Friday, July 28, 2006

Warren Christopher Says "Syria is Critical Participant"

Warren Christopher, Secretary of State under President Clinton, explains why: "Syria may well be a critical participant in any cease-fire arrangement, just as it was in 1993 and 1996."

A Time To Act
By Warren Christopher
Washington Post Friday, July 28, 2006; A25

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's just-concluded trip to Lebanon, Israel and Rome was an exercise in grace, bravery and, to my regret, wrongly focused diplomacy. Especially disappointing is the fact that she resisted all suggestions that the first order of business should be negotiation of an immediate cease-fire between the warring parties.

In the course of her trip, the secretary repeatedly insisted that any cease-fire be tied to a "permanent" and "sustainable" solution to the root causes of the conflict. Such a solution is achievable, if at all, only after protracted negotiations involving multiple parties. In the meantime, civilians will continue to die, precious infrastructure will continue to be destroyed and the fragile Lebanese democracy will continue to erode.

My own experience in the region underlies my belief that in the short term we should focus our efforts on stopping the killing. Twice during my four years as secretary of state we faced situations similar to the one that confronts us today. Twice, at the request of the Israelis, we helped bring the bloodshed to an end.

In June 1993, Israel responded to Hezbollah rocket attacks along its northern border by launching Operation Accountability, resulting in the expulsion of 250,000 civilians from the southern part of Lebanon.

After the Israeli bombardment had continued for several days, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin asked me to use my contacts in Syria to seek their help in containing the hostilities. I contacted Foreign Minister Farouk Shara, who, of course, consulted with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad. After several days of urgent negotiations, an agreement was reached committing the parties to stop targeting one another's civilian populations. We never knew exactly what the Syrians did, but clearly Hezbollah responded to their direction.

In April 1996, when Hezbollah again launched rocket attacks on Israel's northern border, the Israelis countered with Operation Grapes of Wrath, sending 400,000 Lebanese fleeing from southern Lebanon. Errant Israeli bombs hit a U.N. refugee camp at Cana in southern Lebanon, killing about 100 civilians and bringing the wrath of international public opinion down upon Israel.

This time Shimon Peres, who had become prime minister after the assassination of Rabin, sought our help. In response, we launched an eight-day shuttle to Damascus, Beirut and Jerusalem that produced a written agreement bringing the hostilities to an end. Weeks later, the parties agreed to a border monitoring group consisting of Israel, Syria, Lebanon, France and the United States. Until three weeks ago, that agreement had succeeded for 10 years in preventing a wholesale resumption of hostilities.

What do these episodes teach us?

First, as in 1996, an immediate cease-fire must take priority, with negotiations on longer-term arrangements to follow. Achieving a cease-fire will be difficult enough without overloading the initial negotiations with a search for permanent solutions.

Second, if a cease-fire is the goal, the United States has an indispensable role to play. A succession of Israeli leaders has turned to us, and only us, when they have concluded that retaliation for Hezbollah attacks has become counterproductive. Israel plainly trusts no one else to negotiate on its behalf and will accept no settlement in which we are not deeply involved. Further, based upon my experience in helping bring an end to the fighting in the Balkans, the Europeans are unlikely to participate in a multinational enforcement action until the United States commits to putting its own troops on the ground.

Finally, Syria may well be a critical participant in any cease-fire arrangement, just as it was in 1993 and 1996. Although Syria no longer has troops in Lebanon, Hezbollah's supply routes pass through the heart of Syria, and some Hezbollah leaders may reside in Damascus, giving the Syrians more leverage over Hezbollah's actions than any other country save Iran. Syria has invited a direct dialogue with the United States, and although our relations with Syria have seriously deteriorated in recent years (we have not had an ambassador in Damascus for more than a year), we do not have the luxury of continuing to treat it with diplomatic disdain. As the situations with North Korea and Iran confirm, refusing to speak with those we dislike is a recipe for frustration and failure.

Because Hezbollah has positioned itself as the "David" in this war, every day that the killing continues burnishes its reputation within the Arab world. Every day that more of the Lebanese infrastructure is turned to dust, Beirut's fragile democracy becomes weaker, both in its ability to function and in the eyes of its people.

