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January 11, 1991 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-01-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

expert, University of
California at Los Angeles.
The United States' big
mistake was to define the
problem as Kuwait and not
as Saddam Hussein's ar-
mies. We need to find a way
to get out of this crisis and
keep our influence intact for
the second crisis — an in-
evitable confrontation with
Saddam Hussein's armies,
his threat to Israel and to his
Arab neighbors.
Bush can still be seen a
winner at home if he avoids
war — simply because peo-
ple will be so grateful that
there are no body bags.



RUBENSTEIN, president,
Washington Institute for
Values in Public Policy.
We should go for a very
quick series of air strikes,
and keep infantry as far
away as possible. Saddam's
military assets should be
destroyed as much as we
can, but his cities should not
be touched. Then we should
sit back and let it fester for a
while. At that point, the
nations that are evading the
blockade will have second
thoughts about whether
they want to continue.
If Saddam withdraws by
Jan. 15, I don't see how Bush
can refuse a solution even if
it leaves Saddam's military
capability in tact. The way
the president has structured
the game, I do not see how he
can say no to that since he
has trusted the United
Nations as much as he has.

dean, Simon Wiesenthal
Center, Los Angeles.
My advice to the president
would be this: There is never
a perfect time, and the pres-
ident will never have every-
> body's attention. He needs
consensus — but if he spends
all his time shaping a con-
sensus, he may lose his
momentum. And there's not
much time left.
The president should re-
member that there were
isolationists during the
Hitler time, and there will
always be isolationists. But
that way has been costly to
the world. It was costly in
Munich, and it could be
costly now.


ducer of the television
show, "The Arab Voice of
If I were President Bush, I
would call a private meeting
of my cabinet and say,
"Look, let us change our
strategy and we will work
with President Saddam
Hussein. He's a strong man
in the region, and through a
man like him we can help
make peace with Israel."


Saddam Hussein is hard to
fathom, other than his
assumption that the U.S.
doesn't have the guts for war
and we will blink and the
fragile coalition in the Gulf
will collapse.
Saddam doesn't think he
can win a war against the
U.S. But he still thinks he
can avert a war by making
us think a war will be too
horrible and that there will
be hell to pay with the Arab
nations. Saddam knows that
he can play little games with
the Americans. 4,1

I would be on my way out
by the fifteenth if I were
Saddam Hussein. Saddam
has been trying to push
things as far as he can, but
in the end he will cave in.
For the last 30 days, we've
been getting signals that
he'll go peacefully. There's
been the release of all his
hostages and the bite that
sanctions are beginning to
have on Iraq. Iraqis are es-
pecially aware of food shor-
tages and chemicals to
purify water.
He is doing something
practiced widely in the Mid-
dle East — acting tough and
talking tough until the very
last minute.

Saddam Hussein's
smartest move would be to
either say he'll get out of
most of Kuwait and keep the
islands and oil fields — or
say that he'll unconditional-
ly pull out if there's an
international peace con-
ference on the Palestinian
It'll then be very difficult
for Bush to say that we're
going to war because Iraq
hasn't met all our condi-
Saddam has many options.
For all of Bush's education
and Saddam's lack of edu-
cation, Saddam has a much
better historical perspective.

Before Jan. 15, Saddam
should announce he's decid-
ed in principle to complete
withdrawal, and that he's
started that process. He
should say that all his forces
are out of Kuwait and he
wants assurances on points
X, Y and Z.
If he does that, there's a
chance he can keep his
power base intact and play
for time, which he has been
doing all along.

WEITZMAN, visiting Mid-
east fellow at the Carter

Center at Emory Universi-
ty, Atlanta. He lives in Tel
The ball is in Iraq's court.
It will try to buy time and
come up with diplomatic
maneuvers. The longer that
military option is forestall-
ed, the greater the chance
the Arab coalition will
Once the fight starts, the
Iraqis are in a distinctly in-
ferior position.

Saddam Hussein should
call for a dialogue and say,
"Talk with me. Tell me if
I'm wrong."
If there would be no dia-
logue, I wouldn't pull out (of
Kuwait) one inch.

yoked into becoming one.
Saddam knows that Israel's
response to an attack would
be fairly strong and might do
him irreparable harm.

Israel needs to remain on
full alert and keep redefin-
ing how it will respond
militarily and politically to
any attack by Saddam Hus-
sein. Importantly, it has to
keep its plans very secret to
maintain the advantage of

The Israelis should keep
their military forces on
alert, on the off-chance that
Saddam will take some ac-
tion against them. Other-

The U.N. will be involved
in any consultations that
follow the fifteenth. I might
expect further action in the
Security Council, or even the
General Assembly.


gional coordinator of the
Detroit chapter of the
Arab-American Anti-
Discrimination Com-
The Soviet Union should
increase its participation in
the diplomatic process by
pushing for an international
conference on peace in the
Middle East.
Because of improving rela-

"If Saddam hasn't started to
pull out by the 15th, the
U.S. shouldn't do anything.
That's pinning too much on
one date."
- John Devlin

honorary national vice
president, the Zionist
Organization of America,
and former president of
ZOA Detroit.
If I were Saddam Hussein,
I would declare victory. I
would say that Allah spoke
to me and told me that I was
already victorious because I
brought the world's atten-
tion to the issues of the
power of the oil sheiks, who
don't represent the masses,
and the Palestinian issue.
So I'd withdraw my forces
from Kuwait.


On Jan. 15, the Israelis
will be quiet. That will say
that this is an Arab dilemma
and that the U.S. has asked
them to take certain risks.
In exchange for these, Israel
has received American
assurances of protection.
It still needs guarantees of
U.S. arms to offset those
pouring into the Persian
Gulf states.

Israel's prime minister
should do pretty much what
he has done — not do
Israel is not truly a major
actor in this, unless it is pro-

wise, they need to sit tight
and avoid any pre-emptive
action — which appears to be
exactly what they are doing.


The U.N. can't take back
what it gave on Nov. 29
when it issued a Jan. 15
deadline for an Iraqi
withdrawal. The UN is a
flag of convenience for
what's essentially a U.S.
force in the Gulf.

I don't see the U.N. doing
much of anything, other
than, perhaps, passing more
resolutions against Israel.
By now, those resolutions
have become knee-jerk reac-
tions to headlines.
Rarely, if ever, do they
mention Palestinian at-

The U.N. should support
the United States' position
on Iraq. Under no cir-
cumstances should the U.N.
use the Persian Gulf crisis as
an opportunity to promote
an international conference
on the Middle East.
Such a forum would cer-
tainly work for the detri-
ment of Israel.

tions between the Soviet
Union and Israel, Israel is
likely to feel a lot more com-
fortable with the Soviet
Union's increased visibility
in any international dia-
logue on the Palestinians.


They'll continue to try to
avoid sharing the burden.

Europe will stay uninvolv-
ed. Only Britain is likely to
come to the aid of the United
States in case of a war. The
European interest in the
Gulf is strictly a matter of oil
— most don't care about the
despotism of Saddam Hus-
Europeans will continue to
try and link the situation —
whether or not there is a war
on Jan. 15 — with the Pales-
tinian problem.

utive vice president,
Detroit Jewish Federa-
If I were the European
Community, I'd act in con-
cert with the Untied States
and do what the United
States tells me to do. But I'd
keep attempting to bring the
U.S. and Iraq together. ❑



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