27. Telegram From the Embassy in Kuwait to the Department of State1
Kuwait, September 18, 1970, 1045Z.
835. For Asst Secretary Sisco.
- As you are aware, we expect PFLP spectaculars here. We are in close liaison with the government and the oil companies and are endeavoring tighten security posture to optimum degree. We have no illusions, however, about vulnerability industrial units and Embassy in face of determined and skillful enemies. PLO has called for general strike tomorrow and students will attempt to drum up mass meeting with possible objective of march on Jordanians or US. Police should be able to control them. PFLP, however, may prove different proposition.
- We simply recognize life as it is, and we anticipate it will get tougher. Our best bet, in my opinion, is the continuation of your effort to get the Arabs and Israelis talking under Jarring’s umbrella.2 I speak very clearly to the Arabs about their feckless stupidity and viciousness in respect to the missiles and the hijacking.3 They agree, but they are, weakly, what they are. This does not mean, however, that the Israelis are innocent lambs in respect to the present mess or that we should be caught up in their inhibitions and objectives. I urge that we stay very true to our own objectives, which happen to be a legitimate peace. The enormous emotional gains in the Arab world resulting from our peace initiative are beginning to wash away as we respond to Israeli requests and emotionalism which are being given quite a free run as a result of Arab stupidity and chicanery. I believe that we should keep the Arabs focused on their own mess and not permit them to slip it off on the emotional basis that we are in the Israeli camp. In every way we can we should keep their nose in what they have done and, if physically possible, their eye on what they so desperately need—peace. If we say, or do, much more which can be construed in this region as pro-Israeli, we are going to pay some bitter prices.