The impact is not limited to Lebanon or Israel. Every day America gives the green light to further Israeli violence, our already tattered reputation sinks even lower. The reluctance of our closest allies in the Middle East even to receive Secretary Rice this week in their capitals attests to this fact.

It is time for the United States to step forward with the authority and balance that this moment requires.

The writer was secretary of state from 1993 to 1997

An open letter published Friday in The Independent newspaper, signed by former British Cabinet ministers and ambassadors urging Tony Blair to help broker a swift cease-fire. It warned that any continuing support for Israel's military action could become as unpopular with the public as the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. The letter was also signed by musicians Damon Albarn, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno and writers Harold Pinter, Will Self and Gillian Slovo. A picture of the front page is attached. Also below is the lead article from The Independent today.

33 Comments:

At 7/28/2006 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Ivanka said...

you posted the last one twice..

 
At 7/28/2006 12:43:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

It looks like Isreal did not achieved its plan,with 33 Isreali soldier died, northern Isreal has been shelled daily and the lebanese resistance has showed brave resistance, isreal forces are pulling out,now it is time for Isreal to ask US help to end the fight,US has to approach Syria for help,as Bush said to Bair during G8 meeting,Syria and HA has won,forces of 14 of March has lost,they can not face HA ,since Isreal failed,and they see HA power,and popularity,France also proved very un effective.

 
At 7/28/2006 02:02:00 PM, Blogger Metaz K. M. Aldendeshe said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7/28/2006 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Abhinav Aima said...

Warren Christopher forgets to mention that the U.S. stance in 1996 was also to allow Israel some room to push out Hizbollah... Ultimately it was the French proposal, NOT the U.S. proposal, which formed the April Understanding of 1996...

El Presidente Arbusto is doing exactly what many U.S. presidents have done in the past - he is backing Israel till the point that Israel reaches a No Win point... Then we will see immense U.S. diplomacy to save the civilians and end the conflict and have an 'immediate' cease fire...

Among the Arab and Muslim audiences, however, this U.S. tactic has been exposed and not many people believe that the U.S. actually values civilian lives versus the Israel-U.S. goal of a 'New Middle East'...

And as you might have already read in The New York Times - Arab opinion is shifting to favor Hizbollah, and our friend Nick B. also reports in the CSM that 87% of Lebanese polled support Hizbollah (including 80% Christians and Druze) - so Israeli strikes are building up their enemy (as in 1996).

 
At 7/28/2006 04:48:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

Warren Christopher is all nice commonsense, comfortable armchair chat. But what’s on Across The Bay makes more substantial sense (even when quoting professional troublemaker Isrealist Martin Indyk who only a couple of months ago was yip yapping about how America would give the nod and wink if Israel attacked Iran).
I recommend the last couple of Across The Bay posts plus some of the links, even if you don’t agree and prefer the Christopher take on Syria.

And if anyone imagines a peace deal will bring peace to Lebanon, read this piece by Michael Totten about revenge against the Shias when this all dies down. http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001203.html

 
At 7/28/2006 05:18:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

I think that the caption given to Mr. Christopher's article in this Post: " Syria is a Critical Participant" does not trully respresent the thrust or the core concept of the author;Mr. Christopher. It is a by product of the article maybe.
" A Time To Act" as labeled by the post is his real call, especially when you read the last two lines his article: " It is time for the United States to step forward with the authority and balance that this moment requiers". ie, Do somthing about Israel and the neocons before the US is done-in.

Interestly enough, Bush and Blair during thier conference made no give "direct" refence to inviting Syria to get invloved in calming down the situation in Lebanon. Absent af course were the blunt and customary threats to Syria. Blair, with the famous Brithish duplicity, tried to be smart by dangling the "carrot" by referring to "a total solution" to the crisis. On the face of it, he "meant" the Lebanese crisis, and the Palestine issue. Palestine now mind you, not the usual occupied territories! However, and as does a girl who is trying to play hard to get but who can not manage to hide her infatuation with the guy she is after,he, and Dubbya shyly implied that the "total solutions" would also include the "Middle East", meaning the Golan Hights, while not saying it outright.

