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Iraq Pullout Bad for Israel: Bush’s Aide
“The spread of democracy will make the Middle East a safer neighborhood for Israel,” said Hadley.
CAIRO, November 1, 2005 (IslamOnline.net) - US President George W. Bush's national security adviser has warned that a hasty US withdrawal from Iraq would embolden what he termed "extremists" who seek "the eventual destruction of Israel."
"The spread of democracy will make the Middle East a safer neighborhood for Israel. An American retreat from Iraq, on the other hand, would only strengthen the terrorists who seek the enslavement of Iraq and the eventual destruction of Israel," said Stephen Hadley in remarks released by the White House.
The remarks were prepared for delivery via satellite to the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) summit in Los Angeles on October 30-31.
Hadley said building democracy where Saddam Hussein's regime once stood would help that staunch US ally.
"If freedom prevails in Iraq, others in the region -- including Syria and Iran -- will be under greater pressure to open up their repressive political systems. And that is good news for Israel," said Hadley.
"For Israel should not be condemned, in the name of stability, to live in a region where despots threaten to 'wipe them off the map,'" he said, referring to recent comments by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Lay people in Iraq are weary of an Israeli infiltration into their country especially since ties between Tel Aviv and Baghdad are getting warmer.
The former Iraqi government said it was ready to sell electricity to Israel, while US occupation authorities had revealed plans to establish an oil pipeline between the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and Israel’s Haifa.
A center of the Washington-based and Mossad-linked Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) was opened in Baghdad, in a provocative move seen by Iraqi academics as the beginning of an Israeli scheme to infiltrate Iraqi society.
Hadley also said that the Bush administration has given Israel the green light to do whatever it takes to root out “terrorists” in the occupied Palestinian territories.
“We have made it very clear to him [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon]- especially in the wake of the vicious attack in Hadera - that he should begin by acting promptly and forcefully against Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”
Five Israelis were killed last month when a Palestinian blew himself up in the Hadera market in Tel Aviv in response to Israel’s assassination of Islamic Jihad commander in the West Bank Louai Al-Saadi.
“As you know, President Bush is a dedicated friend of Israel. He has pledged to Prime Minister Sharon that he will never ask Israel to take risks with its security to suit US purposes or to suit US politics - and he never will.”
Sharon vowed Monday to expand Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and Golan Heights.
He also vowed to press on with construction of the controversial separation barrier Israel is building in the West Bank, despite a ruling by the International Court of Justice that parts built on occupied land are illegal.
Hadley further elaborated on the “freedom agenda” of the Bush administration and how it would leave both the US and Israel safer and more secure.
President Bush “believes the freedom agenda” across the so-called broader Middle East “is critical for both the United States and Israel.”
“The freedom agenda also is critical to ending terror in the Palestinian territories. That is why President Bush places such great importance on the recent and upcoming elections there,” he said, referring to the January legislative polls.
“For only when Palestinians are able freely to express themselves through ballots rather than bombs will we be able to get on the road to security for Israel.”