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Can Dr. Kissinger Save the Middle East from War?

by Gad Nahshon

In 1993 at the ceremony of the Oslo agreement, Dr. Henry Kissinger asked a senior PLO leader if he was satisfied. The leader said that still he wants to return to Jaffa. His home, his dream and the dream of his children is to go home: "It is in Jaffa," he explained to Dr. Kissinger, who shares with us this story in his new illuminating excellent book Does America Need a Foreign Policy Toward a Diplomacy for the 21st Century (Simon and Schuster, New York 2001).

This book is a must for anyone who wants to understand the present and the future of the American foreign policy. It is an analytical survey of the present set of relations between the U.S. and the major regional countries. Dr. Kissinger wrote one more classical book on foreign policy and he teaches America about the future of these relations. He peppered his discussions with many insights and also points out that the American public is ignorant as to the dimension of foreign policies. He complains that the media (T.V.) treats foreign policy as one more aspect of entertainment!

It is important to reassess foreign policy in this century because "...the United States is enjoying a pre-eminence unrivaled by even the greatest empires of the past. From weaponry to entrepreneurship, from science to technology..." writes Kissinger "...America exercises an unparalleled ascendancy around the globe."

Kissinger has a qualm that the American leaders of this century will make the wrong decisions in the New Age, the post-cold war era, in the world of globalization and in the age of information. Therefore, in this new book, Dr. Kissinger of Harvard, ex-foreign minister, and 1973 Nobel Prize Winner, suggests new ideas in order to shape a positive realistic American foreign policy and when Dr. Kissinger talks, America should listen! Today, the Middle East is a region on the bring of a total war. The posture of the Israeli-Arab conflict is on the verge of an explosion. The P.L.O. has pushed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a 'war of attrition.' The P.L.O. is moving on a course of building anti-confidence measures. It is managing an open policy toward the destruction of Israel, the 'Zionist entity.' It is managing an open international psychological war and even demographic war against Israel. (Any survey of terrorist P.L.O.'s acts demonstrates, clearly, the fact that the murderers target children and women. Do you remember the massacre of children in a school at Maalot?)

Dr. Henry Kissinger is an expert on the Middle East affairs. Often Jews and Israelis were very critical of his behavior. Some recall the fact that in the Yom Kippur War, Dr. Kissinger did not rush to help Israel and it was President Nixon who rushed to the rescue of Israel.

But it is important to see how he is assessing the crisis and how he suggests his new ideas which might prevent a total war in the Middle East. I would like to point out the fact that Kissinger views the issues of the settlements (obstacles to peace) as marginal. Kissinger explains:

So what happened in Camp David II? Arafat left the meeting because he viewed Barak's daring policy as a radiation of weakness! As to Clinton, Kissinger argues the American eagerness to achieve agreement helped Arafat to perform his love for blackmail and extortion. Therefore, the U.S. became a marginal player, a player who came to the table without a clear cut conception.

Can we save the Middle East from a total war? Dr. Kissinger outlined the following minimal ideas to be followed. They might thwart a total war, an explosion:

In this book he also discusses the fact that the U.S. does not view Iran as a problem. But Iran causes problems by supporting the Hizbullah Muslim terror. He suggested more support for Turkey and he argues that the U.S. should not allow Sadam Hussein to mock its policies in the region.

In this book, Kissinger discusses the reality of other regions. The following are some of his insights:

There is one problem: Many of these countries are not true democracies in the Wilsonian tradition. Dr. Kissinger argues that the U.S. must solve problems by co-operation and dialogue because it does not want to be the world policeman.

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