Trump Tumbles into Saudi-Israeli Trap

President Trump has fallen into a Saudi-Israeli trap that won’t solve the Mideast regional conflicts and won’t lead to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, explains ex-British diplomat Alastair Crooke.

By Alastair Crooke

Jared Kushner did his father-in-law few favors when he enticed President Trump into the endless Israeli-Palestinian “peace process.” To this end, as one Israeli journalist put it, Trump’s advisers set up the Saudis to “embrace [him], and do the sword dance around [him], add a huge check for the arms deals – and [in return is expected to] create an anti-Shiite, anti-Iranian axis [around them].”

Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner, and his wife, Assistant to the President Ivanka Trump, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus are seen as they arrive at the Murabba Palace in Saudi Arabia on May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Yes, the iconic salesman (Trump), was himself sold a proverbial “bridge” (by his son-in-law, fueled by the conceit that having known Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for many years, Kushner was “ideal” for bringing peace to Israel). Trump in Riyadh thus paid full homage to the Sunni narrative that they – the Sunnis – are the innocent victims, and the Shi’a, the dark, nefarious, revolutionary, fifth-columnists, who must be driven back into their “pen.”

Trump has thus declared himself an explicit partisan in the geo-strategic power plays between the region’s northern-tier states and the Gulf states. Instead of remaining distant and “above” these Middle East conflicts, he has allowed himself to be persuaded to do the opposite: to dive in, on the Sunni side (perhaps partly to counterpoint with President Obama’s engagement of Iran).

Why? Well, the dollars (should they materialize), will be useful. But essentially, because Kushner persuaded his-father-in-law that flattering the Saudis and demonizing the Iranians, represented the entry price into the peacemaking process between Israel and the Palestinians, which if achieved, would constitute the Trump foreign policy “legacy” for history.

A Long-term Failure

According to the well-regarded Israeli journalist, Ben Caspit, in Maariv, “Someone in Washington studied the map and did their homework. The assessment is that this was a joint effort by Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt [Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations]. They heard from Obama’s people, and also from a few Israelis who spent all their time, energy, and health on the peace process in the last eight years, who explained to them how the smoking and explosive powder keg of the Middle East conflict needed to be approached.”

President Donald Trump poses for photos with ceremonial swordsmen on his arrival to Murabba Palace, as the guest of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, Saturday evening, May 20, 2017, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

Yes, they probably spoke precisely with those “peace process” experts who have been in denial – for the last 25 years – to its manifest failure. And therefore, have been unwilling to acknowledge the four basic flaws to the Oslo principles. Instead, we repeat the same flawed approach, over and over, hoping always for a different outcome.

Europe and America have shared a settled conviction over the last decades: It is that Israel, out of its own necessity, must seek to conserve a Jewish majority within Israel. And that with time, and a growing Palestinian population, Israel will at some point have to acquiesce to a Palestinian “state,” in order to maintain that Jewish majority: that is, only by giving Palestinians their own state or somehow dispensing with a part of the Palestinian people that it controls, can Israel’s Jewish majority be preserved. This is the first principle.

This notion seems intuitively so self-evident, that most Americans and Europeans decline to question it. But the recent release of transcripts from the Israeli cabinet discussions in the wake of the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six Day War show clearly that even then, Israel leaders understood this basic dilemma: they heard the contemporary U.S. warnings about having to absorb one million captive Palestinians, but remained defiant, insisting to keep all the land that had occupied in the war.

As then-Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban noted at the time: “[The Americans’] feeling is yes to Jerusalem, but no to the territories. They are stressing that it would be very bad if the world gets the impression that we really intend to hold onto the entire territory.”

Assuaging the Israelis

This first proposition bequeathed to us the second principle: that of the “security-first doctrine”: that Europe and America, in insisting (to the Palestinians) that they must meet and assuage Israel’s own self-assertion of its security needs, would enable Israel to transition, with confidence, to a two-state solution.

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu talk together prior to President Trump’s address, May 23, 2017, at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

This security-first narrative is persuasive – so persuasive that European and American policy has been skewed almost wholly towards the goal of security trust-building with Israel. This latter goal has been pursued à outrance — beyond even, the point at which any sovereignty residual that might remain after Israel’s assertion of its security requirements, would amount to little more than a continued occupation masquerading as a Palestinian “state.”

Yet, to the frustration of Western leaders, and despite whatever additional security was provided by the Palestinian security forces, it was never enough. Western leaders have found no solution, but to press on, insisting on yet more security co-operation and trust-building with Israel. Indeed, President Trump seems to have pursued this same line: apparently shouting and berating Palestinian leader Abu Mazen for inciting against Israel (and for giving financial support to families whose members, now prisoners, had resisted the Occupation).

But Israel has not conceded a Palestinian State — despite many opportunities over the last 25 years — and does not seem any more disposed to “give” a Palestinian state now. Seldom is it asked why, if the logic is indeed so compelling, have two states not emerged?

Perhaps it is because both the original “Israel surely wants a Palestinian state” premise, and the linked premise that building security trust with Israel is the necessary sine qua non to Israel’s transition into the two-state solution, quite simply, are flawed. Perhaps Israel has always hankered after some alternative way to retain the land, and somehow to contain its population (the recently released records of the post-war cabinet certainly suggest so).

The Two-State Mirage

The evidence of Israeli actions on the ground, too, plainly does not support the contention that Israel has been preparing the transition to a two-state solution of fixed borders, and a sovereign Palestinian state. On the contrary, the evidence points in the opposite direction: that Israel has been intent on frustrating the two-state solution within fixed borders.

