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Of Road Maps and SOBs


When US President Bush announced his new program for peace in the Middle East last year, including reform of the Palestinian authority and a Palestinian state, his announcement was greeted with skepticism by supporters of Palestine and Bush critics. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon, they pointed out, was a fan of this plan, so it could not be too good for Palestinians. The Bush speech that was so derided by left-wing critics and Palestinians evolved into the quartet road map, and the rest is history.

Now the debate has come full circle. With US support, the UN Security Council has passed a resolution adopting the road map as the UN-endorsed plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and now it is the Israelis who are objecting! Israeli objections to the US vote for the proposal are scarcely intelligible, since the US could hardly fail to vote for its own plan.

Recently, George Bush shook up the Middle East again with a historic speech about support for democracy. Bush broke with all previous US foreign policy and admitted frankly and courageously that the US had supported unsavory regimes in the past, in the hope that they would lead to "stability." Bush pledged that that era was over. The policy was mistaken. The US would now support democracies. Opening his state visit in Britain, Bush reiterated the same theme:

We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past,
have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding
ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability
or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took


Now we're pursuing a different course, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. We will
consistently challenge the enemies of reform and confront the allies of terror. We will expect a
higher standard from our friends in the region, and we will meet our responsibilities in Afghanistan
and in Iraq by finishing the work of democracy we have begun.

Bush's new policy in support of freedom, like his speech about Palestine, has been greeted by waves of skepticism in the Middle East. In the heat of Bush-bashing, analysts have perhaps failed to realize the momentous nature of Bush's policy switch. For as long as anyone can remember, the US has picked its allies according to the Maxim "He's an SOB, but he's our SOB." Bush announded that this policy is over.

Perhaps in a year or two, the skeptics will need reassess this Bush speech too. Meanwhile, the road map has come of age.

Ami Isseroff

19/11/2003 Press Release SC/7924
Security Council 4862nd Meeting (PM)



The Security Council this afternoon endorsed the Middle East Quartet's Road
Map towards a permanent, two-State solution to the Israeli-Palestinian

By its unanimous adoption of resolution 1515 (2003), the Council called on
the parties to fulfil their obligations under the plan in cooperation with
the Quartet.

In its preambular section, the text also reiterated the Council's demand for
an immediate cessation of all acts of violence, including all acts of
terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction. It emphasized that a
just and lasting peace should take into account the Israeli-Syrian and
Israeli-Lebanese tracks, as well as the Israeli-Palestinian question.

[On 20 December 2002, the "Quartet" (Russian Federation, United States,
European Union, United Nations) reached agreement on the text of the Road
Map with the goal of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and ending
the occupation that began in 1967. That goal was to be achieved on the
basis of the 1991 Madrid peace conference, the principle of land for peace,
Council resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973) and 1397 (2002), agreements
reached previously by the parties, and the "Arab Initiative" of Saudi Crown
Prince Abdullah endorsed by the Council of the League of Arab States on 28
March 2002. The performance-based and goal-driven Road Map presented clear
phases, time lines, target dates and benchmarks aimed at the progression by
the two parties through reciprocal steps in the political, security,
economic, humanitarian and institution-building fields, under the auspices
of the Quartet. The Road Map was officially submitted to the parties on 30
April 2003.]

The meeting began at 12:20 p.m. and adjourned at 12:25 p.m.


Following is the full text of Council resolution 1515 (2003):

The Security Council,

"Recalling all its previous relevant resolutions, in particular resolutions
242 (1967), 338 (1973), 1397 (2002) and the Madrid principles,

"Expressing its grave concern at the continuation of the tragic and violent
events in the Middle East,

"Reiterating the demand for an immediate cessation of all acts of violence,
including all acts of terrorism, provocation, incitement and destruction,

"Reaffirming its vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine,
live side by side within secure and recognized borders,

"Emphasizing the need to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in
the Middle East, including the Israeli-Syrian and Israeli-Lebanese tracks,

"Welcoming and encouraging the diplomatic efforts of the international
Quartet and others,

"1. Endorses the Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent
Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (S/2003/529);

"2. Calls on the parties to fulfil their obligations under the Roadmap in
cooperation with the Quartet and to achieve the vision of two States living
side by side in peace and security;

"3. Decides to remain seized of the matter."

President Bush Discusses Iraq Policy at Whitehall Palace in London


Remarks by the President at Whitehall Palace
Royal Banqueting House-Whitehall Palace
London, England

1:24 P.M. (Local)

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Secretary Straw and Secretary Hoon; Admiral Cobbald and Dr.
Chipman; distinguished guests: I want to thank you for your very kind welcome that you've given to
me and to Laura. I also thank the groups hosting this event -- The Royal United Services Institute,
and the International Institute for Strategic Studies. We're honored to be in the United Kingdom,
and we bring the good wishes of the American people.

