By William A. Mayer
July 24, 2006 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - A few days ago DNC Chief Howard Dean made a statement that should be consigned to the Twilight Zone:
"If you think what's going on in the Middle East today would be going on if the Democrats were in control, it wouldn't, because we would have worked day after day after day to make sure we didn't get where we are today. We would have had the moral authority that Bill Clinton had when he brought together the Israelis and the Palestinians."
Books could - and have been - written about the shortcomings of foreign policy initiatives under the last Democrat president, however one in particular [there are a multitude of others of course - gifting a crazed N. Korean dictator with his very own nuclear reactor and inviting Iranian intelligence operatives into Bosnia for starters, immediately comes to mind] should serve to illustrate the imbecility of Mr. Dean's pronouncement.
Central to Dean's thesis [also touted now by Madeline Albright - out on the hustings again pimping her Albright Group - an amalgam of low level project managers for Clinton's delusional North Korea nuclear policy and the still smoldering Balkan intervention, the upshot of which was to establish an Islamist base in Central Europe] is that under the Clinton administration things were different...which they certainly were.
Starting in 1996 a program was initiated whereby the CIA would train key members of Yasser Arafat's Palestinian security force with the expectation that they would then weed out terror elements within the PA. Two years later as Clinton leaned on Israel in pursuit of something he could cling to as a legacy he formalized the training of Arafat's Palestinian security teams - who were oft times also moonlighting in outright terrorist organization like the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - as part of the Wye River Memorandum, specifically:
2. Forensic Cooperation
There will be an exchange of forensic expertise, training, and other assistance.
C. Other Issues
(b) Should the Palestinian side request technical assistance, the U.S. has indicated its willingness to help meet those needs in cooperation with other donors.
In this manner the Clinton administration codified and intensified an ongoing program, providing the highest level of technical assistance available - methodologies and hardware - to Arafat's terrorists.
The "graduating class" of 1998 was comprised of 18 members.
Khaled Abu Nijmeh was a member of this class, trained under the Clinton doctrine which we must assume DNC Chair Dean would now like to resurrect.
Nijmeh had directed numerous terror bombings against Israelis and along with 12 others participated in the 2002 siege of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
On the lam in Europe, he told the San Francisco Chronicle:
"I am a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and a first sergeant in Palestinian General Intelligence," Abu Nijmeh, now 36, told The Chronicle from his temporary home in Rome. "I personally received a course in antiterrorism and VIP protection. "I was not alone. Many Palestinian security people were trained by the Americans. We hope they will continue helping us." - February 14, 2005, "Mideast training program backfires Palestinian security officers schooled by U.S. later used tactics against Israel," Matthew Kalman, Chronicle Foreign Service
Raafat Bajali was also in this graduating class, quickly offering his newfound expertise to the al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. Bajali died in a December 2001 explosion caused by the premature detonation of the bomb he was constructing.
Israeli officials including Clinton's handpicked PM Ehud Barak, complained, often bitterly that the American program was a serious threat to Israeli security:
"According to a senior member of the Israeli defense establishment, the American-Palestinian connection hurts Israel - and in a big way. 'Every course advances them, raises their level, helps them to become more professional. The CIA invests in them, gives them good courses. They get fantastic equipment, not just from the USA, also from European countries. The problem is that they also use the equipment against us, instead of using it to trap terrorists. So, for example, in the area of surveillance, they have a surveillance unit that monitors Israeli targets. And if you have advanced equipment, there is no problem monitoring military communications networks, intelligence networks or cellular telephones." - Article Link
The graduates of Clinton U learned their craft well, mastering shooting disciplines, VIP protection, interrogation techniques and communication skills, however many of them offered these new skills in service to the Palestinian's most violent killers.
As Front Page Magazine noted:
"More than half of the original class of 18 went on to become fighters in the Al-Aqsa brigades."
The training provided to Arafat's Fatah in the United States was coordinated through CIA contractors like Armor Group and Texas based International Training Inc. Additionally, state players - England, Jordan and Egypt directly provided instruction, in accordance with Wye.
One should be careful not to dismiss the fanciful pronouncements of partisans like Dean and Albright outright, because though often ridiculous on their face such sentiment permeates the leadership of the Democrat party, much of the press, academia and the permanent bureaucracy of the Dept. of State and the CIA.
Oft criticized as pre-9/11 thinking it goes deeper than that.
Perhaps the greatest defect with such policies lies in an almost complete misunderstanding of the nature of Islamist expansionism.
Such thinking leads boy-presidents with an eye to history and no experience in state-craft into problematic undertakings with huge potential downsides.
This leads seemingly well intentioned people to mount charm offensives [and "good will" gestures, training your enemies to more efficiently kill you] to demonstrate the benevolence of U.S. intentions towards people already proven implacable as participants in a manifest destiny of religious domination.
The nearly universal pressure to incorporate multiculturalism and moral relativism into any scheme of conflict resolution also looms large, one reason why the knee-jerk reaction to any confrontation between the Islamists and the West is almost always a demand for an "in place ceasefire," thus preserving terrorist gains and preventing any reversal of their fortunes.
At their core those who counsel a ME strategy heavily weighted towards negotiation and cooperation - absent the defeat of our enemies - are asking for the re-adoption of policies that have severely burned us and our allies in the past.
For that reason alone such rhetoric should be subjected to the derision it deserves.
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