The U.S. Has Abandoned Reformists In The Middle East
|Tuesday, September 26,2006 00:00|
Director of the Washington Institute for Near East Studies Robert Satloff gave an interview to Egyptian independent daily al Masry al youm in which he said that the West will never allow Iran to possess Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs).” If the US fails to prevent the Iranian leaders from pursuiting their nuclear program, it [US] will resort to war”, he said.
Satloff defended the decision to invade Iraq, but admitted that the US has made a lot of mistakes in this war and that it failed to achieve reform in the Middle East “The US also has left Mideastern reformists vulnerable to governments’ suppression and crackdowns”, he said, adding that if the US wants to quell terrorism, it has to back the moderate liberals in Arab countries.
Asked if the war against Iran could cost the US more than the invasion of Iraq; Satloff said that nothing will dissuade the US from attacking Iran if it persists with its nuclear program, fearing that other countries in the region will follow its steps “and the region will witness a serious nuclear race leading to a catastrophe” he added.
The New Middle East, where to?
Commenting on whether Syria, Iran and Hizbullah could form an anti American alliance in the region to counter that envisaged by the US, Satloff Said that it is too early to talk of a new Middle East now, citing the failure of the US to find the launching point for its new Middle East scheme after the recent war in Lebanon. However, he warned of the new Middle East model proposed by Syrian president Bashar el Assad, rejecting the Syrian or Iranian regimes as a model to be followed by other Middle East countries.
US veto against ceasefire in Lebanon
Al Masry al Youm daily questioned the wisdom of US backing Israel in its destructive attacks on Lebanon. Satloff replied that the US administration considered it as a war in proxy against Iran,” to protect Israel from being vulnerable to Iranian, or Iran- sponsored attacks” he countered.
Comment From Ahmad Al-Jaser:
Dear Khaled Salam:
I write to you regarding the interview with Mr. Satloff (The U.S. Has Abandoned Reformists In The Middle East) which was published on your web site. Your comments on the Hypocrisy, yes hypocrisy not discrepancies, of Mr. Satloff are well placed and expose him, but their is one additional information, the problem with Mr. Satloff, and all employees of this think tank, is that he is on the pay roll of AIPAC.
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy is a propaganda instrument of the AIPAC "American Israeli Public Affairs Institute" the pro Israeli lobby in Washington. This institute was set up in 1985 to influence US policy in the Middle East.
Our problem in the region, is that the likes of Mr. Satloff, Mr. Ross & Mr. Indyk are presented as prominent American researchers, intellectuals, etc.. on our news media outlets to the Arab world audience. These people, and their likes, are hard-core Zionists who represent the Zionist movement and dedicate their lives to the cause of the Zionist ideology.
I personally have no objections to hearing the opposite opinion, though no such fair chance is given to our point of view on these vital issues in the American media, but they should be introduced as Zionist representatives of the AIPAC, the Zionist lobby in the USA, not as Americans representing American views or interests.
I am very frustrated with Arab Media, for giving these warmongers too much space to disseminate their Zionist propaganda. This does not mean that I question the intentions of the editors & journalists (though some are phonie like Al-Sharg Alwasat & Al-Arabia Sat. Channel), only ALLAH the All-Mighty knows the intentions, but I think that the media is making a grave mistake for not exposing the background of these vultures.
Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The establishment of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’ (WINEP) in 1985 greatly expanded the pro-Israel lobbys influence over policy as well. WINEP’s founding director, Martin Indyk, had previously been research director of AIPAC which, then as now, focuses much of its efforts on Congress. Indyk developed WINEP into a highly effective think tank devoted to maintaining and strengthening the US-Israel alliance through advocacy in the media and lobbying the executive branch. Indyk is a major proponent of the two-state solution.
On the eve of the 1988 presidential elections, with the first Palestinian intifada underway, WINEP made its bid to become a major player in US Middle East policy discussions by issuing a report entitled "Building for Peace: An American Strategy for the Middle East." The report urged the incoming administration to "resist pressures for a procedural breakthrough (on Palestinian-Israeli peace issues) until conditions have ripened." Six members of the study group responsible for the report joined the first Bush administration, which adopted this stalemate recipe not to change until change was unavoidable. Hence, the US acceded to Israel’s refusal to negotiate with the Palestine Liberation Organization despite the PLO’s recognition of Israel at the November 1988 session of the Palestine National Council.
When Israel became serious about attempting to reach an agreement with the Palestinians, it circumvented the US-sponsored negotiations in Washington (and the pro-Israel lobby) and spoke directly to representatives of the PLO in Oslo. The result was the 1993 Oslo Declaration of Principles.
Despite what might reasonably be judged as a major policy failure, WINEP’s influence grew, especially in the mass media. Its associates, especially deputy director Patrick Clawson, director for policy and planning Robert Satloff and senior fellow Michael Eisenstadt, appear frequently on television and radio talk shows as commentators on Middle East issues. Its board of advisors includes Mortimer Zuckerman, editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report, and Martin Peretz, editor-in-chief of The New Republic.
WINEP’s advocacy extended to matters far beyond the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Well before most Americans took note of radical Islam as a potential threat to their security, for instance, WINEP and its associates were promoting the notion that Israel is a reliable US ally against the spread of Islamism. After Israel expelled over 400 alleged Palestinian Islamist activists from the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in December 1992, Israeli television Middle East analyst and WINEP associate Ehud Yaari wrote an op-ed in the New York Times summarizing his Hebrew television report of a vast US-based conspiracy to fund Hamas. WINEP’s 1992 annual [[Soref Symposium]] "Islam and the US: Challenges for the Nineties" focused on whether or not Islam was a danger to the United States. At that event, Martin Indyk argued that the US ought not to encourage democracy in countries that were friendly to Washington, like Jordan and Egypt, and that political participation should be limited to secular parties. This recommendation seemed like a formula for ensuring that Islamist forces would forsake legal political action and engage in armed struggle - precisely what happened in Egypt from 1992 to 1997.
The Clinton administration was even more thoroughly colonized by WINEP associates than its predecessor. Eleven signatories of the final report of WINEP’s 1992 commission on US-Israeli relations, "Enduring Partnership," joined the Clinton administration. Among them were National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, UN Ambassador and later Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, Undersecretary of Commerce Stuart Eisenstat and the late Les Aspin, Clinton’s first secretary of defense. Shortly after assuming office in 1993, the Clinton administration announced a policy of "dual containment" aimed at isolating Iran and Iraq. The principal formulator and spokesperson for that policy was Martin Indyk, in his new role as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Near East and South Asian Affairs at the National Security Council.
In the current Bush administration, however, WINEP’s influence has been outflanked on the right by individuals linked to more monolithically neo-conservative and hawkish think tanks like the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). [excerpted from Beinin, op. cit.]
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