Will Arming Abbas’ Military Forces Backfire On Bush?

By: David Bedein , The Bulletin of Philladelphia

The day after the armed forces of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shared credit for the bombing of a bakery in the Israeli port city of Eilat, which claimed the lives of three young Israelis, President Bush announced an aid package to Abbas’ armed forces.

Following that Bush announcement, Israel’s leading news internet magazine, a Hebrew news blog located at http://nfc.co.il, ran an unusual newsworthy headline: “Terror Attacks with U.S. funding.” The news item noted that Abbas’ armed forces had been strongly armed by Egypt and by Jordan in the past few months, in coordination with the U.S. government, which has made it a matter of policy to strengthen Abbas. Egypt armed 1,900 troops of Abbas’ militias, while Jordan armed 3,000 troops loyal to Abbas.

Senior White House official Elliott Abrams made it clear that since Hamas took formal control of the Palestinian Authority in January 2006, the U.S. would do everything in its power to support and arm the forces loyal to Abbas, even though Abbas has made it his policy goal to unite his armed forces of Fatah with the armed forces of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and all of the Palestinian organizations still at war with Israel.

To that end, the American government helped establish training camps for Abbas’ armed forces in Ramallah and in Jericho, with the help of the British government.

However, senior policymakers at the Pentagon have been critical of the Bush administration’s decision to arm Abbas’ troops. One Pentagon official has told the Israeli media that “not only will Abbas’ troops turn on Israel – they will also turn on Jordan, the majority of whose population remain Palestinian Arabs.”

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was quoted by Pentagon sources as advising President Bush that any and all attempts to arm Abbas against Islamic forces would also increase enmity toward U.S. interests in Islamic countries and not serve U.S. interests in the war in Iraq. Pentagon officials also note that senior policy advisors at the CIA also warned against the Bush program to aid Abbas and were overruled.

Senior officials of the Israel National Security Council have also stated, off the record, that any U.S. attempt to arm Abbas would only strengthen, unite and inspire the Islamic forces under the leadership of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, who would see this as a blatant attempt of U.S./Western/Christian interests to establish a new imperial stronghold in the Middle East.

Ironically, the reason why Hamas assumed power in the Palestinian Authority was the Bush administration’s insistence that democratic elections take place in the Palestinian Arab entity.

While both Abbas’ Fatah faction and the Islamic factions maintain the same goals of regaining all of Palestine, and not just the West Bank and Gaza, the whereabouts of the six billion dollars of foreign aid and the mystery of the missing billions from Arafat’s bank account have created a situation that no amount of aid to Abbas will ever win credibility for Abbas in the Palestinian Authority constituency. Abbas is and was the protégé of Yassir Arafat, and he is rightfully viewed by the Palestinian Arab people as the man most responsible for the graft and corruption in the Palestinian public domain. After all, stealing from the public trust is viewed by Islam as stealing from Allah.

George W. Bush, a deeply religious person, should understand that his choice to back a movement that is most closely associated with rampant corruption cannot be a wise or moral choice for his legacy to be respected in the Middle East.

February 5, 2007 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Kill with a borrowed knife

    If your memory serves you well
    You’ll remember you’re the oneThat called on me to call on them
    To get you your favors done
    And after every plan had failed
    And there was nothing more to tell
    You knew that we would meet again
    If your memory serves you well

    This wheel’s on fire
    Rolling down the road
    Best notify my next of kin
    This wheel shall explode !

  2. Can Organized Crime Serve As a Role Model?

    Not only have successive American administrations’ Middle Eastern policies been very costly to Israel, they have been enormously expensive to America in terms of American lives lost, American investment to advance her interests, influence and respectability factor in the Middle East yielding an increasingly negative return, and American capital shrinking with little to show for it and commensurately that much less captial to fund initiatives and programs to improve the lives of Americans at home.

    It is not a matter of America’s Middle Eastern policies running afoul of the laws of unintended consequences.

    The geopolitical reality of American involvement in the Middle East is somewhat akin to gamblers playing in the gambling houses of Las Vegas. Just as the odds are stacked in favor of the Las Vegas gambling houses, so too are the odds stacked in favour of the Middle Eastern Muslim nations.

    As if that was not bad enough, successive American administrations have been willfully blind to facts on the ground in the Middle East. Instead America has formulated their Middle Eastern policies anchored to the clouds of wishful thinking as to what is, as they persist in pursuing wished for objectives within the context of wished for realities.

    To further the Las Vegas analogy, America could turn the odds in their favor, if they formulated and acted on policies that derive from strength and therefore that muscles in and takes control in the Middle East. That will never be achieved with a Mr. Nice and Lets be Reasonable, Diplomatic, Sensitive and Tolerant Guy approach that has been thus far been taken with increasingly negative results.

    Organized crime amasses wealth and power at the expense of ordinary Americans who are forced to pay with their own money, misery and blood. Organized crime in America has has never done any Americans any good.

    The Muslim Middle East in the main and that includes America’s so called Middle Eastern friends, already see America as corrupt and an enemy and they treat America as such.

    Instead of spending yet more of an unimaginable fortune to dissaude many Middle Easterners that they have America all wrong, maybe America should spend an awful lot less and prove in spades that America is as bad and worse then many in the Muslim Middle East have delusionally imagined to a certainty that cannot and will not be shaken, no matter what America does to try to prove otherwise.

    Organized crime therefore might for once do Americans some real good if it were to serve as a model for how America can turn their luck and fortunes around in the Middle East.

  3. Well the US armed Saddam and and they Armed Iran before so why should they not arm the Palestinians?

    You know the Unites Snakes does no like to discriminate based on religion or skin color!

    Hey did you see the new Tesla Electric car gets .04 cents to the mile and it’s hot !

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