March 05, 2008
Bush/Dahlan Putsch against Abbas?
The Vanity Fair piece on how Bush provoked a Palestinian civil war has some quotes from the Palestinian crook Mohammed Dahlan. The author interviewed him in five-star hotel in Cairo.
Bush referred to Dahlan as "a good, solid leader" and declared "He's our guy." (Dahlan is a longtime U.S. asset. Years ago Dahlan also had a rare private meeting with Bill Clinton.)
After Hamas won the Palestinian election, Dahlan was tasked to root out Hamas in the Gaza strip with weapons delivered by the U.S. In March 2007 Bush strongarmed Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas to give Dahlan the position as Palestinian national security adviser. After some protest Abbas gave in, but Dahlan lost the job after his putsch in Gaza had failed.
There is no word in the VF piece on how Bush and Rice see Dahlan now. But he is still somewhat involved. Two weeks ago Al-Ahram had this on a ongoing conflict within Fatah:
In the past few weeks, recrimination spilled over into the media, with Hakam Balawi, an aide to Abbas and Mohamed Dahlan, the former Fatah strongman in Gaza whose forces Hamas defeated in June 2006, engaging in a showdown of verbal abuse and name-calling with Dahlan.
Balawi has been accusing Dahlan of seeking to topple Abbas, by hook or by crook, and replace him as PA president, in coordination with unnamed external powers, a possible allusion to the United States and probably Israel as well. "Dahlan is an opportunist who is spreading chaos, illusions and poison," said Balawi in a statement issued on behalf of Fatah's central committee. "His actions and statements have long been based on intimidations, threats and ultimatums."
Earlier, Balawi lambasted Dahlan "for losing Gaza to Hamas and fleeing with your tail between your legs."
Abbas, after a talk with Condi Rice, today again caved in to U.S. demands:
Earlier Wednesday, Abbas agreed to resume peace talks with Israel, only hours after he conditioned talks on a cease-fire with Israel in the Gaza Strip.
Under pressure from Rice, Abbas backed down from his earlier truce demand, allowing her to announce that talks would resume, U.S. officials said.
What is the U.S. pressure point towards Abbas. Is it a threat to throw him out of office and to install Dahlan in his place?
Is Dahlan still on the U.S. payroll?
Note that Rice had a few hours in Cairo before she went to Ramallah and tightened the thumbscrews on Abbas. While in Cairo did she meet Dahlan?
An attempt to replace Abbas with Dahlan would likely lead to an internal conflict within Fatah and, in the end, to a dissolution of the Fatah movement. Hamas would be left as the only mass organization in Gaza and the West Bank.
(The Israeli government would like to see Fatah fail. (That could happen anyway (pdf).) As Hamas is a "terrorist organization" they could again argue that "there is no one we can talk to" and continue their colonization project without hindrance or U.S. imposed negotiations.)
Bush and Rice may have some real ambition to get results in the Palestinian/Jewish conflict. They might see Dahlan as their last, best hope. In their dreams Dahlan might just be the man to deliver some 'peace' contract with between a Palestine side and Israel.
Of course a plan to install him in Abbas place would be crazy and likely fail.
But by that it would also fit the pattern we have seen in Bush's other middle east plans.
So how likely is such a scheme?
Posted by b on March 5, 2008 at 06:25 PM | Permalink
If the goal is to destroy Fatah, yeah, the US might just install Dahlan.
If the goal is to acquire a more compliant leader of Fatah, no. Abbas is as compliant as they'll ever get.
Posted by: steve | Mar 5, 2008 7:38:42 PM | 1
"they could again argue that "there is no one we can talk to" and continue their colonization project without hindrance or U.S. imposed negotiations"
that's exactly what's going to happen anyway. who's going to stop them? none of the AIPAC-vetted assholes in power in the US, that's for damn sure. this whole "peace process" is an absurd farce to let CondieLiesAlot look busy. Israel has no intention of giving back any of what they stole or even to stop stealing additional Palestinian land and resources, so what is there really to negotiate about, besides how many crumbs a day the Palestinians will be allowed to consume in their tiny bantustans?
Posted by: ran | Mar 5, 2008 8:11:00 PM | 2
From a previous thread...
Speaking of conspiracies:
Here's an article I had linked to here a long time back...I thought it was quite "out-there" at that time. Based on the VF reporting, this seems to be pretty factual now:
Mohammad Dahlan, former Palestinian security minister, allegedly talked about killing former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
Did Dahlan talk about slaughtering Arafat?
Posted by: SimplyLurking | Mar 5, 2008 8:18:10 PM | 3
i'd be interested to know the position of the bhargouti brothers in relation to dahlan & to the current position
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Mar 5, 2008 8:32:03 PM | 4
The accusations that Al-Ahram quotes were featured in a Jerusalem Post exclusive on Feb. 17: Abbas aide: Dahlan is trying to oust PA head
Dahlan as president of the PA is too much for me to wrap my mind around, but Dahlan as king-maker, the real power behind the next figurehead doesn't sound too far fetched as a plot.