It was pointed out to me that the last noted American to visit London stayed in a glass box dangling
over the Thames. (Laughter.) A few might have been happy to provide similar arrangements for me.
(Laughter.) I thank Her Majesty the Queen for interceding. (Laughter.) We're honored to be staying
at her house.

Americans traveling to England always observe more similarities to our country than differences.
I've been here only a short time, but I've noticed that the tradition of free speech -- exercised
with enthusiasm -- (laughter) -- is alive and well here in London. We have that at home, too. They
now have that right in Baghdad, as well. (Applause.)

The people of Great Britain also might see some familiar traits in Americans. We're sometimes
faulted for a naive faith that liberty can change the world. If that's an error it began with
reading too much John Locke and Adam Smith. Americans have, on occasion, been called moralists who
often speak in terms of right and wrong. That zeal has been inspired by examples on this island, by
the tireless compassion of Lord Shaftesbury, the righteous courage of Wilberforce, and the firm
determination of the Royal Navy over the decades to fight and end the trade in slaves.

It's rightly said that Americans are a religious people. That's, in part, because the "Good News"
was translated by Tyndale, preached by Wesley, lived out in the example of William Booth. At times,
Americans are even said to have a puritan streak -- where might that have come from? (Laughter.)
Well, we can start with the Puritans.

To this fine heritage, Americans have added a few traits of our own: the good influence of our
immigrants, the spirit of the frontier. Yet, there remains a bit of England in every American. So
much of our national character comes from you, and we're glad for it.

The fellowship of generations is the cause of common beliefs. We believe in open societies ordered
by moral conviction. We believe in private markets, humanized by compassionate government. We
believe in economies that reward effort, communities that protect the weak, and the duty of nations
to respect the dignity and the rights of all. And whether one learns these ideals in County Durham
or in West Texas, they instill mutual respect and they inspire common purpose.

More than an alliance of security and commerce, the British and American peoples have an alliance of
values. And, today, this old and tested alliance is very strong. (Applause.)

The deepest beliefs of our nations set the direction of our foreign policy. We value our own civil
rights, so we stand for the human rights of others. We affirm the God-given dignity of every person,
so we are moved to action by poverty and oppression and famine and disease. The United States and
Great Britain share a mission in the world beyond the balance of power or the simple pursuit of
interest. We seek the advance of freedom and the peace that freedom brings. Together our nations are
standing and sacrificing for this high goal in a distant land at this very hour. And America honors
the idealism and the bravery of the sons and daughters of Britain.

The last President to stay at Buckingham Palace was an idealist, without question. At a dinner
hosted by King George V, in 1918, Woodrow Wilson made a pledge; with typical American
understatement, he vowed that right and justice would become the predominant and controlling force
in the world.

President Wilson had come to Europe with his 14 Points for Peace. Many complimented him on his
vision; yet some were dubious. Take, for example, the Prime Minister of France. He complained that
God, himself, had only 10 commandments. (Laughter.) Sounds familiar. (Laughter.)

At Wilson's high point of idealism, however, Europe was one short generation from Munich and
Auschwitz and the Blitz. Looking back, we see the reasons why. The League of Nations, lacking both
credibility and will, collapsed at the first challenge of the dictators. Free nations failed to
recognize, much less confront, the aggressive evil in plain sight. And so dictators went about their
business, feeding resentments and anti-Semitism, bringing death to innocent people in this city and
across the world, and filling the last century with violence and genocide.

Through world war and cold war, we learned that idealism, if it is to do any good in this world,
requires common purpose and national strength, moral courage and patience in difficult tasks. And
now our generation has need of these qualities.

On September the 11th, 2001, terrorists left their mark of murder on my country, and took the lives
of 67 British citizens. With the passing of months and years, it is the natural human desire to
resume a quiet life and to put that day behind us, as if waking from a dark dream. The hope that
danger has passed is comforting, is understanding, and it is false. The attacks that followed -- on
Bali, Jakarta, Casablanca, Bombay, Mombassa, Najaf, Jerusalem, Riyadh, Baghdad, and Istanbul -- were
not dreams. They're part of the global campaign by terrorist networks to intimidate and demoralize
all who oppose them.

These terrorists target the innocent, and they kill by the thousands. And they would, if they gain
the weapons they seek, kill by the millions and not be finished. The greatest threat of our age is
nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons in the hands of terrorists, and the dictators who aid them.
The evil is in plain sight. The danger only increases with denial. Great responsibilities fall once
again to the great democracies. We will face these threats with open eyes, and we will defeat them.

