Cheney Shines in Israel

Ynet Hebrew Edition, March 20, 2002

A month prior to the 2001 election in Israel, Vice President Cheney shared with some friends his CONCERN ABOUT SHIMON PERES JOINING THE RACE, "lest he defeats General Sharon."  Shortly after Sharon's victory, Cheney asked: "Why would the General, who just won a landslide victory, revive the Oslo Process, by inviting Labor to join his government?!"


HIGH REGARD FOR HISTORY, VALUES AND NATIONAL SECURITY HAVE SHAPED THE WORLD VIEW OF CHENEY, the most influential Vice President ever in the history of the U.S.  Unlike his predecessors, he is also the Tsar of national security policy, as well as overseeing senior appointments by the Administration.  The "Cowboy from Wyoming", who has become one of the most effective operators in Washington, DC, has often expressed his opposition to the simplistic concepts of The New World Order and The New Middle East.


THE IDENTITY OF CHENEY'S TOP ADVISORS sheds light on the direction of his policy.  For instance, his Chief-Of-Staff is Scooter Libby, a national security hawk, and his top advisor on the Middle East is John Hannah, who has been a consistent critic of the Oslo Process.  Moreover, it was Cheney who prevailed over Secretary Powell in the appointment of Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and his deputy, Wolfowitz, the two leading hawks in the Administration. 


THE VICE PRESIDENT HAS PROFESSED THAT MILITARY MIGHT AND DETERMINATION, RATHER THAN NEGOTIATION AND CONCESSIONS, will deny radical and terrorist regimes and organizations chemical, biological and nuclear capabilities, which threaten the very existence of Western Democracies.


HE IS A GRADUATE OF THE GULF WAR, and aspires to avoid, rather than repeat, the critical errors of that 1991 war.  Therefore, Cheney DOES NOT NEGOTIATE A CEASE-FIRE WITH SADDAM, but rather attempts to obliterate Saddam's regime and annihilate the infrastructure which nurtures Saddam's fire, in accordance with the Afghanistan precedent.  Therefore, Cheney has not inflated the value of The Coalition.  HE SUPPORTS A UNILATERAL ACTION whenever required, in defiance of Europe, Russia, China, the U.N. and the Arabs.  Therefore, he was the first top U.S. official (at the 1991 Annual JINSA Dinner) to thank Israel for the 1981 bombing of Iraq's nuclear reactor, "which provided the U.S. with a conventional option against Iraq in 1991!"  Therefore, HE DOES NOT TRUST ARAFAT, who participated in Saddam's plunder of Kuwait, stabbing the back of Kuwait, which opened its arms and treasures to Arafat since 1959.  Therefore, Vice President Cheney has refrained - so far - from meeting Arafat (notwithstanding "pressure" by the Department of State, Foreign Minister Peres and Defense Minister Ben-Eliezer), and therefore he turned-down a request, by Peres, for a private meeting.


CHENEY'S VISIT TO ISRAEL - AS THE SPECIAL EMISSARY OF PRESIDENT BUSH - HAS FOCUSED ON THE FURTHERING OF THE SPECIAL RELATIONS AND THE BILATERAL STRATEGIC COOPERATION IN FACE OF MUTUAL ISLAMIC THREATS (terrorism, Iraq, Iran, non-conventional warfare and ballistic missiles).  On the other hand, the visit by General (ret.) Zini - a special emissary of Secretary Powell - has aimed at furthering U.S. involvement in the Israel-PLO war, which advances U.S. neutrality, thus promoting frictions with Israel, while eroding the element of special relations. 


Prior to his arrival to the Middle East, CHENEY JUSTIFIED ISRAEL'S EMPLOYMENT OF F-16s AGAINST PALESTINIAN TERRORISTS.  Israeli steadfastness against Hizballah, Syria, the PLO, Egypt and U.S. pressure WOULD be consistent with Cheney's world view. ON A RAINY DAY, THE V.P. WOULD PREFER A 1981-STYLE RESOLUTE AND DARING ISRAEL, OVER THE INDECISIVE AND VACILLATING OSLO-DRIVEN ISRAEL.