April 24, 2008
Fox Trot--"A social dance, in quadruple meter, performed by couples, characterized by various combinations of slow and quick steps."(dictionary.online)
What is one to make of the current shuttle/shuffle diplomatic whirlpool, between Israel and Abu Mazen of the PA. Israel and Hamas, Israel and Syria, Israel and ?...
First let’s start with the "Syrian Bride." (a good film by the way)
Syria in the past has always denied having secret talks with Israel. The last series of secret talks were held in Istanbul not long ago between a prominent Syrian American businessman called Suleiman and some Israeli whom I believe was/is an ambassador to Turkey by the name of Alon (not sure of the exact name though, told you a thousand times am bad with names.)
Today though, it’s out in the open. Olmert is ready to give up/back the Golan Heights to Syria.
Been watching the news on both Al-Arabiya and Al-Jazeera. By the way am convinced that Al-Arabiya works for al-Maliki and Co. Will get back to that later once we finish the first part of our dance.
So Syria talking from a high position, with quite a bit of self-assuredness, said through its official spokesperson, that in the past Israel has been trying to get some major concessions from Syria in exchange for the Golan Heights. These concessions regard 1) its regional alliance with Iran and 2) the Palestinian refugees inside of Syria. Syria has made it clear that it will not accept any concessions on these two items. In other words, Syria is adamant about maintaining its "privileged " strategic relationship with Iran, intact. At least so far.
Even though it’s too soon to make conclusive judgments, I personally believe that Israel is very much aware of this "privileged" relation between Syria and Iran and I very much doubt that Israel will try to coax Syria out of its side dance with the Mullahs of Tehran. I believe a preliminary agreement has already been reached behind closed doors.
The coming weeks will tell for sure. If Iran is temporarily left on the back burner of international public propaganda or the opposite, if the tone against Iran antes up considerably, then you can be sure that a preliminary agreement with Syria does include Iran in the long term. In other words total silence and extremely loud barks amount to the same in international politics.
Am afraid to break it to my Palestinians friends but the same is happening with Hamas, the PA and Israel. (and I consider Hamas somewhat of a distant proxy for Iran – I did say somewhat distant)
Let’s see what we’ve got in that quadruple dance. We have Abdallah of Jordan visiting the White House as a "messenger of peace." and we have the PA of Abass engaging in secret negotiations with Israel.
Al-Arabiya actually interviewed Abu Mazen in his private jet on his way to Washington D.C. Was hilarious actually. Next to him was seated Ereikat, who has his head phones on and looked as if he was comfortably snoozing away. Abu Mazen made sure to leave a copy of the Koran on the table in front of him, as if he is trying to tell the Palestinians - " hey guys, am a Muslim too, not just Hamas."
In reply to the question why are the negotiations so secret, Abu Mazen said that if he divulged their nature, then the media will screw it up for him. But he did assure all of us that whatever the outcome, he will keep us informed, eventually...
On the other side of the quadruple dance, Hamas and Israel via both Carter and Egypt are in my opinion definitely working out some sort of a deal. Never mind the loud barks, don’t pay attention to these, pay attention to the political context in which all of this is happening.
Before I forget, Israel deployed some of its soldiers inside Lebanese territory today, and they took a "fighting" position, and the Lebanese army just watched them...and took pictures.(hahahahaha). Of course, another meaningless flexing of muscles that no one paid attention to. After this third rate Rambo show, the Israeli soldiers went back to their bases. Of course one wonders what the fuck was that all about.
In Iraq on the other hand, I have a few juicy stories to report following Rice’s éclair visit.
First the hot news then the not so hot news...
Again saw it on Al-Arabiya but was not reported on Al-Jazeera. The American forces said they captured in Hamrain in the Salaheddin province "someone who looks like Izzat al-Durri, has the same age as Izzat al-Durri, but they are not sure if it is indeed Izzat al-Durri." (typical American stupidity.) So this man who looks like Izzat al-Durri has been detained and they are "running some DNA tests to confirm if this is Izzat al-Durri or not Izzat Al-Durri".
Two hours later, a report came out stating that this is not Izzat al-Durri.
But two minutes later after this report, the Iranian/Iraqi "Doctor" Muwafak Al-Rubaie (also known as Karim Shahpour) from the Dawa party, advisor to Al-Maliki said that "the Iraqi forces from the 4th and 5th division caught two terrorists groups in Hamrain –Salaheddin province, and that they were running NUCLEAR tests on them"
Of course the alleged Doctor in Neurology, M.Al-Rubaie, meant to say DNA tests. Just proves to you what I stated before, Al-Rubaie is no doctor but was a waiter in his dad’s restaurant, then became an accountant...then a "doctor advisor." But in the Western press he is portrayed as a Neurologist!
Meanwhile a trailer from an interview with "Dr." Al-Maliki on Al-Arabiya (to be aired on Friday at 11 pm Saudi time) shows him saying "I proved over and over that I am not a sectarian, that I care deeply about the Iraqi people…"(Yeah sure and am Nefertiti)
Rumors circulating in Baghdad, say that Al-Sadr and Maliki might be reaching an agreement soon, but they are keeping the loud barks going. In fact, Maliki is encouraging the Sadrists to become like the Hezbollah organization, be involved in the political process, and in the "humanitarian social work" but give up their arms -at least in the South and in Baghdad – but to keep them well hidden in the dark for the upcoming Mosul battle...
If Israel and Syria succeed in their dance, and if the PA, Hamas and Israel succeed in theirs, you can be 100% sure, that a deal will be struck with Iran down the line –officially, that is.
As for the rest of the Arab Fox Trot ? They gave up Fox Trot ages ago and are now working as Go Go girls in a cabaret strip tease show.
Painting: Iraqi artist, Jaber Alwan.