President Donald Trump participates in arrival ceremonies with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority at the Presidential Palace, May 23, 2017, in Bethlehem. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

But there are two further “givens” to the “process” with Israel that also deserve more critical scrutiny: One, (most favored by the Europeans), is that America can “impose” a solution on Israel. On the basis of my experience as a staff member of Sen. George Mitchell’s peacemaking process, this also is a flawed premise. To appropriate the phrase used in a different context, Israel always “has six ways from Sunday” to circumvent American pressures (which in any case are limited by domestic political considerations).

Finally, does the Arab leadership – as opposed to the street – really want a Palestinian state? I am not so sure. I think they are quite comfortable with things just as they are.  The presumption of a strong desire to establish a Palestinian State may be flawed too.

So what is Trump’s (or Kushner’s) “new” plan? Daniel Serioti of Israel Hayom reports on May 24: “A senior official in Ramallah told Israel Hayom that during President Trump’s one-on-one meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Abu Mazen … that [Trump] intends to lead a peace process based primarily on the Saudi-Arab peace initiative …

“President Trump told the PA chairman that the peace plan that he was consolidating would be based on promoting a comprehensive regional plan first, as part of the Arab peace initiative. The Palestinian official said that President Trump emphatically told Abu Mazen that this did not mean renouncing the two-state vision as the basis for a future agreement between Israel and the PA, under which a Palestinian state would be established alongside Israel, although the American president would like to consider additional possibilities ‘outside the box.’

“The main possibility is promoting the Saudi-Arab peace initiative first, and only afterwards an interim agreement, in the framework of which the parties would discuss ways to reach a permanent status arrangement that would enable the creation of an independent Palestinian state and both sides declaring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The Palestinian official said that President Trump described the fundamentals of the plan that he is drafting in a very general way and did not go into the particulars, although according to him, the Americans would like to promote the Arab peace initiative so that the beginning will involve an act of normalizing Israel’s relations with the moderate Sunni Arab states.

“Additionally … the Americans will take action to promote direct intensive negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which will be outlined in a preset timetable, and under which the parties will take action to resolve core issues, primarily delineating the borders of the future Palestinian state, the status of Jerusalem and the holy places, the fate of the settlements outside the large blocs, the right of return and more.”

Not Much ‘New’

The “new” twist here is a “regional (Sunni-Israeli) alliance” that would initially normalize with Israel, but which then could evolve into a “regional defense alliance,” “under American patronage and with full military and diplomatic American support” and which would be targeted explicitly at Iran and its allies.

President Trump shakes the hand of Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammad bin Salman on May 20, 2017. (Screenshot from Whitehouse.gov)

But there is nothing truly new here. We have had “inside-out” and “outside-in” initiatives before. But what is different about the Trump/Kushner version is that the late Saudi King Abdullah’s initiative was predicated on Israel establishing a Palestinian State first and normalization with Israel occurring secondly. Trump seems to be inverting the order: Arab normalization first and then an interim agreement with the Palestinians second.

In fact, it all sounds rather like a re-make of the “security-first doctrine”: i.e. that Arab States, by assuaging Israel’s own self-assertion of its security anxieties, would serve, through normalization, to enable Israel to transition with greater confidence to an “interim” Palestinian solution – and maybe even to a permanent solution.

We have here the eternal problem that the Arab leaders cannot afford to normalize without an Israeli concession to the Palestinians, and the Palestinians in turn will not make a gesture, until and unless, Israel halts settlement building, which the latter will not do.

Another reason to think that this plan will come to nothing (after being spun out as long as possible by Prime Minister Netanyahu) is that, while it is true that the Palestinians presently are weak and divided – paradoxically Netanyahu is even weaker. Any concessions to Abu Mazen, however banal, could bring down his government. Netanyahu’s right-wing sees no reason to make any – even symbolic – concessions to the Palestinians. Why should they? They are on the cusp of having it all.

The Trap Closes

This – the Sunni-Israeli regional Alliance; the renewed peace process – is a trap into which Trump has been persuaded to enter. It is a trap, because once entered into, the peace process becomes formaldehyde to all other political processes. How often have we been told “you can’t do this; you can’t do that” because it might endanger the (vacuous) “peace process.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Nov. 23, 2015 Tehran. (Photo from: http://en.kremlin.ru)

A peace process gives Israel huge anesthetic leverage in the region – as always it has so done. It is a trap – because it ties Trump into trying to assuage the Irano-phobia of Saudi Arabia, which will prove to be just as insatiable as are Israel’s “security needs.”

These liabilities will undercut Trump’s possibilities for defeating ISIS and for détente with Russia. Russia has been trying to bring the Shi’a and the Turks to the negotiating table on Syria. Trump’s role was to be to help bring the Sunni side to the table – in order to forge a wider regional settlement. That will be less likely now, as Saudi Arabia levers Trump’s visit towards weakening Iran.

With Trump’s homage to the Sunni cause, it is more likely that the Sunni-Shi’a fissure will deepen, rather than its sore edges be reconciled. And, viewed from a pure realpolitik perspective, does Trump really believe that Saudi Arabia and its allies will succeed in weakening the Russia, Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hizbullah alliance?

And Israel? The writing was plainly on the wall, as we now know, at those post-Six Day War Israeli cabinet meetings. The Americans did warn the Israeli cabinet that it would become progressively harder and harder for America to defend Israel’s hold over the disempowered, disenfranchised and dispossessed (and enlarging), Palestinian people – if Israel insisted on its “winner takes all” end of war policy.

This is something that still has to play out in its own way. But as White House adviser Steve Bannon noted in his film Generation Zero, “the essence of Greek tragedy is that it is not like a traffic accident, where somebody dies. The Greek sense is that tragedy is where something happens because it has to happen … Because the people involved make it happen. And they have no choice, but to make it happen.”