Posted by: Alamet | Mar 5, 2008 8:58:38 PM | 5
@r'giap - 4 - I don't know and haven't seen/found anything
Time: Condi's Salvage Mission
Insiders say Rice, in heated talks yesterday with Abbas, threatened to cut off all international aid and support to the Palestinian Authority. Privately, Palestinian advisers say that Abbas was aghast at how Rice had failed to understand the level of outrage in the Arab world, and particularly among Palestinians, over the heavy civilian casualties that resulted in Israel’s fierce air and ground assault last week in Gaza.
Posted by: b | Mar 5, 2008 11:38:37 PM | 6
Privately, Palestinian advisers say that Abbas was aghast at how Rice had failed to understand the level of outrage in the Arab world, and particularly among Palestinians, over the heavy civilian casualties that resulted in Israel’s fierce air and ground assault last week in Gaza.
I think she understood. She just didn't care
Posted by: Lysander | Mar 6, 2008 6:34:32 AM | 7
Geeze, just when I tought I had reached the limits of disgust, I find I find I need to reach for my barf bag...
For the record, even the news in The Happy Little Kingdom is beginning to describe the outlines of the suffering being visited on the hapless/hopless inhabitants of the strip known as Gaza.
Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Mar 6, 2008 6:43:31 AM | 8
Posted by: ran | Mar 6, 2008 7:46:45 AM | 9
declares Israel war crimes in Gaza kosher with them.
Posted by: ran | Mar 6, 2008 7:48:03 AM | 10
One wonders at what point the International Community and the Arab world, as they are called, will react. What with Hegemon approval and oversight, if not blatant instigation, manipulation, piloting and supervision, possibly never.
Sarkozy wanted French schoolchildren to ‘adopt’ a dead ww2 (mind you, only French) Jewish child. It turned out there weren’t enough to go round. Brown wanted to send British school children to camp museums in Germany. Turned out to be a little expensive. (Both these projects may still be in the works, I haven’t followed them up in the last few days.) Several cartoons and outraged commentators pointed out that Palestine might provide a better illustration.
Abuzaid, head of UNWRA (UN R elief and W orks A gency for palestine refugees in the near east, the last part is left off, it dates from 1950, and the mandate includes those in Jordan, etc.), in Brussels, Monday, begging for access to Palestine to be opened, stressed that only 60% of calorie needs are being met in Gaza. Every little packet has to be unloaded, examined, re-loaded. Hospitals...well the picture is known.
Ink for printers and paper for schools are not allowed in. Might be used for terrorists texts.)
Cash to pay the ‘intl’ employees -aid workers, teachers, doctors, etc. etc. is sometimes confiscated. (She wasn’t very precise...) The situation in the West Bank is also deteriorating rapidly.
Posted by: Tangerine | Mar 6, 2008 1:39:58 PM | 11
looking for a link, google News search: Abuzaid Brussels / Abuzaid Bruxelles / etc. turns up... never saw this before, zero refs. It is a French, Dutch, Asian, but not anglo spelling.
The habit of mangling and alternative spellings for anything resembling ‘arabic’ ensures that people don’t have a proper identity, others can’t look them up, or get news items, etc.
Karen Abu Zayd, Karen Koning Abuzayd, Karen Abu Zeid, Koning AbuZaid, Abuzazeid, Abuzaid, Abu-Zeid, plain Karen Koning, etc.
(She graduated in the US and is an ‘expert’ in Islamic studies, was involved in Bosnia, etc. No surprise there.)
EU gvmts have been struggling for 50 years at least with the transcription of Arabic names. There have always been any number of linguists willing to work for peanuts. There is no standard. The confusion is deliberate.
No such problems exist for Chinese, for example, even if the the ordinary person may be bewildered (and yes, snarls exist, but experts can sort them out, are expected to, and are listened to.)
Of course, there are different problems at different levels (naming conventions, status of first/last name, shortening options, spacing, caps, etc., particles, low level phonetics and transcription rules, as well as the host language conventions, etc.) The non-absorption of Arabic names is very pointed.
Posted by: Tangerine | Mar 6, 2008 1:54:28 PM | 12
For those who wish to learn more:
VF has posted original government documents to back up the story.
This story is not new to anyone who follows the region closely -- I'm fairly sure we covered it here last year -- but its publication in VF ensures it a wider audience.
The timing could not be worse for the Bush administration ha ha. I hope the entire region erupts in their smirking faces.
Condi running around Israel squawking that "we can still achieve peace by the end of 2008! we can still achieve peace by 2008!" (what, has she been moonlighting at Obama rallies lately? an utterly macabre twist on his signature phrase, "yes we can...") She sounds positively committable (to an insane asylum) to say the least. Abbas, obedient puppet that he is, instantly and vociferously condemning the revenge Jerusalem slaying (by a Palestinian) of 8 today and stressing that talks with the Israelis must go on, although his people in Gaza are daily being pulverized... Orwell is probably rolling over in his grave right now at the absolute abomination of it all.
Posted by: Bea | Mar 6, 2008 8:34:02 PM | 13