Monday 26 November 2007

Surrender is Not an Option, by John Bolton

Jewish Current Issues has this piece on John Bolton’s new book, Surrender is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and Abroad and the forthcoming peace conference in Annapolis:

"Bolton includes a lengthy, hour-by-hour, description of the process at the State Department and the UN by which Resolution 1701 was adopted last summer, ending the Second Lebanon War. He makes it clear it was - to be diplomatic - not a stellar performance by the State Department. Ultimately, he writes, the resolution left a situation in which "it became increasingly clear that there was not going to be another resolution to disarm Hezbollah, that the arms embargo was not being enforced, that Hezbollah was rearming, and that "enhanced UNIFIL" looked and acted much like the existing, ineffective UNIFIL."

Here is Bolton’s conclusion, near the end of the book, regarding U.S. policy and Israel:

"Because of its location, Israel experiences the terrorist threat almost daily, facing Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Islamic terrorist groups, not to mention being within range of Iranian missiles. Hamas has now seized control of the Gaza Strip, fracturing the Palestinian Authority, leaving the "former terrorists" of Fatah now in control of the West Bank; Hezbollah is close to overthrowing Lebanon’s democratic government; and Syria is increasingly under Iran’s control. Given this reality, there is no rationale for the United States to pressure Israel into "peace agreements" with its remaining Arab neighbors, or to believe that "dialogue" on such issues will have any material effect on the Middle East’s numerous other conflicts. . . . Of course, Israel’s own government for its own reasons may decide to make concessions in various negotiations, and bear the consequences, but the United States has no interest in precipitating such decisions."

Last week, Bolton was the keynote speaker at a dinner of the Lincoln Club. Just before the dinner, he graciously agreed to answer a question from JCI about Secretary Rice’s current diplomatic effort:

JCI: I’m speaking with Ambassador John Bolton; it’s October 30, 2007. Ambassador Bolton, I’d like to ask you if you think Condoleezza Rice will be successful in convening a peace conference in Annapolis, who might attend, what the outcome will be.

AMBASSADOR BOLTON: I think the odds are that the conference will take place, but I am very skeptical that a positive outcome is possible. The circumstances in the region are just not conducive to progress, particularly on the Palestinian side, where there is no effective Palestinian Authority, no effective entity that can carry out commitments that might be made. And the risk is not simply that the conference will fail, but that a failed conference will leave us in a worse situation in the region.

In a later conversation, Bolton indicated the two-state solution has run its course, and that any future solution will more likely be a three-state one involving the participation of Egypt and Jordan."

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