Alastair Crooke is a former British diplomat who was a senior figure in British intelligence and in European Union diplomacy. He is the founder and director of the Conflicts Forum.

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62 comments for “Trump Tumbles into Saudi-Israeli Trap

  1. mike k
    June 3, 2017 at 11:15 am

    All this complicated diplomacy really means nothing. The truth is that the Israeli’s stole the Palestinian’s land from the very beginning, abetted by the Western powers, and they are continuing to steal it and to destroy the Palestinian people, because they have the power to do that. Why should they make any kind of deal, when they have the power to get what they want without making deals? They just play at making deals to cover their naked power grabs, and pretend to be civilized and concerned about the Palestinians rights, which of course they are not. Trying to talk the Israeli’s into making peace is a fool’s errand, that only diplomats trying to keep their jobs would involve themselves in.

    • T. Mellman
      June 3, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      My response to the “the Israeli’s stole the Palestinians’ land from the very beginning” argument is that nobody’s going to be giving America back to the Indians.

      My suspicion is that the Palestinians would have eventually come to terms with the new order, but that the conflict has been used for one proxy war or another, and as fuel for stoking Muslim resurgence, since the birth of Israel.

      If America could get over its “exceptionalism” delusion and the world could jettison the fancy that religion is something that needs to be protected, the conflict would resolve.

      • mike k
        June 3, 2017 at 12:55 pm

        “nobody’s going to be giving to be giving America back to the Indians” Does that make it right? You seem to echo Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic, “Justice is the interest of the stronger.” Nice principle to justify theft and murder – such as Israel has done.

      • Chet Roman
        June 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm

        Of course you would claim equivalence with the U.S. colonization American. There are some similarities; both the English colonists of America and the European colonists of Palestine were foreigners with no ties to the land.

        BUT we are in the 21st century and yet the Zionist colonization continues to expand. They continue to slaughter the indigenous population and steal even more land. It is not U.S. exceptionalism that causes chaos in the Middle East, it’s the Zionist control of the U.S. foreign policy that supported the invasion of Iraq to eliminate an enemy of Israel, the effort to break up Syria into warring factions so Israel can steal more land adjacent to the Golan Heights were oil has been discovered and to stop the Iranian military support of Hezbollah so Israel can try again to capture the Litani River.

        Yes, please ask the moderator to delete your vacuous comment.

        • Charles Watkins
          June 3, 2017 at 5:35 pm

          “Ask the moderator to delete your vacuous comment.” That’s a new one on me, a new low.

        • tld
          June 4, 2017 at 1:22 am

          Chet you are Spot On. Israel is a Criminal State with no respect to others. Never has and never will.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 3, 2017 at 1:54 pm

        I’m one American who thinks it’s time to give back to the Native of this continent. I also have no problem to living up to the U.S. promise to slaves reparations either.

        • Michael Nguyen
          June 16, 2017 at 2:06 am

          Really??? Then let’s start with your home, your personal property and financial belongings. Also, when did the United States ever promise reparations to slaves ever?

      • evelync
        June 3, 2017 at 4:38 pm

        I have a different take, T Mellman, on what you wrote:

        “If America could get over its “exceptionalism” delusion and the world could jettison the fancy that religion is something that needs to be protected, the conflict would resolve.”

        I heartily agree. And others here seem to have overlooked this key comment. You were making excuses for no one and even dare to point out that if Israelis would consider embracing Palestinians into Israel, accepting that “horrors!”, one day the Israeli State might be multicultural, and multi- religious, so what? Maybe that would be a good thing! Better for all concerned in some unexpected way?

        Thank you!

      • Anon
        June 3, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        You are trying to deceive with zionist propaganda:

        1. You are rationalizing theft by a past theft. The US case is also long ago and entirely immaterial.
        2. You know that it is the zionists not the Palestinians who are primarily promoting a religion, but you try to blame the Palestinians by claiming that they could simply change their religion;
        3. You know that it vacuous that “the conflict would resolve” if both sides dropped religious preference;
        4. You know that “one proxy war or another” in the Mideast consist entirely of zionist wars for theft.

        So tell your thief friends to “come to terms with the new order” or be expelled on rubber rafts where they belong, a promised land in the middle of the Mediterranean.

        • Michael Nguyen
          June 16, 2017 at 2:17 am

          Do you think honestly that Muslim Arabs give three shits about their Palestinian brothers and sisters? They see the Palestinians as useful pawns to be used against the Israelis and Jews. If they truly cared, instead of inciting the Palestinians into distructive wars against Israel, that the Palestinians are bound to lose against the Israelis, they would spend their substantial wealth in helping the Palestinians build a successful, affluent society .

    • Peter Loeb
      June 3, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I AGREE WITH MIKE K….

      If A Crooke were more knowledgeable and less “diplomatic” he
      would have read Thomas Suarez’ landmark book THE TERROR STATE
      . Perhaps he might comprehend that Palestinians NEVER
      wanted a Zionist and exclusive home for “the Jews” (who???).
      The “War of Independence” was a terrorist war in the first place
      against the UK and then against the Palestinians (Muslim and
      non-Muslim) who already lived in that area to which they considered
      they considered themselves divinely entitled.

      This commenter is not sufficiently eloquent to paraphrase Mr.
      Suarez’s work.

      This administration may make things worrse but
      many, many others have certainly played their parts.

      “The only good Arab (Israeli term) may be a dead Arab” or
      at least a dying one. The Israeli’s have produced both with
      American assistance over many decades and with
      British stupidity as well.

