A predominantly one-topic blog: how is it that the most imminent and lethal implication for humankind - the fact that the doctrine of "Mutually Assured Destruction" will not work with Iran - is not being discussed in our media? Until it is recognized that MAD is dead, the Iranian threat will be treated as a threat only to Israel and not as the global threat which it in fact is.
A blog by Mladen Andrijasevic
Forget peace talks. Work on building an alliance of
moderates and modernizers.
Jared Kushnerwill get his first real taste of
Mideast diplomacy this week, when his father-in-law receives Israeli Prime
the White House. Since the 36-year-old former newspaper publisher has been
widely touted as the administration’s point man on Israeli-Arab issues, this
week’s column humbly offers four rules Mr. Kushner ought to observe in the
months and years ahead.
(1)The Clifford Rule. After stepping down asLyndon
Johnson’s defense secretary in 1969, the lateClark Cliffordsettled
into the life of a Washington superlawyer—the sort of man who, for a price,
could open all the right doors for his clients and fix some of their worst
by a man with one such problem, Clifford considered the matter, then advised:
later, the man got a bill from Clifford for $10,000. Infuriated that such
seemingly simple advice would cost so whopping a sum, he marched into
Clifford’s office to remonstrate.
replied: “Do nothing.” He then sent the man a bill for an additional $10,000.
of this (perhaps apocryphal) story is that “do nothing” is often the best
advice—and that failing to heed it can cost you dearly.
the Clifford Rule, he might have been spared his fruitless yearlong foray into
Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, which led to the 2014 Gaza War. HadCondoleezza
it, she might not have advocated Palestinian elections that led to victory for
Hamas in 2006. HadBill
it, he might have been spared the diplomatic humiliation of being spurned byYasser
Camp David in 2000.
(2)TheKissingerRule. If “do nothing” is generally good advice, what’s
Mr. Kushner supposed to do?
Kissinger once observed that “when enough bureaucratic prestige has been
invested in a policy, it is easier to see it fail than to abandon it.” So it is
with the formulas that govern official U.S. thinking toward the Arab-Israeli
conflict: “land for peace” and the “two-state solution.” The State Department
has been rolling those boulders up the hill for 50 years, and still it thinks
one last push will do the trick.
Kissinger Rule disposes with the futility. It says that if you can’t solve a
small problem, fix the larger one that encompasses it. So it was with Taiwan
and the “One China” policy, or with Egypt and its post-1973 realignment with
Kushner, that means the goal of diplomacy isn’t to “solve” the Palestinian
problem. It’s to anesthetize it through a studied combination of economic help
and diplomatic neglect. The real prize lies in further cultivating Jerusalem’s
ties to Cairo, Riyadh, Amman and Abu Dhabi, as part of an Alliance of Moderates
and Modernizers that can defeat Sunni and Shiite radicals from Raqqa to Tehran.
The goal should be to make Palestinian leaders realize over time that they are
the region’s atavism, not its future.
(3)TheBushRule. In 2004, George W. Bush and then-Prime MinisterAriel
letters in which the president acknowledged that the world had changed since
of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli
populations centers,” Mr. Bush wrote, “it is unrealistic to expect that the
outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the
armistice lines of 1949.”
of the Bush Rule is to dispose with the flimflam that the Mideast’s contrived
borders are sacred. And the best place Mr. Kushner could put the Bush Rule to
use is to offer U.S. recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights,
captured in 1967 from Syria.
benefits: Nobody there, including 20,000 Druze, wants to be ruled by Damascus.
U.S. recognition would put the Assad regime and its Iranian and Russian backers
on notice that there’s a price for barbaric behavior. And it gives the
administration an opportunity to demonstrate its pro-Israel bona fides while
exerting a restraining influence on settlement building in the West Bank.
(4)The Shultz Rule.Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state
held to a clear principle when it came to negotiating with tough adversaries:
Establish a reasonable position, announce your bottom line, stick to it. No
haggling. It proved effective in dealing with Soviet arms negotiators.
overworked metaphor for Mideast diplomacy is the bazaar. The secret to not
losing one’s shirt is not to enter the bazaar in the first place.
cannot solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; only Palestinians can. The U.S.
does have an interest in strengthening ties between its allies, both for their
own sake and to counter their common enemies. If the Palestinians want to be a
part of the solution, so much the better. If they want to continue to be a part
of the problem, they can live with the consequences.
principles are straightforward. The courage to stick to them will be the test
of Mr. Kushner’s diplomatic mettle.
Do nothing, because there indeed is nothing you can do. Why is
Robert Spencerexplains it well here:
"Chapter 2, verse 191. 'Kill them wherever you find them, and drive
them out from where they drove you out' . Drive them out from where they drove
you out means that no land that has ever belonged to Muslims or
been ruled by Muslims can ever legitimately in the eyes of Islam be
ruled by non Muslims. "