And you know what, if I was Bashar al Assad, I would continue playing it right. "I am sorry", Syria shall inform interested parties" your problem is with Lebanon and Hizbullah, not with Syria. So please, go solve it yourself". We are out of Lebanon, as you wanted us a year or so ago.
And then a Syrian diplomate, would whisper teasingly in a western diplomate's ear: "Do you NOW know why we left Lebanon in such a big hurry last year?". But for now, Lebanon is your's, France's and the Harriri's camp headach. The 450,000 palestinians in Lebanon as well, so is Abbas's Authority, and so is your " advancing democracy in Iraq".

Now. of course, once you -the US and the West- reach the stage of seriously intending to address the real big, big, big issues of settlement in the Middle East and the resulting division of the sphere of interests in the whole area, then of course we will come and we will ready to "help" you with those issues because they are imortant to us. Having said that with a wink, the Syrian diplomate would bid the western diplomate doodbye, and may ask one of his assistants to find the time to send a transcript copy of the above "unofficial coversation with the Wetern Diplomate" to Cairo, Riyadh, and he may be generous enough to even ask Mubarak to tell the Jordanians what took place, if only not to have them feel left out of things.

Syria apperars t be feeling very well nowadays when Buthaina Shaaban starts dictaing to the IDF how many miles Isreal is allowed to come close to Syria....only to recieve Israel's Public Confirmation that Israel does not intend to have problems with Syria.

Israel and Syria could be both be comougalaging thier real intentions in this regards, but heck, what effect those "usless" rockets and few srong-willed Hizbullah men, with thier " obsolete Syrian Supplied Rockets" (and Katyusha's at that,not the other rusty Scuds or Frogs even..hint, hint!) can have on the course of events in an area which some well-wishers kept advising us that it has allready fallen in the United States pocket and that saying NO is a theme of the past or a "satanic dream".

Week four, and we are still counting. May God only have mercy on the soles of the fallen ones. They made all this possible.

 
At 7/28/2006 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Ausamaa said...

Activelistner,

My God, what dark and stupid hearts and intentions some people can have!!! :

" Revenge aagainst the Shieas once all this has died down".

Reminds me of Araft's famous answer to an interviewer who was asking Arafat about the "fears" of some about an expected Palestinan infighting once Israel withdrawls from a certain area. Arafatt answer was " do you mean the 'Fears of some' or the 'Whiches of some'.

Am I detecting certain "wishes" in apparent attempt to promote Michael Totten's article????

My God, how black hearted and blind we insist on being.

Do not worry, when Lebanon emerges victorious, the Badge of Courage would be born by all the Lebanese, and not by the Shias only, who some say represnt 50% of the population, armed or not. And instead of fearing for what will happen to the Shias, worry about covering yourself real good if you keep repeating such nonesense.

 
At 7/28/2006 08:02:00 PM, Blogger President Bush said...

Josh, I am beginning to like Amarji and Across the Bay Blogs more than the non sense you are presenting! I may even consider consulting these guys on ME policy from now on. It seems that the US needs people with real roots in the ME region not some phony second class so-called History 'expert' from Okalahoma.

 
At 7/29/2006 03:58:00 AM, Blogger Abhinav Aima said...

I usually do not respond to the posts of other commens but it seems like your blog is inundated by people suffering from a momentary lapse of reason...

Seems like some people here need to hit the Nargili or Sheesha before they mistake the tree for the forest...

 
At 7/29/2006 05:45:00 AM, Blogger Optimistic One said...

The concept of using Syria as the catalyst for solving this problem with Islam's militant A-team is beginning to make sense.

1. Sunnis religion predominates the geographic region separating Hezbollah and the militant revolutionary Shiites of Iran and the passive [thanks be to Allah] southern Iraqi Shiite population. Developing a long term socially nurturing & economic enhancing relationship with Syria solidifies this divide and cuts the conduit between Iran and Hezbollah while being in the long term interest of the United States national security.

2. President Bashar al Assad is in need of some new friends; the one’s he’s having to invite to dinner walk to the tyrannical beat of his father’s rule; he has had no one to turn to since returning home and forfeiting his Western “digs” of Britain. Truly opening his country to Western investment and development in the tourist industry would no doubt be regarded as a miracle by his people and provide thousands of jobs creating the infrastructure necessary to build the Howard Johnson Inns and Marriott Hotels needed to support the flood of curious Christians and Muslims to this land of ancient historical enchantment.