      —-Peter Loeb, Boston, MA, USA

  2. June 3, 2017 at 11:37 am

    There is one thing about the Jews that has remained constant over the last thousands of years. They are takers. They take and take until they force the Gentiles into a corner and then the Gentiles turn on them. After hundreds of pograms against these particular people you would think that the Jews would take a serious review of why they are generally so hated by the rest of the world and try and mitigate this hatred by changing some of the ways they generate it. But no. It replayes itself over and over. When they get a leg up they push it to the limit. Where ever they are people soon wind up in usurious debt to them,. They seem to believe the old testament story that God will always defend them and slaughter their adversaries. over and over again the exact opposite happens and they once again push people to the point of striking back at them. Will they ever learn? Not much hope there, as they keep as a central point of their culture that they are the master race and that the rest of mankind is only there to be their slaves. To them the Goyim are just beasts in the field even just excrement. With an attitude like that is there any wonder that another pogram will take place. They will drive the Goyim to it. Sad to say but they are the architechs of their own destruction.

    • Bill Bodden
      June 3, 2017 at 12:38 pm

      Dan: I essentially agree with the thrust of your argument, but your phrasing is unfortunate in putting all Jews in the same category. They are similar to almost all groupings of people. They include the best and worst of people with most somewhere in between. The tragedy for many people of Jewish heritage is that they pay the price of the sins of the authoritarians among them and their accomplices among the Gentiles.

      Mondoweiss.net, Consortium News, CounterPunch and similar websites feature examples of admirable and courageous authors of Jewish heritage.

      • Cal
        June 4, 2017 at 2:14 am

        ” They are similar to almost all groupings of people. They include the best and worst of people with most somewhere in between. The tragedy for many people of Jewish heritage is that they pay the price of the sins of the authoritarians among them and their accomplices among the Gentiles.”

        Hate to break it you but its hardly a Jewish tragedy—-ALL citizens and people of every nation or group or tribe always ‘pay the price’ for their evil leaders.

        COLLECTIVE PUNISHMENT….verboten by international law is still the way the world works for the weak and the war losers.

        We practice ‘collective punishment’ every day by the sanctions we impose on countries which hurt collective population.

        • Bill Bodden
          June 4, 2017 at 12:35 pm

          Hate to break it you but its hardly a Jewish tragedy—-ALL citizens and people of every nation or group or tribe always ‘pay the price’ for their evil leaders.

          I made that point, Cal. “…putting all Jews in the same category. They are similar to almost all groupings of people

      • June 4, 2017 at 12:09 pm

        Bill

        I agree with you. I think most Jews are good people. In fact in Israel itself there are many groups pushing for a just peace. But they are poor and marginalized. the real power rests in the hands og the Adlesons of the Jewish community.

      • One Earth
        June 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm

        Totally correct!

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 3, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/05/28/523435/Palestine-Israel-Tel-Aviv

      Dan possibly there are some good Jewish still left in Israel. I often look at our own American citizen dilemma, whereas we Americans are poorly represented by our leadership. Very complex, when trying to sort this mess all out, indeed. Take care Dan Joe

      • Bill Bodden
        June 3, 2017 at 3:08 pm

        possibly there are some good Jewish still left in Israel.

        Joe: There are, indisputably, some superb Jewish people still left in Israel – Uri Avnery, Gideon Levy, Amira Hass, and many others whose names don’t come readily to mind, for which I offer a sincere apology. Unfortunately, they form a very small minority with little consequence other than demonstrating that in the most squalid of places human decency can survive. Kind of like the United States and the European Union where the political leaders have sold their souls for thirty pieces of Israeli silver.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 3, 2017 at 3:17 pm

          Thanks Bill for mentioning the names. I find Gideon Levy to be an amazing fellow. When speaking to the small Jewish minority, is it that or a small media coverage of the compassionate Jew that blocks our view? One can only wonder, but yes we must separate out the good from the bad, when being critical of any nations general character.

        • FobosDeimos
          June 3, 2017 at 6:50 pm

          You are right Bill. Some of the most horrible facts about the ethnic cleansing of Palestine have been unearthed and published by the “new Israeli historians”, like Benny Morris, Ilan Pappé and Avi Shlaim. It’s true that Pappé eventually had to leave Israel because of the oppresive force of the “official” majority, but the fact is that there are many courageous Israeli and non Israeli Jews who tell the truth. They should be encouraged and respected.

          • June 4, 2017 at 12:16 pm

            I sincerely apologise to all for lumping all Jews together. That was not my intention. One has to be careful about such generalizations, that is what led to the holocaust. That is just wrong thinking. Of course there are good Jews. In reality I think it is the few Jews who carry the tar and brush with which the Gentiles paint the entire race. The actions of these few generate hatred of the entire race.

  3. Anon
    June 3, 2017 at 11:50 am

    An excellent expose of zionist capture of a fooled administration. No one is fooled by the Trump plan. The utterly racist zionists have already “spun out as long as possible” the totally fake “peace process” and will never consent to justice except at the point of a gun.

    That gun should be ISIS and Alqaeda, brought to Jordan, KSA, and Egypt to take over Israel. Then give them seventy years (as in 1947-2017) to “discuss” a two-state solution with enslaved Israelis. Then send the bastards overseas in rubber rafts to whomever is foolish enough to accept them.

    The tragedy is that the zionist Jews are just as fascist as the Nazi Germans. But there is no more reason for mercy. End the fake negotiations and enslave the bastards. History will consider the destruction of Israel as inevitable due to their extreme racist imperialist conduct, and the sooner the better.

  4. T. Mellman
    June 3, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    Oh my goodness. After my posting a few minutes ago, I see new contributions here that show that this is another of those forums for fantasy-obsessed, Judaism-hating ranters. Is that what they call “trolls” these days?

