23 June 2003

duplicity and the Roadmap
There's a weird argument being raised here and there that, if the Bush administration is lying about the threat of WMDs, the duplicity is not relevant because the outcome of the Iraq war was good. People who believe that should turn to what is happening to the Roadmap.

From the Guardian:

At the Middle East summit with Mr Bush in Aqaba this month, Mr Sharon committed himself to dismantling nearly 100 Jewish "outposts" in the West Bank. But only a dozen have come down, and about 10 more have been constructed.

Only one of those dismantled was inhabited and it was taken down the day before a visit to Israel by Mr Powell, leading to speculation in the Israeli press that it was done for show.

Ephraim Halevy, the director of Israel's national security council and former head of the Mossad spy agency, resigned yesterday after losing a battle for influence over Mr Sharon's approach to the road map.

Several months ago, Mr Halevy warned the prime minister that George Bush was serious about the road map and that Tony Blair was exerting considerable influence over the US president on the issue. Mr Halevy argued that Israel should draw up its own plan and announce that it would lay out the path and conditions to peace.

Mr Sharon's chief aide, Dov Weissglass, disagreed and persuaded him that the hawks in the White House would ensure that the road map was never taken seriously and that Mr Bush was duping Mr Blair.

"Either they've been playing us the entire time or they're playing the British," Mr Weissglass said in March.

When a government starts on the road to public lying (for whatever motive) that fact is known to other governments. What is Bush going to say to Israel? What is Bush going to say to governments like Iran which see themselves facing the same kind of propaganda campaign that Iraq faced? 'Read my lips'?

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