Israel’s pre-1993 Israeli prime ministers defied US pressure to withdraw to the 1949 Lines (“with cosmetic changes”). On the other hand, Prime Minister Barak persists – like the other post-1993 Israeli prime ministers – to implement the US Department of State policy, which is bleeding and crumbling by the day. Barak considers the Department of State as a luminary, in spite of its failing track record in the Middle East.
During the late 1970s, the US Administration was actively pursuing the downfall of the Shah, although he was the most loyal and the most effective US ally in the Persian Gulf. The Department of State viewed Khomeini as a popular leader, fighting for his people’s human rights in defiance of an oppressive brutal ruler. The aftershocks of the Khomeini revolution reverberate throughout the globe, and especially in the Gulf area, plaguing regional stability and vital US concerns.
In 1981, the US Administration punished Israel for the bombing of Iraq’s nuclear reactor, fearing that the bombing would undermine US-Iraq and US-Arab relations. Ten years later, then Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, thanked Israel publicly for eradicating the Iraqi reactor, in defiance of the Secretary of State, who rebuked Cheney for his pro-Israeli statement. Israel’s action provided the US with the conventional option against Saddam in 1991, and spared the US tens of thousands of losses and a mega-billion dollar extra expenditure in the 1991 Gulf War.
During the 1980s, the Department of State considered Saddam a constructive leader and an ally in the confrontation against Iran. Until the August 1990 invasion of Kuwait, by Iraq, Baghdad received from Washington classified commercial and defense technologies, provided Iraq with $5BN loan guarantees, shared intelligence with Saddam’s regime, and urged France and Britain to follow suit. According to Foggy Bottom, a well-fed Saddam would be less of a threat. On July 19, 1990, on the eve of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, the US ambassador to Baghdad told Saddam that “an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait would be considered, by Washington, an inter-Arab issue,” thus paving the road for the invasion. The seeds that would destabilize the Gulf area in 2002/3 were planted in July 1990.
During the 1980s the Department of State embraced Bin Laden, who fought against the Soviets in Afghanistan. The Department defined Bin Laden a pro-US anti—USSR liberation fighter, and therefore accorded the arch-terrorist training and logistic and operational support, even following the expulsion of the Soviets from Afghanistan. Just like Khomeini and Saddam, Bin Laden exposed in a brutal manner the superficial face of the Department of State.
During the last few weeks, the Department absorbed another shock, this time from Arafat, who has shattered the litany of wishful thinking cultivated since the 1993 signing of Oslo. On October 11, 2000,