    If there’s moderation here, please delete my contribution.

    • Anon
      June 3, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      No one here is fooled by your attempt to claim that opposition to zionist fascism is somehow “Judaism-hating.” So is our opposition to Naziism German-hating? Only a fool thinks that everyone else must be dumber than he is. We’ve been through your trash propaganda all our lives, like most Americans. Collect your racist zionist friends and leave America to fix all the damage you have done in generations of theft and corruption. Good riddance.

      • Cal
        June 4, 2017 at 12:08 am

        Ditto to that Anon.

  5. Bill Bodden
    June 3, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    em>The evidence of Israeli actions on the ground, too, plainly does not support the contention that Israel has been preparing the transition to a two-state solution of fixed borders, and a sovereign Palestinian state. On the contrary, the evidence points in the opposite direction: that Israel has been intent on frustrating the two-state solution within fixed borders.

    This evidence has been obvious for many years to people who have not sold their souls to lobbyists for Israel – and probably to some that have made their Faustian bargains for political or other gains.

    Given the turmoil throughout the Middle East the inheritors of Zionist ambitions have probably put expansion beyond the Palestine Territories on the back burner for the time being.

  6. Bill Bodden
    June 3, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    And Israel? The writing was plainly on the wall, as we now know, at those post-Six Day War Israeli cabinet meetings. The Americans did warn the Israeli cabinet that it would become progressively harder and harder for America to defend Israel’s hold over the disempowered, disenfranchised and dispossessed (and enlarging), Palestinian people – if Israel insisted on its “winner takes all” end of war policy.

    The cowardly and repugnant coverup by Lyndon Johnson, secretary for war McNamara and assorted Navy brass of the equally cowardly Israeli attack on the USS Liberty on June 8, 1967 probably gave a boost to the Israelis to go for their “winner takes all” end of war policy.

  7. Joe Tedesky
    June 3, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    I agree Alastair Crooke Trump is going down the wrong path. Why, just by the sounds of the Saudi Solution it appears that the Palestinians are only being given an ultimatum. This isn’t negotiating a deal, it’s called bullying. This bullying is already what the world sees in the actions of the U.S. Foreign Policy. George Marshall failed to see how Truman’s acceptance of an Israeli State benefited the U.S., and his query still holds true to today. This two state solution has been kicked around so badly that I can’t see how in anyway it will finally come to fruition and still be fairly done. What the U.S. should do, is pull up stakes on Israel and allow this matter to be debated and sorted out at the UN.

  8. FobosDeimos
    June 3, 2017 at 6:32 pm

    Trump has not “fallen” into any trap. He nose-dived into it in all conscience. Stop considering this gangster as a naive fellow who is dragged around by evil characters. He is determined to do Israel’s dirty job in Iran, and he enjoys doing business with his partners of the Al Saud clan.

    • Leslie F
      June 3, 2017 at 7:10 pm

      True, but he is also dumb enough and egocentric enough to believe Kushner’s snow job that it will rebound to his glory. In that sense he is being played. He deserves it but the real victims, the Palestinians don’t.

    • mild-ly - facetious
      June 3, 2017 at 8:05 pm

      Inaction Equals Annihilation

      In this context, consider the moral consequences of inaction on climate change. Once it seemed that the process of global warming would occur slowly enough to allow societies to adapt to higher temperatures without excessive disruption, and that the entire human family would somehow make this transition more or less simultaneously. That now looks more and more like a fairy tale. Climate change is occurring far too swiftly for all human societies to adapt to it successfully. Only the richest are likely to succeed in even the most tenuous way. Unless colossal efforts are undertaken now to halt the emission of greenhouse gases, those living inless affluent societies can expect to suffer from extremes of flooding, drought, starvation, disease, and death in potentially staggering numbers.

      And you don’t need a Ph.D. in climatology to arrive at this conclusion either. The overwhelming majority of the world’s scientists agree that any increase in average world temperatures that exceeds 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial era—some opt for a rise of no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius—will alter the global climate system drastically. In such a situation, a number of societies will simply disintegrate in the fashion of South Sudan today, producing staggering chaos and misery. So far, the world has heated up by at least one of those two degrees, and unless we stop burning fossil fuels in quantity soon, the 1.5 degree level will probably be reached in the not-too-distant future.

      Worse yet, on our present trajectory, it seems highly unlikely that the warming process will stop at 2 or even 3 degrees Celsius, meaning that laterin this century many of the worst-case climate-change scenarios—the inundation of coastal cities, the desertification of vast interior regions, and the collapse of rain-fed agriculture in many areas—will become everyday reality.

      In other words, think of the developments in those three African lands and Yemen as previews of what far larger parts of our world could look like in another quarter-century or so: a world in which hundreds of millions of people are at risk of annihilation from disease or starvation, or are on the march or at sea, crossing borders, heading for the shantytowns of major cities, looking for refugee camps or other places where survival appears even minimally possible. If the world’s response to the current famine catastrophe and the escalating fears of refugees in wealthy countries are any indication, people will die in vast numbers without hope of help.

      In other words, failing to halt the advance of climate change—to the extent that halting it, at this point, remains within our power—means complicity with mass human annihilation. We know, or at this point should know, that such scenarios are already on the horizon. We still retain the power, if not to stop them, then to radically ameliorate what they will look like, so our failure to do all we can means that we become complicitin what—not to mince words— is clearly going to be a process of climate genocide. How can those of us in countries responsible for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions escape such a verdict?

