Sharon Says US Should Also Disarm Iran, Libya and Syria
By Jim Scanlon
(The above headline appeared in the English version of the Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on Feb. 18, 2003. The statements attributed to Mr. Sharon below do not appear to have been reported in the US media.)
The Prime Minister of Israel Ariel Sharon told US Congressmen visiting Israel that Iran, Libya and Syria are irresponsible states and should be stripped of weapons of mass destruction after Iraq. Sharon was also reported to have met with US Undersecretary of State John Bolton to whom he expressed his concerns about the security threat posed by Iran and how important it is for America to deal with Iran even while attention is focused on Iraq.
No Doubt America Will Attack Iraq
Bolton, who is Undersecretary for Arms Control and International Security told Israeli officials he had no doubt America would attack Iraq and that it would be necessary to deal with the threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea.
Bolton was reportedly in Israel for meetings on preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction which seems strange in that Israel whose leaders have consistently refused to sign the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, deliberately deceived US nuclear power plant inspectors during the 1960s, hijacked a French cargo ship laden with uranium ore and secretly developed, not only a large nuclear arsenal, but also the means to accurately deliver nuclear warheads anywhere in Asia, Africa and Europe.
Bolton also met with Foreign Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Housing Construction Minister Nathan Sharansky, both of whom are advocates of expanded settlements, or colonization of the occupied West Bank territories (Judea and Samaria). Sharansky is reported to have "warned" Bolton that the so called "Quartet" powers (US, UN. the European Union and Russia) plan for Israelis and Palestinians "deviated from President Bush's vision."
State Department officials usually inform foreign governments of US policy with which they can agree or disagree, so it is difficult to understand the meaning of Sharansky's "warning" to a high US State Department official, other than that US and Israeli interests are extraordinarily intertwined and dysfunctional.
Who Is John Bolton?
John Bolton is a former vice president of the American Enterprise Institute a conservative or right wing organization. He had close ties with Senator Jesse Helms and held positions in the Reagan and Bush the Father administrations. He is on record as anti-UN, in opposition to the Anti Ballistics Missile Treaty, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, against "normal" relations with North Korea and against the International Criminal Court, all high qualifications for a Bush Cheney appointee and an emissary to the Likud government of Israel.
This Small and Insignificant Nation.
Recently Israeli officials reacted with unusual outrage to a ruling by Belgium's highest court that Ariel Sharon could be tried for genocide and war crimes which occurred during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 when Sharon was Defense Minister. The Belgian law allowing for universal indictment for war crimes is separate from the war crimes trials that are taking place in the Hague in the Netherlands. It was enacted in 1993 after 10 Belgian paratroopers were killed in Rwanda.
Foreign Minister Netanyahu was quoted in the NY Times stating, "We in Israel and the Jewish people as a whole have had enough of blood libels on the soil of Europe and we are going to fight this one..." While Mr. Sharon made no statement on his possible indictment when he leaves office, Israel's president was reported to have written a "severe letter" to King Albert II and Israel's Justice Minister referred to Belgium as, "This small and insignificant nation."
The Times also reported that "several Israeli officials" said "Israel might work to block new Belgian efforts to increase American investment," certainly a threatening statement, which, whether real or imagined, illustrates an attitude of unlimited influence on American policy makers and a complete disregard for diplomatic appearances.
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