3. Belief in the possibility of and fulfillment in a sustained rapprochement to the West would begin to alleviate the tension with the Israelis and, if it is the will of both Abraham’s and Mohammad’s (P.B.U.H.) God, ………the return of the Golan.

4. Welcoming and rescuing Syria into the international fold of “us” and away from that group…… [or]“against us” raises Bashar’s deposition with his own God and intellectuals in his country and out of world community’s political depths of eternal hell-fire where Iran’s Shiite leadership, Hezbollah, and Al Qaeda nurture hate and indiscriminate murder.

5. In terms of the United States national security interests, Iraqi’s current little social misunderstanding needs to be resolved so that splitting the country is avoided and expanding Iranian influence is cauterized. Syria can be a big part of that stabilizing catalyst in Iraqi by exercising a persuasive influence over the visiting Iraqi Sunnis expats who currently are so intent on spending the rest of their lives and money on watching Shiite blood flow down the streets of Baghdad.

6. The future of Syria (the under “30 Something” urbanites) is craving Western goods and the lifestyle of the rich & famous just as much as Iran’s spineless electorate of the same age group. If President Bush admits he’s been misguided by the Neo-Con’s on Syria, apologizes to Bashar for not believing that he can vacation just as well as any rich Westerner, turns, drops his pants and bends over, he will have placed his name on the wall of mankind’s greatest statesmen.

By deciding whether to have a true love fest with Syria and initiate the start of Western Banking and Persian oil money investment into the country, Bush is presented with a golden opportunity of showing the Iranian people that great shopping malls don’t have to be built strictly in Dubai: ..........“Look! Apathetic voters of Iran. Syria is becoming the center of the Middle East vacation dreamland and you can have that too………imagine the advertising, .....Persia; the land of bliss, ritz, and consumer goods! ……just rise up, grow a spine, and fight for that independence from tyranny that the Islamic Revolution had promised.”

 
At 7/29/2006 06:41:00 AM, Blogger Philip I said...

Check out new post on Via Recta:
A country for rent

 
At 7/29/2006 08:34:00 AM, Blogger Ivanka said...

LA Times : In the US, Calls Grow For Contact With Syria

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria29jul29,1,7583004.story

yet another story in this direction. However there is still a considerable number of people who wrote against this.

 
At 7/29/2006 04:37:00 PM, Blogger ibn nagrela said...

here is a fair proposal to mitigate zionist hegemony:

* israel's return to 1967 borders; including return of shebaa farms to lebanon which syria has already agreed

* exchange of prisoners

* 25km buffer zone on both sizes of israeli-lebanon border monitored by un multinational force

* hibullah agreement to nationalise its military wing as a separate "command" within laf

* hizbullah agreement to sever military command & control ties to mugniyah

* hizbullah/nasrallah agreement to appoint new military leadership for laf hizbullah command, including a separate cic with authority equivalent to current cic michel sleiman

* hizbullah agreement to allow laf inventory of all munitions, place all such inventories under laf procurement & control

* admission by idf that the idf patrol ambushed by hizbullah reported on 12 jul was on the LEBANESE side of the israeli-lebanon border at or near aitaa al-shaab and that idf patrols ROUTINELY cross the border into lebanese territory on such patrols

* admission by hizbullah that killing and capturing idf forces on 12 jul was an unnecessary provocation despite idf's unauthorised, provocative incursion into lebanese territory

 
At 7/29/2006 05:33:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Condi Rice position is shifting, also I have not seen any effective protest in any arabic country.

 
At 7/29/2006 07:44:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

"here is a fair proposal to mitigate zionist hegemony:"

Nukes are the fair way to mitigate zionist hegemony.

Israel and the US are afraid of Iranian nukes not because Iran would use them but because US/Israeli aggression would have to end when they have acquired nukes. Iran knows if they use nukes against Israel Iran will end as a country and as a people.

BTW, there is no evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. They would be stupid if they were not, however.

 
At 7/29/2006 07:48:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Why should the US contact Syria? The US and Israel don't care about world opinion, arab opinion, and the EU is a zombie. The american people are blind and don't care. Zionist christians and jews control US foreign policy and that won't change with another administration. There is no need to contact Syria.

If I were Bush I would not contact Syria. What's the use? Israel is doing what it is best at.

 
At 7/29/2006 08:19:00 PM, Blogger Ivanka said...