The peace and security of free nations now rests on three pillars: First, international
organizations must be equal to the challenges facing our world, from lifting up failing states to
opposing proliferation.

Like 11 Presidents before me, I believe in the international institutions and alliances that America
helped to form and helps to lead. The United States and Great Britain have labored hard to help make
the United Nations what it is supposed to be -- an effective instrument of our collective security.
In recent months, we've sought and gained three additional resolutions on Iraq -- Resolutions 1441,
1483 and 1511 -- precisely because the global danger of terror demands a global response. The United
Nations has no more compelling advocate than your Prime Minister, who at every turn has championed
its ideals and appealed to its authority. He understands, as well, that the credibility of the U.N.
depends on a willingness to keep its word and to act when action is required.

America and Great Britain have done, and will do, all in their power to prevent the United Nations
from solemnly choosing its own irrelevance and inviting the fate of the League of Nations. It's not
enough to meet the dangers of the world with resolutions; we must meet those dangers with resolve.

In this century, as in the last, nations can accomplish more together than apart. For 54 years,
America has stood with our partners in NATO, the most effective multilateral institution in history.
We're committed to this great democratic alliance, and we believe it must have the will and the
capacity to act beyond Europe where threats emerge.

My nation welcomes the growing unity of Europe, and the world needs America and the European Union
to work in common purpose for the advance of security and justice. America is cooperating with four
other nations to meet the dangers posed by North Korea. America believes the IAEA must be true to
its purpose and hold Iran to its obligations.

Our first choice, and our constant practice, is to work with other responsible governments. We
understand, as well, that the success of multilateralism is not measured by adherence to forms
alone, the tidiness of the process, but by the results we achieve to keep our nations secure.

The second pillar of peace and security in our world is the willingness of free nations, when the
last resort arrives, to retain* {sic - should be "restrain"} aggression and evil by force. There are
principled objections to the use of force in every generation, and I credit the good motives behind
these views.

Those in authority, however, are not judged only by good motivations. The people have given us the
duty to defend them. And that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men. In some
cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force.

Most in the peaceful West have no living memory of that kind of world. Yet in some countries, the
memories are recent: The victims of ethnic cleansing in the Balkans, those who survived the rapists
and the death squads, have few qualms when NATO applied force to help end those crimes. The women of
Afghanistan, imprisoned in their homes and beaten in the streets and executed in public spectacles,
did not reproach us for routing the Taliban. The inhabitants of Iraq's Baathist hell, with its
lavish palaces and its torture chambers, with its massive statues and its mass graves, do not miss
their fugitive dictator. They rejoiced at his fall.

In all these cases, military action was proceeded by diplomatic initiatives and negotiations and
ultimatums, and final chances until the final moment. In Iraq, year after year, the dictator was
given the chance to account for his weapons programs, and end the nightmare for his people. Now the
resolutions he defied have been enforced.

And who will say that Iraq was better off when Saddam Hussein was strutting and killing, or that the
world was safer when he held power? Who doubts that Afghanistan is a more just society and less
dangerous without Mullah Omar playing host to terrorists from around the world. And Europe, too, is
plainly better off with Milosevic answering for his crimes, instead of committing more.

It's been said that those who live near a police station find it hard to believe in the triumph of
violence, in the same way free peoples might be tempted to take for granted the orderly societies we
have come to know. Europe's peaceful unity is one of the great achievements of the last
half-century. And because European countries now resolve differences through negotiation and
consensus, there's sometimes an assumption that the entire world functions in the same way. But let
us never forget how Europe's unity was achieved -- by allied armies of liberation and NATO armies of
defense. And let us never forget, beyond Europe's borders, in a world where oppression and violence
are very real, liberation is still a moral goal, and freedom and security still need defenders.

The third pillar of security is our commitment to the global expansion of democracy, and the hope
and progress it brings, as the alternative to instability and to hatred and terror. We cannot rely
exclusively on military power to assure our long-term security. Lasting peace is gained as justice
and democracy advance.

In democratic and successful societies, men and women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and
murderers; they turn their hearts and labor to building better lives. And democratic governments do
not shelter terrorist camps or attack their peaceful neighbors; they honor the aspirations and
dignity of their own people. In our conflict with terror and tyranny, we have an unmatched
advantage, a power that cannot be resisted, and that is the appeal of freedom to all mankind.

