Written sometime in 1994, true today!
PEACE TALKS WITH SYRIA
DOOMED TO FAILURE
By Bernard J. Shapiro
We should not be upset at this development. We must understand the "Alice in Wonderland" world we inhabit. When the Israel Defense Forces were slugging it out with the terrorists forces of Hezbollah in Southern Lebanon, United States President Bill Clinton praised Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad for showing restraint in the face of Israeli attacks. This, despite the fact the Syria was responsible for whole escalation of violence in the area.
Surely Clinton and his State Department aids know that Syria controls the territory from which the Hezbollah attack Israel. Surely they know that weapons and money for Hezbollah operations pass through Syrian controlled territory in Lebanon. And surely they know that Syria is using the violence in Lebanon to pressure Israel to make ill-advised concessions on the Golan Heights.
This ability of US and sometimes Israeli officials to modify the truth in discussions and plans for the Middle East is the central reason the Peace Talks are doomed to failure and they should be. Close observers of the Middle East were shocked when Syria was exonerated for its role in the Pan Am 103 bombing.
When Syria massacred 600 Christian soldiers (POW's with their hands tied) in Lebanon during the Persian Gulf Conflict, the media and the US State Department failed to even protest. In fact, Syria was praised and rewarded ($3 billion) for its support of Desert Storm, though its soldiers were instructed not to fire a singe shot at the Arab enemy. The Israeli negotiators have consistently failed to tell the Israeli public the truth about Syrian policy.
Assad mumbles to a western journalist (Editor's Note: In 1999 it is Patrick Seale, British author and biographer of Assad) that he might possibly, maybe, could, almost accept a Jewish entity someplace on the planet earth. The media and some Israeli officials proclaim loudly, "ASSAD READY FOR TRUE LASTING MESSIANIC PEACE WITH ISRAEL."
US Secretary of State Warren Christopher is traveling through the Middle East telling the regions leaders not to miss this opportunity for peace. It just isn't so. When real peace comes to the Middle East, we will not hear phrases like "risks for peace" or "territories for a promise of, maybe, could be peace if it snows in Houston in July". When real peace comes we will see the "Mosiach coming into the Jerusalem on a white ass."