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Thursday, 03 August 2017

Connecting the Dots: US, Israel and the Sudan: Why Lifting US Sanctions on the Sudan Has Long Proven Elusive? (2)

The Israeli lobby has not only shaped the biased American foreign policy towards the Palestinian cause, but has also indeed affected US foreign policy

towards other regional issues; It is strongly argued today for instance, that the US would not have gone to war against Iraq in the first place, hadn't Israeli lobby cunningly portrayed Iraq, as strategically direct threat to the State of Israel.
In fact, according to Dore Gold, many critics of President Bush in the heat of an election year, who reject the notion that the Iraq War was fought over weapons of mass destruction, the war on terrorism, or over human rights and a promise of a democratic Iraq, they instead refer to Israeli factor for bashing the administration by ascribing the war to alien considerations having nothing to do with U.S. interests.
Evidently, the link between Israel and the war in Iraq was espoused today by innumerable prominent and esteem US figures like, veteran Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings and retired General Anthony Zinni. In fact the presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, himself called the war in Iraq as, the “worst foreign policy blunder” in American history.
Nevertheless, what some critics have termed “the Israelization ” of US foreign policy, is closely associated with the ne-conservatives, whose world-view is by far characterized by militarism, unilateralism and a firm commitment towards Israel, and who tend to see US global hegemony as the desired end and military force as the necessary if not preferred, they were mainly behind the promotion of the idea of the war in Iraq, inter alia, for strengthening the position of Israel.  Nevertheless, the most dangerous aspect remains their staunch religious belief that "the road to Jerusalem leads through Baghdad."
When it comes to Sudan, for one reason or another, hardly or scarcely enough attention is paid to the fact that Sudan, faultlessly like Iraq and Egypt, has been an integral component of the Israeli doctrine of "Periphery Doctrine” the strategy advanced by Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion and Eliahu Sassoon.
 According to the said Israeli strategy, Israel in the early years of its formation, worked closely to form sort of alliance with non-Arab states in the periphery of the Middle East with which Israel has not had direct conflict, including Turkey, Iran and Ethiopia, as well with ethnic and religious minorities, like the Maronites in Lebanon and the Kurds in Iraq.
Avi Dichter, the former Israeli Minister of Internal Security, former head of Shin Bet (Shabak) from 2000-2005, and member of the Knesset, issued an ominous speech to the Israeli National Security Research Center on May 26, 2010, where he boastfully said    “We have achieved in Iraq more than we expected and planned. Iraq has vanished as a military force and as a unified country. Our strategic option is to keep it divided.
Avi Dichter went on to say “Our strategic goal is to not allow Iraq, to take its regional and Arabic role back. Iraq must stay divided into three states (Sunni, Shia and Kurd) , and must be isolated from its regional environment. Nobody can ignore what we have achieved in this field. Iraq can never be the same Iraq before 2003. ”
Still baffling however, why on earth should the international media and political analysts alike, tended to underestimate or say ignore, the dire consequences of the Israeli sinister ties with Sudan rebels over the years, and in conformity with the said strategy; Southern Sudanese rebels, politicians and elites which started taking shape even before the independence of the Sudan, and likewise in later phases, with the war- lords in Darfur.  How these ties were directly responsible for the vicious circle of politico-economic instability in Sudan for a long time?
Instrumenting the Sudanese rebels, Israel had to penetrate the Sudanese arena to exacerbate existing crises and foment new ones. Israel has been working assiduously to encircle and isolate it from the outside. In his book "Israel and the Movement for the Liberation of South Sudan”, published in 2003 by the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, the retired Mossad Brig Gen Moshe Fergie wrote that,  Israel's support to South Sudan rebels has gone through five phases: 1950s, through humanitarian aid; early 1960s, by training members of the "Popular Army" in Ethiopian outposts; mid-1960s-1970s, by routing weapons to the South; late 1970s-1980s, by backing southern leader John Garang; late 1990s, by providing the South with heavy weaponry via Kenya and Ethiopia.
the same Avi Dichter, the former Israeli minister of internal security, in lecture In 2008, at the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, put it as clear as the sun at broad daylight “since the Independence of the Sudan in the mid-1950s, there were some Israeli estimates that this African state (Sudan), must not be allowed to become an added force in the Arab world.”
Avi Dichter put it beyond any doubt, that his country (Israel) was directly involved in the conflict of Darfur, when he says “We had to weaken Sudan and deprive it of the initiative to build a strong and united country. That is necessary for bolstering and strengthening Israel’s national security. We (produced) and escalated the Darfur crisis, to prevent Sudan from developing its capabilities.”
From that perspective the very understanding that American coercive sanctions which substantially cripples Sudanese economy, serve as one of main tools to further the Israeli strategy should raise no eyebrows. The protracted sanctions have impacted Sudanese civilian populations in many ways beyond just their wallets; mainly health and education. sanctions which themselves violate international law as enshrined in the Genocide Convention (Article II, "…deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring its physical destruction, in whole or in part"), the Geneva Conventions (Geneva Protocol 1, Article 54 outlaws "starvation of civilians as a method of warfare"), the World Declaration on Nutrition ("food must not be used as a tool for political pressure"), and the Universal Declaration of Human Right.
It’s not secret, that the US new waves sanctions against the Sudan in 2007, were primarily prompted and instigated by anti-Sudan Jewish constituencies in the US. Who can today doubt that the infamous “The Save Darfur Coalition” the advocacy group that worked to raise public awareness and mobilize a massive response to the so called atrocities in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, has actually begun exclusively as an initiative of the American Jewish community, and the two key founding organizations were the American Jewish World Service and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.
