Jim Baker Makes Things Worse in the Middle East -- He's an Old Hand at Creating Chaos & Befriending Oppression
Baker himself is an old hand at Middle Eastern troublemaking. Many of the corpses littering the Middle Eastern landscape can be attributed --in part at least-- to Baker's policies. To this day, Baker's "realism" or cynical hatred for people causes problems. Some of his earlier doings as secretary of state have caused enduring trouble. Let's take Lebanon as a case in point. Lebanon has been bedevilled for years by Syrian hegemony, up to 2005, and since then by Syrian efforts to return and retake control of the Land of the Cedars. Here is Michel Gurfinkiel on Baker's illustrious accomplishments in and for Lebanon:
. . . in August 1990, Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded and annexed Kuwait. The Americans knew several months before that such an operation was being prepared, but did not react as vigorously as one might have expected. For Baker, there was a dilemma between interest and interest. Kuwait, like the other Gulf monarchies, was situated at the heart of the American-Arab petroleum partnership. But Iraq too was a first rank oil producer and seemed to form moreover, in the 1980s, a rampart of those same monarchies against Khomeiniist Iran [bear in mind here that Baker's forerunner as a "realist" US foreign minster, Zbig Brzezinski, had helped Khomeini take over Iran]. What is more, Baker had "advised" --in a personal capacity-- both of those countries [Kuwait & Iraq]. In the end, the secretary of state [Baker] adopted the worst possible attitude. On his instructions, the American ambassador April Glaspie let Saddam Hussein understand in July 1990 that "the United States did not have an opinion on the border conflict between Iraq and Kuwait." The Iraqi dictator interpreted this as an implicit approval of his planned invasion.
For several weeks, Baker tried to dissuade George H W Bush from freeing Kuwait by force. The American president only made a final decision in that direction on the recommendations of British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. Then Baker made a strategic and diplomatic "reverse shift." He won over another Baathist dictatorship, Syria, to the anti-Iraqi operation by allowing it to occupy Lebanon in its entirety, including the last Christian bastions. In other words, the United States authorized one Arab country [Syria] to subjugate another [Lebanon] in order to prevent a third [Iraq] from absorbing a fourth [Kuwait]. It might well be, obviously, that Baker wanted to create --through a Syrian protectorate over Lebanon-- a precedent applicable to Kuwait, as long as Saddam Hussein renounced formal annexation [of Kuwait]. Up to 9 January 1991, the American secretary of state was negotiating with the Iraqi minister of foreign affairs, Tariq Aziz, in the hope of finding a compromise [allowing Iraq to keep on occupying Kuwait without formal annexation].Here is Gurfinkiel's key phrase above in the original.
[Michel Gurfinkiel, "Rapport sur Baker" France-Israel Information (Oct-Nov-Dec 2006), p 25]
En d'autres termes, les Etats-Unis autorisent un pays arabe a` en subjuguer un autre afin d'interdire a` un troisie`me d'en absorber un quatrie`me.Baker boggles the mind. He is quite a troublemaker all by himself. Can we find anybody to equal his skill at wreck and ruin? The cartoonist Al Capp who drew the Li'l Abner comic strip had a character named Joe Btspflk. Joe always had a cloud over his head wherever he went and wherever he went there was trouble. Joe Btspflk was the artistic representation of James Baker before his time.
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Coming: Jews in Jerusalem and Hebron, peace follies, propaganda, more on Jim Baker versus Israel, etc.