      And if such a conclusion is indeed inescapable, then each of us must do whatever we can to reduce our individual, community, and institutional contributions to global warming. Even if we are already doing a lot—as many of us are —more is needed. Unfortunately, we Americans are living not only in a time of climate crisis, but in the era of President Trump, which means the federal government and its partners in the fossil fuel industry will be wielding their immense powers to obstruct all imaginable progress on limiting global warming. They will be the true perpetrators ofclimate genocide. As a result, the rest of us bear a moral responsibility not just to do what we can at the local level to slow the pace of climate change, but also to engage in political struggle to counteract or neutralize the acts of Trump and company. Only dramatic and concerted action on multiple fronts can prevent the human disasters now unfolding in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen from becoming the global norm.

      Michael T. Klare is the Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts. His newest book, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources, has just recently been published. His other books include: Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy andBlood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Dependence on Imported Petroleum. A documentary version of Blood and Oil is available from the Media Education Foundation.

      © 2017 TomDispatch.com

      • Anon
        June 3, 2017 at 9:20 pm

        This scammer again inserts a long copied essay on a completely different subject to damage the commentary on this website. Last time he couldn’t even spell “mildly – facetious.”
        The moderator should delete his post as completely irrelevant and of malicious intent.

    • Skip Scott
      June 4, 2017 at 6:56 am

      Trump’s “all conscience” is a very limited conscience. This gangster is a naive fellow. His thoughts run about as deep as a mud puddle. Just assuage his ego and he will follow you anywhere.

    • Michael Nguyen
      June 16, 2017 at 2:26 am

      Just like that slick gangster in a suit from Chicago who tried to cozy up to the mullahs in Iran? How did that turn out for us?

  9. Sleepless In Mars
    June 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm

    Investigative journalism creates billions in economic benefit and is under attack. They want to expand the debt generating corrupt systems, so it is a death trap.

  10. mild-ly - facetious
    June 3, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    on the other hand, imagine climate change as legalized political homage

    http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/04/22/climate-change-as-genocide/

    on the other hand, imagine climate change as legalized political homocide
    on the other hand, imagine climate change as legalized political homocide

    in reverential homage
    to a hallowed denial of
    an avowed affinity to
    a militarized subjugation

    who are the ‘elect’ of God?

    • Anon
      June 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Shove it scammer.

  11. mild-ly - facetious
    June 3, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    on the other hand, imagine climate change as legalized political homage

    https://www.democracynow.org/2017/6/2/as_oil_starts_to_flow_through

    • Anon
      June 3, 2017 at 9:21 pm

      Shove it scammer.

  12. June 3, 2017 at 8:43 pm

    Let’s consider that Peace and conflict are defined not as descriptions of behaviour between nations, but as trends describing social conditions. Put differently: Conflict is not defined as the violence between neighbours and nations, but as the unwanted intrusion of one person’s existence and consumption behaviour upon another person.

    There are two kinds of conflict:

    * Direct: he took my car, he enslaved me, he beat me, he raped me, he killed me; and Indirect. Indirect intrusions are the by-product of other people’s behaviour.
    * Indirect: ‘All the trees on our island were consumed by our grandparents,’ is an indirect intrusion of a past generation on a present one. ‘The rich people raised the price of gasoline and we can’t afford it,’ and ‘The government is offering people welfare to breed more children’ are current economic and demographic intrusions by one present group on another present group. Free Trade enabling overexploitation, overproduction and overconsumption of a nation natural capital resources is an economic intrusion by one set of oligarchs upon another set of citizens whose lives depend on such natural capital.

    System conflict is the sum of intrusions experienced by each constituent, summed over all the constituents. A measure of the existing global conflict is the sum of six billion sets of direct and indirect intrusions. A measure of the UK’s conflict is the sum of 62 million sets of direct and indirect intrusions.

    Using this definition of conflict, any citizen, politician, policeman, judge or legislator sincerely concerned about finding out whether and how any nation or the planet’s socio-economic and political system is moving towards peace or towards conflict; can do so, by determining the answers to the following questions:

    Procreation Footprint: How many children per family leads to peace; or conversely how many children per family, contributes to greater resource scarcity, and exponential increase in conflict, i.e. an individuals’ ‘breeding war combatant’ status? [According to the research of Dr. Jack Alpert, the global answer – currently based on current population numbers — is one child per family leads to peace; two or more children leads to conflict]

    Production/Carbon Footprint: How much exploitation and production of non-renewable and renewable natural resources relative to the nation’s Natural Capital carrying capacity footprint leads to peace; or conversely how much of a nation’s non-renewable and renewable natural resources can or should a corporation exploit into production of consumer goods, before such exploitation and production contributes to greater resource scarcity and exponential increase in conflict; i.e. a corporations ‘production combatant’ status?

    Consumption/Carbon Footprint: How much consumption of non-renewable and renewable natural resources relative to the nation’s Natural Capital carrying capacity footprint leads to peace; or conversely how much consumption of non-renewable and renewable natural resources relative to the nation’s Natural Capital carrying capacity footprint, contributes to greater resource scarcity, and exponential increase in conflict, i.e. an individuals ‘consumption combatant status’? All consumption of nonrenewable natural resources—fossil fuels, metals, and minerals—at any level, contributes to scarcity-conflict. Peaceful consumption of Aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric natural habitats requires that they be degraded only at levels less than or equal to the levels at which they are regenerated by Nature. Exploiting renewable resources above their capacity to regenerate is not sustainable and does not contribute to peaceful resource relations; i.e. contribute to scarcity-conflict.

