Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why Cheney didn't mention Palestine

Cheney only talked about Iraq and Iran on his recent tour of the Arab capitals, according to Al-Quds al-Arabi's Arab sources with knowledge of the talks, who stressed the parties "absolutely didn't bring up the Arab-Israel conflict". The sources explained this as follows:
[T]here has been an allocation of roles between Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, in which the role of the latter has been limited to the Israel-Palestine file.
I mention it for what it is worth, because the question of sorting out the fingerprints of Cheney-Abrams on the one side from those of Condoleeza Rice on the other has been one of the great mysteries.

For instance, Mark Perry and Paul Woodward of Conflicts Forum have a detailed piece in the Asia Times on the "Action Plan" that was presented to Palestinian president Abbas in February or March, and sets out very broad and detailed American-inspired plans for sidelining and eventually toppling Hamas, clearly an Abrams-type document. The Arabic version was leaked to, and published by, the Jordanian newspaper Al-Majd, first on its website, then, following a censorship incident, also in its hard-copy paper. Western media have bent over backwards to ignore the document, which is really a 16-page indictment of US hypocricy about supporting elected governments. I summarized the contents here. This was followed by another document, leaked to Haaretz, that called specifically, and much more narrowly, for "Benchmarks" for the easing of Israeli checkpoints and so on, clearly more of a Rice-type document, and there is a question of the relationship between the two documents, a relationship which Perry and Woodward think may well reflect the "turmoil in Washington" between the two camps.

In any event, for what it is worth, the above-mentioned sources cited by Al-Quds al-Arabi think there has been some kind of an agreement about spheres of influence between Rice on the one side and Cheney and his group on the other. These are not perhaps the most impeccable sources for Washington policy issues, but I mention it for what it is worth.


Post a Comment

<< Home