As global powers, both our nations serve the cause of freedom in many ways, in many places. By
promoting development, and fighting famine and AIDS and other diseases, we're fulfilling our moral
duties, as well as encouraging stability and building a firmer basis for democratic institutions. By
working for justice in Burma, in the Sudan and in Zimbabwe, we give hope to suffering people and
improve the chances for stability and progress. By extending the reach of trade we foster prosperity
and the habits of liberty. And by advancing freedom in the greater Middle East, we help end a cycle
of dictatorship and radicalism that brings millions of people to misery and brings danger to our own

The stakes in that region could not be higher. If the Middle East remains a place where freedom does
not flourish, it will remain a place of stagnation and anger and violence for export. And as we saw
in the ruins of two towers, no distance on the map will protect our lives and way of life. If the
greater Middle East joins the democratic revolution that has reached much of the world, the lives of
millions in that region will be bettered, and a trend of conflict and fear will be ended at its

The movement of history will not come about quickly. Because of our own democratic development --
the fact that it was gradual and, at times, turbulent -- we must be patient with others. And the
Middle East countries have some distance to travel.

Arab scholars speak of a freedom deficit that has separated whole nations from the progress of our
time. The essentials of social and material progress -- limited government, equal justice under law,
religious and economic liberty, political participation, free press, and respect for the rights of
women -- have been scarce across the region. Yet that has begun to change. In an arc of reform from
Morocco to Jordan to Qatar, we are seeing elections and new protections for women and the stirring
of political pluralism. Many governments are realizing that theocracy and dictatorship do not lead
to national greatness; they end in national ruin. They are finding, as others will find, that
national progress and dignity are achieved when governments are just and people are free.

The democratic progress we've seen in the Middle East was not imposed from abroad, and neither will
the greater progress we hope to see. Freedom, by definition, must be chosen, and defended by those
who choose it. Our part, as free nations, is to ally ourselves with reform, wherever it occurs.

Perhaps the most helpful change we can make is to change in our own thinking. In the West, there's
been a certain skepticism about the capacity or even the desire of Middle Eastern peoples for
self-government. We're told that Islam is somehow inconsistent with a democratic culture. Yet more
than half of the world's Muslims are today contributing citizens in democratic societies. It is
suggested that the poor, in their daily struggles, care little for self-government. Yet the poor,
especially, need the power of democracy to defend themselves against corrupt elites.

Peoples of the Middle East share a high civilization, a religion of personal responsibility, and a
need for freedom as deep as our own. It is not realism to suppose that one-fifth of humanity is
unsuited to liberty; it is pessimism and condescension, and we should have none of it. (Applause.)

We must shake off decades of failed policy in the Middle East. Your nation and mine, in the past,
have been willing to make a bargain, to tolerate oppression for the sake of stability. Longstanding
ties often led us to overlook the faults of local elites. Yet this bargain did not bring stability
or make us safe. It merely bought time, while problems festered and ideologies of violence took

As recent history has shown, we cannot turn a blind eye to oppression just because the oppression is
not in our own backyard. No longer should we think tyranny is benign because it is temporarily
convenient. Tyranny is never benign to its victims, and our great democracies should oppose tyranny
wherever it is found. (Applause.)

Now we're pursuing a different course, a forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East. We will
consistently challenge the enemies of reform and confront the allies of terror. We will expect a
higher standard from our friends in the region, and we will meet our responsibilities in Afghanistan
and in Iraq by finishing the work of democracy we have begun.

There were good-faith disagreements in your country and mine over the course and timing of military
action in Iraq. Whatever has come before, we now have only two options: to keep our word, or to
break our word. The failure of democracy in Iraq would throw its people back into misery and turn
that country over to terrorists who wish to destroy us. Yet democracy will succeed in Iraq, because
our will is firm, our word is good, and the Iraqi people will not surrender their freedom.

Since the liberation of Iraq, we have seen changes that could hardly have been imagined a year ago.
A new Iraqi police force protects the people, instead of bullying them. More than 150 Iraqi
newspapers are now in circulation, printing what they choose, not what they're ordered. Schools are
open with textbooks free of propaganda. Hospitals are functioning and are well-supplied. Iraq has a
new currency, the first battalion of a new army, representative local governments, and a Governing
Council with an aggressive timetable for national sovereignty. This is substantial progress. And
much of it has proceeded faster than similar efforts in Germany and Japan after World War II.

Yet the violence we are seeing in Iraq today is serious. And it comes from Baathist holdouts and
Jihadists from other countries, and terrorists drawn to the prospect of innocent bloodshed. It is
the nature of terrorism and the cruelty of a few to try to bring grief in the loss to many. The
armed forces of both our countries have taken losses, felt deeply by our citizens. Some families now
live with a burden of great sorrow. We cannot take the pain away. But these families can know they
are not alone. We pray for their strength; we pray for their comfort; and we will never forget the
courage of the ones they loved.