    In the absence of the worlds political, economic and corporate leaders confronting and acknowledging the difference between sustainable peaceful consumption and procreation and unsustainable scarcity-conflict aggravating consumption and procreation; and implementing legislation and Jurisprudence in accordance thereto; Dr. Alpert provides proof how the global AnthroCorpocentric Jurisprudence Suicide Freight Train has as much chance of muddling through the coming ‘Falling Man Syndrome’ Crisis of Conflict, as an individual sitting in an unbelted car crash. (Non-Linearity and Social Conflict)
    » SQSwans: Dr Jack Alpert.

    A copy of this comment is posted to EoP v WiP NWO Neg: 04 Jun: Consortiumnews.

    • Anon
      June 3, 2017 at 9:30 pm

      Readers here expect relevancy and reason, not irrelevant cut-and-paste drifting.
      “EoP MILED Clerk” appears to be the same source as “mild-ly – facetious” spamming websites that he/she cannot argue against.

      • Skip Scott
        June 4, 2017 at 7:01 am

        I think the Zionist trolls have come upon a new strategy. They know they can’t win a logical argument here, so they clutter the comment stream with irrelevance.

      • mike k
        June 4, 2017 at 8:26 am

        I find the comment by EoP above to be rational and relevant to the issues being discussed on this blog. The expression of these ideas is somewhat involved and prolix, but the ideas are meaningful, if difficult to implement.

        I think the assumption that those of us commenting here have some clear picture of all that needs to be considered as relevant to our immensely complex problems is incorrect. We need to be tolerant of and welcome a diversity of views without automatically shooting down anything that does not jibe with our own understanding. In a loosely organized group like this comments section, just letting things be without comment is sometimes the best policy for the health of the overall effort. Live and let live. Things will sort themselves out over time.

        I am familiar with Jack Alpert’s work, and it is highly meaningful for our present crisis. Look it up and decide for yourself.

        • mike k
          June 4, 2017 at 8:30 am

          For those interested in Dr, Alpert’s work: http://www.skil.org/

        • Anon
          June 4, 2017 at 9:10 am

          But his pasting in essays on totally irrelevant subjects is malicious. It does not matter that the pasted-in essay may not be irrational in itself: its presence here is not a related subject, it is intended to trick readers into drifting off the subject that the troll cannot rationally discuss.

          It is typical of trolls to use climate-change and identity issues to destroy discussions of more critical and immediate political issues. That was the DNC plan to promote war in the Mideast.

  13. Art
    June 3, 2017 at 11:17 pm

    Great article, although I wish that the author would have been more specific about the “domestic political considerations” in the US which limits the amount of pressure that can be leveled against Israel. My guess he is referring to the Israel lobby which has just about every American safely in their pocket. The tail wagging the dog.

    • Cal
      June 4, 2017 at 3:06 am

      If you go thru the papers and oral histories of Presidential libraries beginning with Truman on Israel you will see ” “domestic political considerations” used constantly by presidential advisors, party bosses and etc. in their discussions as the reason for Israel support.

  14. June 4, 2017 at 1:33 am

    I strongly disagree with A. Cooke. It seems that Cooke has “tumbled” into another sort of trap: that of apologist of a faux populist.

    Fobos Deimos (above) understanding is much closer to my own (as a close observer for many years). Trump is the Republican Obama.

    More here: http://jackrabbit.blog

  15. Cal
    June 4, 2017 at 3:00 am

    What I don’t get is all these I/P experts and activist who seemingly don’t understand the nature of the beast they are dealing with in both the US Zion and Israel.

    Why are they still talking about it as if there is ever going to be any solution except for a total sanctions and boycott move on Israel and/or some kind of military action/ enforcement.

    After 16 years of following this FUBAR and being right on everything I predicted on what Israel would do next and how it would become more not less insane …I don’t want to read any more about the same old ‘talky -talky’ on peace solutions. ..it’s pure political bull sh*t.

    • Bill Bodden
      June 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm

      Why are they still talking about it as if there is ever going to be any solution except for a total sanctions and boycott move on Israel and/or some kind of military action/ enforcement.

      The apartheid state of Israel is similar to the American Deep South prior to the civil rights movements of the 1960s when racist traditions began a reversal. We still have a long way to go, but there have been definite improvements Something similar could happen in Israel if the root causes are addressed.

      • Cal
        June 4, 2017 at 7:29 pm

        ”The apartheid state of Israel is similar to the American Deep South prior to the civil rights movements of the 1960s …

        No it isn’t …..the prejudice against blacks was not about ”stealing land”..
        Which is what I/P is and always has been about.
        Neither is it the goal of Israel to maintain discrimination against Palestines as discrimination was the goal of Jim Crow……the goal of Israel –the original and actual government policy —- is to be RID OF the Palestines one way or another.

        ” Something similar could happen in Israel if the root causes are addressed.”

        The root cause — the theft of Palestine’s land and resources and the occupation –has been ”addressed” for the past 70 years.

        • Bill Bodden
          June 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

          No it isn’t …..the prejudice against blacks was not about ”stealing land”.

          Cal: I said “similar”, not “the same.” Big difference.

          The root cause — the theft of Palestine’s land and resources and the occupation –has been ”addressed” for the past 70 years.

          Not really. Duplicitous talking about the root causes is not addressing the issues.

  16. THOMAS W ADAMS
    June 4, 2017 at 4:06 am

    It is not anti-semitism to recognise the abominations that Jews in Palestine are inflicting upon the Palestinian Nation, every hour, every day,every week, year upon year without respite. It is not anti-semitism to recognise the equally abominable War Crimes and Human Rights atrocities that the Palestinian Peoples are forced to endure at the hands and diabolical minds of their occupier, oppressor, invader. Claims asserted by the Jewish Peoples in Palestine, maintaining their unmatched standards of democratic humanitarian credentials, when considered against their actual psychologically deluded realities, must surely qualify as definitive oxymoron delusions.

