Friday, August 17, 2007


Giuliani breaking ranks, opposes Palestinian state
'It is not in U.S. interests to create another state supporting terrorism'

Posted: August 17, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2007

Rudy Giuliani

Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has broken ranks with many other American political leaders, announcing that it would be counterproductive for the U.S. to help establish a Palestinian state.

"It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism," he wrote in a commentary in Foreign Affairs magazine, an online production of the Council on Foreign Relations.

His essay, titled "Toward a Realistic Peace," is part of the September/October 2007 issue of Foreign Affairs, and has been drawing praise from a number of individuals.

"As the Democrats press for the appeasement of Iran, the leading Republican in the race, Mayor Giuliani, is raising a particularly clear voice for a more realistic approach," according to an editorial in the New York Sun.

His comments about the Palestinian state came as part of his endorsement of a United States outreach that includes democratic ideals of government.

"America has a clear interest in helping to establish good governance throughout the world. Democracy is a noble ideal, and promoting it abroad is the right long-term goal of U.S. policy. But democracy cannot be achieved rapidly or sustained unless it is built on sound legal, institutional, and cultural foundations. It can work if people have a reasonable degree of safety and security," Giuliani wrote.

"Elections are necessary but not sufficient to establish genuine democracy. Aspiring dictators sometimes win elections, and elected leaders sometimes govern badly and threaten their neighbors. History demonstrates that democracy usually follows good governance, not the reverse. U.S. assistance can do much to set nations on the road to democracy, but we must be realistic about how much we can accomplish alone and how long it will take to achieve lasting progress," he wrote.

He cited the election of Hamas in the Palestinian-controlled territories as "a case in point."

"The problem there is not the lack of statehood but corrupt and unaccountable governance. The Palestinian people need decent governance first, as a prerequisite for statehood. Too much emphasis has been placed on brokering negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians – negotiations that bring up the same issues again and again. It is not in the interest of the United States, at a time when it is being threatened by Islamist terrorists, to assist the creation of another state that will support terrorism. Palestinian statehood will have to be earned through sustained good governance, a clear commitment to fighting terrorism, and a willingness to live in peace with Israel. America's commitment to Israel's security is a permanent feature of our foreign policy," he said.

He went on to write that the next president will need to champion human rights and "speak out when they are violated."

In a report on Israel National News, a writer praised Giuliani for having "bucked the party line of successive U.S. administrations and come out against the establishment of a Palestinian state."

The report noted Giuliani warned against "the push by President George W. Bush and embattled Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to quickly establish a state in Judea and Samaria ruled by Fatah.

In the essay, Giuliani also targeted the United Nations, calling it "irrelevant" to resolution of conflicts.

"The organization can be useful for some humanitarian and peacekeeping functions, but we should not expect much more of it," he said.

Another writer told WND that Giuliani's stance on the Palestinian issue "is a brave one."

"This may be the most important issue in the upcoming race, eclipsing all others," he said.

The CFR article outlines the three key foreign policy challenges Giuliani sees: setting a course for victory in the terrorists' war on global order, strengthening the international system the terrorists seek to destroy, and extending the system's benefits.

He also warns, as did President Bush shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, "this war will be long, and we are still in its early stages."

"We cannot predict when our efforts will be successful," he said. "But we can predict the consequences of failure: Afghanistan would revert to being a safe haven for terrorists, and Iraq would become another one – larger, richer, and more strategically located. Parts of Iraq would undoubtedly fall under the sway of our enemies, particularly Iran, which would use its influence to direct even more terror at U.S. interests and U.S. allies than it does today."

He said if that happens, "the balance of power in the Middle East would tip further toward terror, extremism and repression" and America's influence would sustain "a shattering blow.

He said there are signs of light, even within the Muslim world.

"Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates are pointing the way by starting to interpret Islam in ways that respect the distinctiveness of their local cultures but are consistent with the global marketplace. Some of these states have coeducational schools, allow women to serve in government, and count shopping malls that sell Western and Arab goods side by side. Their leaders recognize that modernization is their ticket to the global marketplace. And the global marketplace can build bridges between the West and the Islamic world in a way that promotes mutual respect and mutual benefit," he said.

Russia delivers air defence units to Syria: Report
17 Aug 2007, 1407 hrs IST,AFP

MOSCOW: Russia has begun delivery of modern air defence units to Syria while rejecting speculation that some of the weapons could be forwarded secretly to Iran, a newspaper reported on Friday.

"The first part of the delivery to Syria has started," the centrist daily Nezavissimaya Gazeta reported, quoting information from a domestic military information agency.

A spokesman for Russia's arms export agency Rosoboronexport, however, declined to comment on the newspaper report.

The report acknowledged that the delivery of the weapons, the Pantsyr-S1E self-propelled short-range missile air defence system, was particularly sensitive in light of Israeli claims last year that Russian arms sold to Syria had ended up in the hands of militant group Hezbollah.

Israel fought a brief war with Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon in July 2006 and afterwards accused Russia of indirectly supplying Hezbollah with relatively sophisticated anti-tank weapons, an accusation Moscow denied.

Nezavissimaya Gazeta quoted an official involved in Russian arms export policy as describing concerns that Russian air defense weapons could be re-exported to Iran as "silly rumours".

"This is not possible," Vitaly Shlykov, a member of the state committee on foreign and defence policy, was quoted as saying. "One of the conditions for every deal is the prohibition on transfer of the weaponry to a third country."

Officially, the contract was for the sale of 50 Pantsyr units for about 900 million dollars (670 million euros). Media reports have put the number of units sold to Syria at around 36.

In May, the London-based arms specialist magazine Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Syria had agreed to send Iran at least 10 of the Pantsyr units.

That report was categorically denied by a range of top Russian officials including First Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov.

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