THE BLOG

Convicted Felon, Elliott Abrams, Works for Bush to Prevent MidEast Peace Talks

I spent a week in Washington DC. I wish my findings were encouraging. They are not.

Elliott Abrams (NO relation, our DNA-match is not even as close as the chimp to homo sapiens) is a convicted felon from the first Bush Administration, who knuckle-walks the State Deparment instead of a prison cell because W's Daddy pardoned him along with Caspar Weinberger and other Administration officials in the last days of his Presidency. (HW Bush continues to assert that he always honored his office!). As part of his well-known concern for rehabilitating convicted felons, George W. appointed Elliott to a position in the State Department that does not require Senate approval.

Elliott is a radical rightwing zealot who opposes a genuine two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict. He is willing for other peoples' children to die holding on to the West Bank for Israel (and, I am told, his relatives).

Elliott's title ["Deputy National Security Advisor for Global Democracy Strategy"], however, does not even begin to explain his role. He and Cheney are the two principals advising Bush on foreign policy. At the beginning of the Israeli-Lebanon conflict this summer, I learned, Elliott was in Jerusalem letting the Defense Minister know that he had a "green light" to attack Syria. Remember, that is when there was more than a little suspicion that the US was using Israel as a proxy for regime change, fortunately, the Israelis had a bit more sense than that.

Syria has just told Nancy Pelosi that it is willing to start talks with Israel. Why did they tell Nancy Pelosi? Because George Bush will not speak to them. Watch, Elliott will pressure Israel not to engage in such talks. As a non-Senate confirmed operative, he cannot be called before the Foreign Relations Committee.

Syrian officials have told private parties in the US for months that it is ready to deal with Israel. Immediately before Bill Clinton left office, in January, 2001, the entire Palestine and Syria matters were within a few hundred meters of land, and an agreement on water rights away, from resolution (aka, the Taba initiative). This was after the failure of Arafat to take the deal Ehud Barak negotiated with him at Sharm-el-Sheikh. (Unlike chickenhawk Elliott---I cannot bear to write his last name!--Barak was Israel's most decorated war hero).

As MJ Rosenberg has written in these columns, prior to the 1973 war, Anwar Sadat told Israel that if it pulled back 2 miles from the Suez Canal, that he would open talks for a real peace. Pressure from the Nixon Administration caused the Israeli PM to refuse. Several months later, the 1973 war was launched, and Israel lost more the 3000 soldiers (not to mention the thousands of long-term injuries). To put that in perspective, that is the equivalent of ~100,000 killed in US terms. That is, it is BIG.

And, what happened? A few years later, Sadat sued for a comprehensive peace. Despite all the turmoil in the middle east since, including Sadat's assassination, that peace has held. So has the peace with Jordan. 100,000 US equivalent deaths that could have been avoided.

There is only one pro-Israel position, and that is one that recognizes Israel's right to exist in a real peace with its neighbors, with the normal intercourse between peaceful neighbors, and to be free of terrorist attacks AND the legitimate right of the Palestinians for their own, viable state that will include most of the West Bank and Gaza.

Any other position that declares itself "pro-Israel" is a fraud. Bush's declaration of a two state solution is a fraud because he installed Elliott Abrams, a convicted felon who opposes that policy, to prevent it.

Why do you think that Bush has not appointed a permanent envoy to engage in the kind of shuttle diplomacy that can bring the parties together? Because the risk to Elliott is that such an envoy might be SUCCESSFUL!

How to prove me wrong? See if Olmert is "allowed" to engage in real talks with Syria.