Saturday, January 03, 2009

General Jones: Architect or Simply Aware of Gaza Steamrolling?

President elect Barack Obama's silence on large scale civilian deaths caused by Israel's pummeling of Gaza is disturbing. One close adviser crafted security strategy for Israel-Palestinian Territories.

General James L. Jones will head Obama's National Security team. Over a year ago, Bush appointed General Jones as special envoy for Middle East Security. His goal was to work with the Palestinian Authority and Israel. The State Department said:

He will work with Israelis and Palestinians on the full range of security issues and he will work to strengthen security for both sides. General Jones will work with Lieutenant General Keith Dayton, who will continue his mission of helping the Palestinian Authority to build and rationalize its security forces.

General Jones will also engage with key countries to support Middle East security. He will design and implement a new U.S. Government plan for our security assistance to the Palestinian Authority and our security cooperation with the Israeli and Palestinian governments.

It is clear that we will have a superior commander, a seasoned diplomat, a brilliant strategist, experienced leader who understands the security challenges of the Middle East and how to meet those challenges successfully. As we work to help the Palestinians and the Israelis design their future, we hope that the work that General Jones will do will help them to better design a security concept that can make that future one that is clearly one of better security and peace for both sides.

Unofficial reports say the General was highly critical of Israel and disappointed his report was never published. Official reports say he achieved considerable success. Truth or diversion? That's difficult to know in today's violence marred, psy ops world. Clearly, Hamas chess pieces needed a strategy under General Jones' charge.

Supplanting Hamas from Gaza would give Palestinians one leadership group to advance their independent state. If General Jones and Quartet envoy Tony Blair crafted strategy, Barack Obama's silence is but an extension. The U.S. helped plan Israel's month long attack on Lebanon in 2006. Barack Obama said nothing about the matter as a junior Senator. He does likewise today. I can only conclude that he agrees.

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