    Jews are the criminals, not all Semites, so my statements are anti-Jewish.

    If, as we claim, this is all permitted and approved by the G_d of Abraham, then it seems to me that the Devil has usurped our minds, and we are blindly following this devil back to hell. Our lord Jesus Christ saw the extent of our disobedience and lawlessness, and this is why he appeared to correct our sins; all Jews ignored Abraham’s “call” and G_d’s admonitions, calling us to return to sanity, the punishment will be another exodus, for the survivors, and the concomitant wandering in the wilderness. Amen.

    • Skip Scott
      June 4, 2017 at 7:11 am

      I have many jewish friends that are appalled by the actions of the state of Israel, just as I am opposed to the actions of my government. As Bill Bodden commented, there are many jews working for peace and justice inside Israel. Your bigoted comments are small minded. Your lord Jesus Christ is disappointed in you.

    • Michael Nguyen
      June 16, 2017 at 2:40 am

      How about the innocent Israeli civilians who live under constant threat of suicide bombers and Qassam rockets coming from the West Bank and Gaza. Instead of living in peace and helping their people prosper, The Palestinian Authority, led by Hamas and Islamic Jihad, send suicide bombers into Israeli settlements and cities to kill innocent women, men and children.

  17. THOMAS W ADAMS
    June 4, 2017 at 4:19 am

    Author Catherine Shakdam writes in “The Sound Of Your Silence”:

    “Today silence has become more than a war crime. Today silence has become more than just the manifestation of our egocentrism and selfishness. Today silence has enabled, empowered and shielded oppressors and tyrants.” (SUCH IS THE CASE OF ISRAEL MURDERING AND PUNISHING INNOCENT PALESTINIANS)

    It is known and documented, and has been for years, that the West and its allies (INCLUDING ISRAEL)support terrorism to destroy and control other countries and their (remaining) peoples.

    It is known and documented that the terrorists who behead, and rape, and pillage their way through the Middle East and elsewhere are our proxies(JUST AS AMERICA IS A PROXY FOR ISRAEL). We pay the bills, and we orchestrate the carnage ( ALL ON BEHALF OF ISRAEL).

    Prof Chossudovsky remarks in the preface to the author’s i-book, Syria’s War For Humanity

    “Everybody in Syria knows that (ISRAEL AND)Washington is behind the terrorists, that they are financed by the US (at tax payers’ expense) and its allies, trained and recruited by America’s Middle East partners. Saudi Arabia, Qatar,(ISRAEL) have been financing and training the ISIS-Daesh, al Nusra terrorists on behalf of the United States. Israel is harboring the terrorists out of the occupied Golan Heights, NATO in liaison with the Turkish high command has since March 2011 been involved in coordinating the recruitment of the jihadist fighters dispatched to Syria.

    Moreover, the ISIS-Daesh brigades in both Syria and Iraq are integrated by Western special forces and military advisers.

    While all this is known to the Syrian people, Western public opinion is led to believe that the US is leading a ‘counter-terrorism campaign’ in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State (ISIS-Daesh), an entity created and supported by (ISRAELI AND)US intelligence.”

    As NATO and its allies commit war crimes against non-belligerent Syria and Yemen, and (DONALD TRUMP AND THE DEEP STATE INCLUDING)Hillary Clinton promises war and more war, we need to break the silence.

  18. Brad Owen
    June 4, 2017 at 9:05 am

    I don’t buy into the idea that Trump, the Israelis, or the Saudis are free and independent players. They are pieces on the chessboard of the Synarchist Empire, euphemisicly referred to as The Trans-Atlantic Community. This is trans-national (as Empires always are), and the only purpose that named nations serve (America, Israel, KSA) is to be the fall guys to deflect attention away from the Synarchists in command of this new Roman Empire. Their policy IS geopolitics, to keep the ruled at each other’s throats and not looking up at thrillers who are “playing” them.They are conducting a covert, slow-motion crusade to ensure another Muslim Empire never arises again (Rome lost its North African and M.E. Provinces, and even the Eastern Roman Empire itself, along with its capital Constantinople, the Rome of the East, to Muslim Empires), perhaps even reclaim their lost provinces, as “Protectorates” under “new management” of the Synarchists themselves in Europe and Britain, taking it away from those “irresponsible” Americans, Israelis and Saudis.
    What is needed to resolve conflicts in this area is a change of paradigm, and this is happening via the belt & road initiative to foster development to the mutual benefit of all, since there really is no reason for wars (except geopolitical reasons for Empires), and scarcity is an illusion, brought on by lack of brain power being applied to the solving of problems (for example: Lack of water…on a WATER PLANET; such foolishness), and by deliberate, wicked, Imperial policies to immiserate their subjects, and keep them in a state of subjugation.
    This is what is really going on in the M.E. and the World…and I suspect mr. Cooke knows this quite well.

    • Brad Owen
      June 4, 2017 at 9:08 am

      “Thrillers” is supposed to be “those”. Stoopid iPad.

  19. Vera
    June 6, 2017 at 4:18 pm

    All in the family. How cozy.

  20. Sleepless In Mars
    June 7, 2017 at 8:35 am

    I only give the food to the women, Mr. Black.

    The women make the homes. The men make the wars… and hooch.

    Adam was God’s first draft. He got it right with Eve.

    You tell that to your readers, Mr. Black.

    There is one way out.

    Beloved imagination, what I most like in you is your unsparing quality. There remains madness, ‘the madness that one locks up’, as it has aptly been described. That madness or another…Agent Breton, OCB

    Bloody merry hell is playing out in Washington. Try finding somebody whose madness matches yours.

Comments are closed.