The terrorists have a purpose, a strategy to their cruelty. They view the rise of democracy in Iraq
as a powerful threat to their ambitions. In this, they are correct. They believe their acts of
terror against our coalition, against international aid workers and against innocent Iraqis, will
make us recoil and retreat. In this, they are mistaken. (Applause.)

We did not charge hundreds of miles into the heart of Iraq and pay a bitter cost of casualties, and
liberate 25 million people, only to retreat before a band of thugs and assassins. (Applause.) We
will help the Iraqi people establish a peaceful and democratic country in the heart of the Middle
East. And by doing so, we will defend our people from danger.

The forward strategy of freedom must also apply to the Arab-Israeli conflict. It's a difficult
period in a part of the world that has known many. Yet, our commitment remains firm. We seek justice
and dignity. We seek a viable, independent state for the Palestinian people, who have been betrayed
by others for too long. (Applause.) We seek security and recognition for the state of Israel, which
has lived in the shadow of random death for too long. (Applause.) These are worthy goals in
themselves, and by reaching them we will also remove an occasion and excuse for hatred and violence
in the broader Middle East.

Achieving peace in the Holy Land is not just a matter of the shape of a border. As we work on the
details of peace, we must look to the heart of the matter, which is the need for a viable
Palestinian democracy. Peace will not be achieved by Palestinian rulers who intimidate opposition,
who tolerate and profit from corruption and maintain their ties to terrorist groups. These are the
methods of the old elites, who time and again had put their own self-interest above the interest of
the people they claim to serve. The long-suffering Palestinian people deserve better. They deserve
true leaders, capable of creating and governing a Palestinian state.

Even after the setbacks and frustrations of recent months, goodwill and hard effort can bring about
a Palestinian state and a secure Israel. Those who would lead a new Palestine should adopt peaceful
means to achieve the rights of their people and create the reformed institutions of a stable

Israel should freeze settlement construction, dismantle unauthorized outposts, end the daily
humiliation of the Palestinian people, and not prejudice final negotiations with the placements of
walls and fences.

Arab states should end incitement in their own media, cut off public and private funding for
terrorism, and establish normal relations with Israel.

Leaders in Europe should withdraw all favor and support from any Palestinian ruler who fails his
people and betrays their cause. And Europe's leaders -- and all leaders -- should strongly oppose
anti-Semitism, which poisons public debates over the future of the Middle East. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, we have great objectives before us that make our Atlantic alliance as vital as
it has ever been. We will encourage the strength and effectiveness of international institutions. We
will use force when necessary in the defense of freedom. And we will raise up an ideal of democracy
in every part of the world. On these three pillars we will build the peace and security of all free
nations in a time of danger.

So much good has come from our alliance of conviction and might. So much now depends on the strength
of this alliance as we go forward. America has always found strong partners in London, leaders of
good judgment and blunt counsel and backbone when times are tough. And I have found all those
qualities in your current Prime Minister, who has my respect and my deepest thanks. (Applause.)

The ties between our nations, however, are deeper than the relationship between leaders. These ties
endure because they are formed by the experience and responsibilities and adversity we have shared.
And in the memory of our peoples, there will always be one experience, one central event when the
seal was fixed on the friendship between Britain and the United States: The arrival in Great Britain
of more than 1.5 million American soldiers and airmen in the 1940s was a turning point in the second
world war. For many Britons, it was a first close look at Americans, other than in the movies. Some
of you here today may still remember the "friendly invasion." Our lads, they took some getting used
to. There was even a saying about what many of them were up to -- in addition to be "overpaid and
over here." (Laughter.)

At a reunion in North London some years ago, an American pilot who had settled in England after his
military service, said, "Well, I'm still over here, and probably overpaid. So two out of three isn't
bad." (Laughter.)

In that time of war, the English people did get used to the Americans. They welcomed soldiers and
fliers into their villages and homes, and took to calling them, "our boys." About 70,000 of those
boys did their part to affirm our special relationship. They returned home with English brides.

Americans gained a certain image of Britain, as well. We saw an island threatened on every side, a
leader who did not waver, and a country of the firmest character. And that has not changed. The
British people are the sort of partners you want when serious work needs doing. The men and women of
this Kingdom are kind and steadfast and generous and brave. And America is fortunate to call this
country our closest friend in the world.

May God bless you all. (Applause.)

END 2:03 P.M. (Local)

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