 Paradoxically, the exacerbation of the security situations and the systematic squandering of successive peace initiatives in  Darfur,  could be regarded as one of success stories of the Israeli lobby groups in the US, in the pursuit and realization of Israeli old strategy towards the Sudan; metamorphosing and complicating the conflict Darfur, the geographically far remote area, which was by all means, a typical and traditional or classical African tribal conflict over scarce resources, into one of the highly contentious internal US political issues. Leading the American policy-makers astray; that small country like Sudan, continued to constitute an extraordinary threat to the security and interests of the United States (not the Israeli's).
Out of the blue Darfur was featured on the world map, as the most successful propaganda campaign of its kind in decades. Whereas, and for obvious reasons, the pro- Israeli massive propaganda machine appeared inclined to under-cut the number of causalities of the war in Iraq, reciprocally, and applying phony and over-exaggerated statistics of causalities, for fund-raising purposes, and eventually, the wily-crafted and crisis in the western Sudanese region, became the most intensely covered African crisis in the world media ever.
According to Professor Mahmood Mamdani, and in the foot-steps of the war- propaganda campaign that paved the way for the eventual tragic war on Iraq, “The Save Darfur Coalition” made bogus warnings that Darfur was heading towards a detrimental humanitarian catastrophe. These premeditated exaggerations paved the way for administration officials, to justify a preplanned military intervention in Darfur, in conformity with Israel sinister agenda of the infamous and sinister "Periphery Doctrine” on Sudan, and as unambiguously spelled out by Avi Dichter.
Arguably, Sudan-US relations is yet another stereotype that supports  the thesis of Scott Ritter, the author of the book "The truth of the white house’s plans for regime change”  on the role of Israel in influencing American foreign policy, he argues that one of the great success story for pro-Israeli lobby in the US, is that it has successfully enabled themselves to blend the two together; that when (Americans) speak of Israeli interests, they say no, we are speaking of American interests!
That is why the recent confusing reports by the Israeli papers like Haaretz for instance,  suggesting that Israel urged the United States to improve relations with Sudan and lift its sanctions, are quite ridiculous and fails litmus test;  On the contrary, it's indisputable that Israeli lobby groups in the US, mobilizing their far-reaching tentacles and influence in  the Congress, think-tanks, NGOs, Hollywood stars, religious and missionary groups and even universities,  in order to keep Sudan's issue high on the US policy agenda; delicately prompting consecutive US administrations to embrace and support rebel groups fighting the government of the Sudan, and at the same time maintain the rigorous sanctions that eventually denies Sudan the opportunity  to exploit its vast riches, in compliance with the old Israeli strategy.
That’s to say, to further its overt and covert agenda against the Sudan, Israel has been increasingly reliant on its capacity to manipulate US policy, using its local agents and groups (the elected and appointed government officials) who dominate the US Congress, and who are assigned the task of securing total submission to   Israel’s interests, especially with regard to Israel’s regional adversaries.
Perhaps the glariest however, ugliest manifestation of how both the Democrats ad Republican neocons were decidedly if not blindly, Israeli-centric vis-a-vis Darfur, was quite evident On May 28, 2008, in what has been dubbed as the historical  display of solidarity with Darfur; when the three Presidential  candidates, John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were made to  publicly sign a joint statement, demanding in one hand, an end to the violence in Darfur and pledged themselves, offering a sort of a ‘ blank cheque’ at the same time, to pursue this goal with unstinting resolve once  one of them elected in the forthcoming election.
Today after the renewal of the sanctions this month, Sudan has every right to be grieved and concerned that its name unwarrantedly continues to be in the US list of terrorism despite the country's sincere and celebrated cooperation with the international community and the US's security agencies in particular, in combatting terrorism. Such cooperation motivated and impressed the vey U.S. State Department few years ago, to issue a report calling Sudan a "strong partner in the war on terror."
It's time to recall with sorrow, how in exclusive rendezvous with the truth, the above fact was once and only once, reiterated publicly before the US Congress; the landmark and honest  testimony before the Congress in 2009, of General J Scott Gration, the US's presidential envoy to Sudan, who dared to swim against the current in rejecting in a moment of truth, the dominant Washington narrative of “ongoing genocide in Darfur, and called for immediate removal of Sudan from the US state department's state sponsor of terrorism list.
 The Envoy also noted unequivocally that, not only there was "no evidence" for Sudan's inclusion on the list of terrorist states, which he dubbed as a "political" (rather than a national security-related) decision; but he also reminded the Congress that, the CIA has already, referred to Sudan's strong record on counter terrorism co-operation as having "saved American lives". Gration was very clear; Sudan's cooperation with the CIA saved (not killed or threatened) American lives.
Alas that sincere testimony has come in a time only Children and fools tell the truth. No sooner after that historic testimony, the US Presidential envoy to Sudan became the subject of pro-Israeli ferocious ad hominem; Poor Gration was openly reprimanded for not singing from the same song sheet, like the rest of the administration and was disrespectfully dubbed as incredibly naive and too conciliatory towards Sudan.  In fact, under that pressure, President Obama, himself was left with lesser options, he promptly sacked Mr. Gration from his official post, to go in history, as the shortest serving American envoy to Sudan.
 Still, when President Obama opted to send Mr. Gration to Kenya instead as an ambassador, he again was not left alone; No sooner  some " fishy " governmental audit was sent to the embassy, to come out with a report that was highly critical of Mr. Gration’s leadership and management of the embassy. The message was clear; Ambassador Gration, the longtime friend of President Obama, had to pay further price for being genuine toward the Sudan; he was left with no other option but to render his resignation and unhappily relinquish once and for all, his diplomatic and the political career.