots of noodles, we usually end up talking about George Carlin when Jesus and Mohammed were the start of the actual conversation. Yesterday night was different though in that we were actually talking seriously about the issue.

Growing up, I never had the chance to meet many Muslims despite living in the smallest country of continental Asia. The ideas and images that were propagated by my old and very Christian school, Saint Coeur Ain Najm, was not that Muslims did not exist or that Islam was an evil religion – that would be too straightforward – but rather that non-Christian points of views or beliefs were not really worthy of acknowledgment, that somehow we were the lucky ones to have been brought up in the true religion.

I am now 20 years old but I still remember vividly the “Catechese” – sort of Sunday School during the week – sessions that occurred between Chemistry and Biology for an hour or two. We were given some passage from the bible and were basically asked to find a meaning to it. This had nothing to do with whether a meaning was actually present but rather with how any story could eventually fit the narrow interpretation that our teacher had reserved for it. He couldn’t be blamed as he was nothing more than a spokesperson for a much larger and powerful institution. He didn’t really seem to have any opinion of his own anyway. That a soon-to-be atheist was sitting right in front of him couldn’t have entered his worse nightmares.

My friend went to a secular school so he didn’t experience the brainwashing I did and could easily see the flaw in the system long before I could. It didn’t really surprise us that religion played such an important role in Lebanon when it is introduced so early in a person’s life. How long can we pretend that religious-based education does not contribute to the dividing of this already shattered country? What differentiates the indoctrination of helpless children that depend on adults for guidance in an unknown world from the government censorship of opposite views that appalls any man and woman living outside the box? How is telling a child that he or she will suffer the eternal torture of hell by a cruel deity any different from child abuse?

We would probably find it odd if a 4 year old child claims to be part of the Keynesian school of macroeconomics simply because we are pretty sure that economics is too complicated for a 4-year old. Why aren’t we then appalled by a 4 year old wearing a cross? Is the subject of economics more complicated than the questions of life and death? of existence?

Do not get me wrong, I do not really care the religion to which one adheres to but we should draw the line between freedom of thought and belief and imposing one interpretation of the world on helpless and defenseless children. Indoctrination is child abuse and must be regarded as such. Any country that does not put the child’s inalienable rights to education – not brainwashing – as well as, of course, health and safety is bound to end up in the same situation we are in. A child has nothing to do with the bullshit we adults enjoy throwing at each other and must not be a victim of our flaws and weaknesses.

Needless to say, secular schools would not magically solve the problems of Lebanon but they would allow children to identify themselves with different points of views instead of having no choice at all. In a world where corruption is part of the atmosphere a child breathes, one cannot be surprised that corruption is what that child will exhale.

I cannot help myself by quoting Friedrich Nietzsche here to end my first blog post:
“The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than those who think differently.”]