TEHRAN, Jan. 6 (MNA) -- U.S. President George W. Bush’s upcoming visit to the Middle East and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent visit to Jordan are being touted as efforts to promote the establishment of peace between the Arab world and Israel but in fact each has a political and a propaganda angle.

From the political angle, it appears that, in the aftermath of the failure of the Annapolis Conference, Bush is trying to push the Arabs into a compromise with the Zionist regime through political wrangling in the Middle East.


However, the Hamas government’s resistance to the external and internal pressure and the perseverance of the Palestinians, especially the Gaza residents, in the face of economic sanctions brought about the failure of the United States’ latest political moves.


In addition, France has not been able to resolve the issue of the presidential election in Lebanon in the desired way, despite French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner’s numerous trips to the country.


From the propaganda angle, is seems that the U.S. president’s imminent trip to the Middle East is actually meant to give a boost to the Republicans’ 2008 presidential election campaign.


Bush will stage a visit to the occupied territories of Palestine so that he can convince the Zionist lobby to support the Republicans in 2008.


The U.S. president has promised the Zionist lobby that he will visit the occupied territories again in May to attend the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Zionist regime’s establishment.


This will be the first time that a U.S. president is to participate in these celebrations.


Bush will be visiting Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Kuwait in an attempt to convince Arab-Americans to vote for the Republicans.


In the next six months, the U.S. president is also scheduled to visit several African countries, China, and Japan. The trips are meant for domestic consumption rather than as serious efforts to resolve the crises in the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia.


Sarkozy, who has adopted stances heavily biased toward the Republicans, and especially Bush’s foreign policy, apparently traveled to the region to help jump-start the Republican Party’s election campaign.


However, the French president’s recent visit and the U.S. president’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, which starts on Tuesday, will definitely not produce any positive results.


Despite the duplicitous moves of the Republicans in the Middle East region and the rest of the world, it seems that in the end, the U.S. Democrats will have more bargaining chips in the 2008 presidential election.


(Jan. 7 Tehran Times Opinion Column, by Hassan Hanizadeh)





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