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This sounds to me like a position acceptable to Israel, whose concern is Iraq's military threat to itself. Philippa Winkler >===== Original Message From "Hamre, Drew" <email@example.com> ===== >Thomas Friedman of the NYTimes, America's most influential foreign policy >commentator, today throws a radical proposal onto the table: > >"... Let's offer Iraq full diplomatic relations with the U.S. in return for >full intrusive U.S. inspections of Iraq's weapons facilities. The real >issue is weapons inspections, and it has gotten totally and dangerously >lost." > >This can be parsed six ways from Sunday (do the 'relations' come with >sanctions, or without?), but in essence this appears to stress safety >through engagement, not embargo. Is it my imagination, or isn't this >strikingly similar to the position pushed by Scott Ritter and others for the >last two years? > >Note that Friedman is still spinning the consequences of sanctions as a PR >disaster ... with no acknowledgement (yet) of their humanitarian or moral >cost. And from the safety of his keyboard, he remains a stalwart >interventionist. But still, beneath the din of sabre-rattling, there may be >encouraging movement ... > >Regards, >Drew Hamre >Golden Valley, MN USA > >=== >http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/10/opinion/10FRIE.html?searchpv=nytToday > >The New York Times >July 10, 2001 > >Policy by Obituary >By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN > >Let's do a quick test. I'll mention a name and you tell me what comes to >mind. Ready? Secretary of State Colin Powell . . . Quick - what comes to >mind? Well, actually nothing. > >Now the fact that Mr. Powell's tenure so far doesn't conjure up anything >doesn't make him a failure as secretary of state. It's way, way too early >for such judgments. Sometimes the best policies involve doing nothing, >because there's nothing to be done. But there are two basic ways to do >nothing. One is to rely on biology, the other is to rely on creative >diplomacy, and for now the Bush foreign policy is more biology than >diplomacy. > >A biological foreign policy means that you have run out of ideas or >political room to maneuver for how to deal with a certain foreign leader, so >your whole approach is waiting for that leader to die. Biology! > >The most obvious case of biology in U.S. foreign policy today is Cuba, where >nine U.S. presidents have been boycotting the country and waiting for Fidel >Castro to die. But the fact is, the Bush foreign policy is also to wait for >Saddam Hussein, Yasir Arafat and Kim Jong Il, the leader of North Korea, to >die and be replaced by more pragmatic figures. > >One problem with a biological foreign policy is that bad guys can live long: >Mr. Castro is said to have given up smoking cigars and is eating yogurt; Mr. >Arafat takes regular naps and puts only honey on his cereal. Another problem >with biology as foreign policy is that it enables these leaders to divert >attention easily from their actions to ours. So the U.S. is blamed for >starvation in Iraq, lack of development in Cuba or the breakdown of >Israeli-Palestinian peace. > >If the Bush team prefers to do nothing in certain places, let's at least do >nothing creatively, so the pressures are on the rogues, not us. > >On Iraq, let's stop messing around with "smart sanctions" designed to let >more goods into Iraq while weeding out military items. The states >surrounding Iraq that would have to impose such smart sanctions have no >economic incentive to do so. And the Arab world wouldn't give America any >more credit for smart sanctions than dumb ones. It's a half-measure. If >we're not going to go to war against Saddam, let's at least put a serious >offer on the table that puts all the focus on him: let's offer Iraq full >diplomatic relations with the U.S. in return for full intrusive U.S. >inspections of Iraq's weapons facilities. > >The real issue is weapons inspections, and it has gotten totally and >dangerously lost. If we are just going to wait for Saddam to die, let's at >least create a context in which all the world sees that it is his insistence >on developing and hoarding weapons of mass destruction that is the problem. > >On the Arab-Israel front, a great power like the U.S. does not belong >arranging cease-fires. This has allowed Mr. Arafat to turn everyone's >attention away from the fact that he rejected a peace plan put forward by >the Clintonites that offered Palestinians 95 percent of what they wanted. >The Bushies should say to Mr. Arafat that the U.S. will get re-engaged if he >accepts the Clinton plan, or a Bush adaptation of it. The focus should not >be on whether Mr. Powell is serious about mediating but on whether Mr. >Arafat is serious about a deal. > >On Cuba, we should long ago have lifted the embargo so Cubans could see that >the reason their economy is so backward is not because of the U.S. blockade >but because of Mr. Castro's idiotic Marxism. On North Korea, the Bushies >have raised the bar so high in their talks with Kim Jong Il - to restrict >his missile production - that it appears they don't really want a deal and >are just waiting for him to die. Mr. Kim can export a lot of missiles while >we wait for him to die. > >The one area where the U.S. did not rely on biology - but on force, >incentives and creative diplomacy - was in Serbia. There we created a >context where all the focus was on whether the Serbian people would allow >Slobodan Milosevic to be their leader. Slobo wanted to make us the issue, >and we made him the issue. > >The U.S. can't choose the leaders of Cuba, Serbia, North Korea, Iraq or >Palestine, but we can do more than wait for them to die. We can create a >context that puts greater pressure on these leaders to make better choices, >a context that puts all the blame on them, not us, if they don't and a >context that may not solve any of these problems but at least strengthens us >with our allies and the people in these countries. Philippa Winkler Flagstaff, Arizona, USA "kiss the mountain air we breathe" -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk