De Borchgrave: Obama Faces Disintegrating Situation in Middle East, Mexico

Thursday, 01 Apr 2010 07:44 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Award-winning journalist Arnaud de Borchgrave tells Newsmax that he will not see a Palestinian state in his lifetime — and the ultimate solution will likely be a single nation shared by both Israelis and Palestinians.

In his exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, de Borchgrave also says he seriously doubts that new sanctions will deter Iran from continuing its nuclear program, warns that a single incident in the Middle East could push oil prices to as much as $400 a barrel, and asserts that Mexico is already to a great extent a “narco republic.”

Editor's Note: See the entire Newsmax.TV interview with Arnaud de Borchgrave below.

De Borchgrave was with Newsweek magazine for 30 years, 25 of them as chief foreign correspondent covering most of the world’s major news events. He is now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, editor at large at United Press International and The Washington Times, and a Newsmax correspondent.

Asked about reports that the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, Germany and China have agreed to draw up new sanctions against Iran in response to its nuclear weapons program, de Borchgrave says the sanctions will be determined by “the lowest common denominator among all those powers.

“China has some long-term arrangements with Iran, oil deliveries going over 10 years. Russia, now after the latest terrorist incident in Moscow, may be a little more amenable than it was. There will be sanctions. Whether they will bring Iran to a different viewpoint on their nuclear ambitions, I doubt it very seriously. They’ve been at it for 25 years.”

Turning to the Israeli-Palestinian question, de Borchgrave — who received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Phillips Foundation in 2007 — tells Newsmax: “I’ve long argued that you’re not going to see a Palestinian state in my lifetime.

“You don’t have the makings of a Palestinian state. The West Bank today has about 150 Israeli settlements with a total population of 300,000. East Jerusalem has 200,000 Israeli citizens living there, making a Palestinian capital impossible.

“So where would this Palestinian state be? Certainly not in the West Bank. There’s no other place to put them. So one day, in my view, we’re moving willy-nilly toward a one-state solution, which would be very much like Lebanon, with both Jews and Arabs.

“Most Israelis can’t conceive of that in the next 10 years, but 15, 20 years from now, with a new generation or two new generations, it may well happen.”

The Palestinians, meanwhile, are moving toward a “new Intifada,” de Borchgrave says.

He doubts that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew in advance that an announcement would be made, during Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel, that Israel would build 1,600 new homes for Jews in East Jerusalem.

“He has some right-wing members of his cabinet who did that to embarrass him. He was taken by surprise on the timing.”

In light of the escalating violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, which has claimed American lives, de Borchgrave was asked if Mexico is in danger of becoming a narco republic.

“I think to a great extent Mexico is already like Colombia was, a narco republic,” he declares. “It’s a major crisis for the United States, no question in my mind.

“We’ve been so busy with Iraq and Afghanistan that we don’t see what is happening on our own border. That’s why I think the next presidential election will be on a platform that will ask the United States to come home, rebuild our country, before China eats our lunch. There’s so much unfinished business in America.”

A committee of lawmakers in Britain has said the term “special relationship” should no longer be used when referring to the U.S., and the British government should be “less deferential” toward the Americans. Asked if we are in danger of becoming estranged from our top ally, de Borchgrave responds:

“I doubt that very seriously. The British and the United States are deeply involved in each other’s affairs, especially in the world of intelligence, counterterrorism, military secrets. There are all sorts of things that the British are entitled to that no other country in the world is entitled to, and vice versa.”

The relationship between the U.S. and Britain “gets to be eroded from time to time depending on which government is in office in London, and also which government is in office in Washington,” he adds.

“President Obama clearly does not feel pretty close to the British prime minister these days. He snubbed Gordon Brown. He didn’t have a meal with him. Those are little things, in my judgment, in the overall picture, which is a very close alliance.”

De Borchgrave is not sure that the dollar will still be the world’s preeminent currency 10 years from now.

“At the present rate of decline in the U.S. in economic and financial terms and what is happening in China, you have to say that that is obviously a big, big threat for the 10 to 15 years to come.”

As for the Euro and the European Union, he says: “The European Union will never be a United States of Europe.

“The only chance the Europeans had of doing that was in 1952, when they created the European army, and the French then sabotaged that, and abolished any idea of a European army.

“All the things that would create a real United States of Europe — they’re not willing to go that far.”

Back in the U.S., some economists are warning that many states are in danger of defaulting, including California. Asked if bond investors could be in trouble, de Borchgrave tells Newsmax:

“No question. Everybody’s in trouble here at home. I think we’re on a plateau here now before we head south again.

“The Chinese equation hasn’t changed. We’re still borrowing two to three billion dollars a day, principally from China, to maintain the world’s highest standard of living based on conspicuous consumption, at a time of growing world shortages. It doesn’t compute. But so far no one’s found an alternative.”

De Borchgrave plays down the threat that the Chinese will “own” the U.S. because they hold so much of our debt, saying that if the Chinese were to cash out of their U.S. holdings it would collapse the entire economic system.
“Both of us have an interest in maintaining the present system of us borrowing two to three billion dollars a day from China, and we’re both stuck in this as far as anyone can see into the future.”

As for the prospects of a more open society in China, de Borchgrave says:
“Is the ultimate aim of China to become a democracy comparable to Western Europe or the United States? I doubt it very seriously. They’re trying to find a new way of governing, while at the same time opening things up sufficiently so that the youth of the country will not feel constrained.

“I think we’re going through a similar evolution. I think both countries have decided, for different reasons, that their system cannot be the final stage in human evolution.”

De Borchgrave, who recently returned from the Persian Gulf, was asked why oil prices remain high — over $80 a barrel — despite the global recession.
“I think they’re going to go a lot higher than they are today, depending on how the Iranian crisis comes out,” he warns.

“All that it requires is a minor incident in the Gulf, in the Straits of Hormuz, the Iranians sowing a few mines as retaliation perhaps for an Israeli bombing of one of their nuclear sites. All of that could drive oil up to two, three, four hundred dollars very quickly.”

He sees gold prices going higher as well.

“I know some people are not only buying gold but buying gold mines, and they see gold going up to $2,500 [an ounce] within the next three or four years.”

De Borchgrave also observes that the U.S. is not in a real recovery because unemployment remains high, and this is not likely to improve. But the Obama administration continues to assert that this is a recovery because “it’s very difficult for an administration in power to say everything we’re doing does not seem to be producing any results, and we don’t think it’s a real recovery. No government could do that.”



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