rjpieces
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Tom Friedman On The Middle East Conflict

Thu Jul 27, 2006 6:02 am

Tom Friedman is generally regarded as a neutral, intelligent observer of the Middle East and I thought I would post his column from the NY Times today. He basically makes the argument that the US must negotiate with Syria to end this conflict, as no peacekeeping force will be successful otherwise.

As much as I hate the idea of in anyway legitimizing Assad's regime, I agree with Friedman here. If the United States plays our cards right, the Syria-Iran axis can be ended, Syria can be brought into an alliance with the United States and a peace treaty with Israel, and Lebanon can become stable for the first time in decades. Perhaps it's a step back for the democracy movement, but it SIGNIFICANTLY advances American interests in the region.

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/07/26/opinion/26friedman.html?hp

Key points:
One wonders what planet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice landed from, thinking she can build an international force to take charge in south Lebanon without going to Damascus and trying to bring the Syrians on board.

Do you remember what happened in 1983, each asked, when the Reagan administration tried to impose an Israeli-designed treaty on Lebanon against Syria's will?

I was there, I remember quite well: Hezbollah, no doubt backed by Syria or Iran, debuted its skills for the world by blowing up the U.S. Embassy in Beirut and the U.S. Marine and French peacekeeping battalions. This is not a knitting circle here.

Will Syria play? Syrians will tell you that their alliance with Tehran is "a marriage of convenience." Syria is a largely secular country, with a Sunni majority. Its leadership is not comfortable with Iranian Shiite ayatollahs. The Iranians know that, which is why "they keep sending high officials here every few weeks to check on the relationship," a diplomat said.

I repeat: I don't know if Syria can be brought around, and we certainly can't do it at Lebanon's expense. But you have to try, with real sticks and real carrots. Syria is not going to calm things in Lebanon, or Iraq, just so the Bush team can then focus on regime change in Damascus. As one diplomat here put it to me, "Turkeys don't vote for Thanksgiving."
"Millions long for immortality who do not know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon"
 
baroque
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RE: Tom Friedman On The Middle East Conflict

Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:45 pm

Quoting RJpieces (Thread starter):
One wonders what planet Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice landed from, thinking she can build an international force to take charge in south Lebanon without going to Damascus and trying to bring the Syrians on board.

Some sanity. But extending what he writes, there are a whole bunch of turkeys who will just hold up on voting for Thanksgiving for a bit longer.
 
Beaucaire
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RE: Tom Friedman On The Middle East Conflict

Thu Jul 27, 2006 2:57 pm

Seems a reasonably written article-I fully agree on the fact that leaving Syria in a corner stamped "terrorist country" won't help the peace effords.
I 've always advocated to bring Bashir on the negotiation table is the only reasonable thing to do.
Sweeten his depart from an Iran supporting politic by offering him substantial economic and attitude support.Syrian's can be very reasonable if you don't offend them upfront by cornering them into a unsustainable position.
Don't forget the Golan heights- the very core problem in Syrian-Israeli relations.
Please respect animals - don't eat them...
 
baroque
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Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2006 2:15 pm

RE: Tom Friedman On The Middle East Conflict

Thu Jul 27, 2006 7:57 pm

Quoting Beaucaire (Reply 2):
Sweeten his depart from an Iran supporting politic by offering him substantial economic and attitude support.Syrian's can be very reasonable if you don't offend them upfront by cornering them into a unsustainable position.
Don't forget the Golan heights- the very core problem in Syrian-Israeli relations.

But the question has to be, will Israel allow the Golan to be on the table? I notice that the UN resolution relating to Lebanon has to be observed but no mention of the 138 resolutions currently being ignored including the following:

http://www.palestinemonitor.org/Spec...israel_boycotted_court_hearing.htm

" In the period between the 1967 war and the year 2000, the UN Security Council has passed 138 resolutions relating to the Israel/Palestine conflict, all of which have been ignored:

* On June 14, 1967, the Security Council called upon Israel to �ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants, facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of the hostilities and recommends the scrupulous respect of the humanitarian principles contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949� (Resolution No. 237).

* On November 22, 1967, Resolution 242 referred to the �inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war� and called for the �withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the conflict....�

* On May 21, 1968, Resolution 252 called on Israel to rescind measures changing the legal status of Jerusalem and to end its expropriation of land and properties."

No comment.
 
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VirginFlyer
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RE: Tom Friedman On The Middle East Conflict

Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:19 am

In order to prevent a lot of duplication, and in order to prevent the arguments spiralling out of control, we have decided to create four official threads to deal with the current conflict involving Israel and Lebanon in the Middle East. Please find these discussions here:
Official Middle East Situation Report Thread (by Moderators Aug 1 2006 in Non Aviation)
Official Sympathy For Israel Thread (by Moderators Aug 1 2006 in Non Aviation)
Official Sympathy For Lebanon Thread (by Moderators Aug 1 2006 in Non Aviation)
Official Middle East Conflict Discussion Thread (by Moderators Aug 1 2006 in Non Aviation)

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