I agree with Ugarit:

It is in the interest of the US and Europe to talk to Syria. If they do not, they will lose time, money, influence, ... However, they just do NOT want to. They are willing to bear these losses in order to keep Syria isolated. It is like a higher goal for them.

This can not last forever, still. At some time in the future, things will have to cool down.

 
At 7/29/2006 09:13:00 PM, Blogger ugarit said...

Ivanka:

What are the losses by US/Israel? They're really insignificant relative to the losses by Arabs and Muslims.

No one in the west can or wants to stop US/Israel. No one dares. How can it be done without a significant deterrence such as nukes or a complete collapse of the US economic system. Both may happen.

 
At 7/30/2006 12:18:00 PM, Blogger Syrian Nationalist Party said...

Comment left at websites of:

Ayatollah Khamenei,
President Mahmood Ahmadi Nizhad
Minister of Defense, Russia
President, Russian Federation

Here is one comment that is typically left on the internet-blog sphere by thousands of posters. This is indicative of the general opinion among Moslem Population globally. The blog comment recorded here is preceded by our comment:

As I (Metaz) said before, nations don't win wars using known weapon system that everyone has defense system against it, or know how to defeat it. Wars are won using secret weapons and an effective geopolitical strategy.

Syria and Iran acquisitions of expensive, useless, Russian missiles, radars and weapon systems are a waste of Moslems money, in addition to its Political impairment. The deployment of these technologically worthless Russian defense systems is pure negligence. It provides false sense of capabilities and security, not to mention a exposing your valuable trained soldiers to assured harm

Both Syria and Iran needs effective defense systems that can debilitate the enemy, an effective geopolitical strategy, backed by an effective campaign that is put into action to implement the strategy, just as the enemy is doing.

Otherwise, why not have Muallem and Asefi-Muttaki declares surrender to Israel and the Neocon now, please spare us all the destruction and coming humiliating defeat.

The effective weapons and the winning strategy available, and are at your disposal, use it now. The strategy takes time to implement and put into action, concurrently, the weapon systems production can start immediately, so that at the right moment, both meet and are available to win the battle.

Here is the comment that was left by some poster at Eilaf website that was mentioned earlier:



GMT 12:14:19 2006 الأربعاء 26 يوليو


مع كرهي الشديد من لبنان
لبناني و فخور جدا

“the good thing is that iran and syria applauds and give arms to hezballah...and they stay away from the war...only viewers from far apart... 1)I suggest that syria and they have the least dignity to free Al jolan heights,,,but al assad is a coward and never won a war and never will 2) the psychopath Najad to strike israel in tel aviv since he keeps on talking and saying bullshits about destroying and eleiminating israel....why does not he acts now ..but he is a psycho coward person...he only talks...or he only give arms to hezballah to fight from lebanon... and at the end we only the lebanese are paying the price.... SHAME ON U ASSAD AND NAJJAD from LEBANON with hate”

 
At 7/30/2006 01:36:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

it is evil Isreal again ,killing children with no hesitation, they kill innocent people and say sorry , only naive idiot believrs them ,the pictures they brought are not Qana, they are telling lies,this is repeated murders, deliberate crimes,america defends and protects Isreal crimes, no wonder why arab hate american adminstration.I wonder when the Arab in Egypt,Jordan going to move?,if they dont move then they deserve the bad goverments they have,Mubarak of Egypt said he is not going to defend Lebanon, I wonder would he defend egyptians?

 
At 7/30/2006 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Optimistic One said...

From the trail of comments that I've read since my last posting I can see a slight chance that Isreal will be able to get along with it's neighbors quite nicely.

Both sides will continue to teach their children to hate steadfastly and kill when they believe they have the right to do so.

At least things haven't changed.

I wonder how the children feel about it?

Does anybody want to give up a little pride for the sake of their children's happiness

or

is the desolate,

lifeless,

horizon of pain

from loved one's dying

the only future

both sides can offer

to the little ones who will rule the world tomorrow?

How sick a thought that is.

Shame should fall upon you hate-mongers and follow you forever

until you repent to your God

for having lacked the courage

to do what is right and

learn to peacefully resolve your differences.

Taking the easy way in life and

choosing to kill

instead of forgive

only puts you

half a step ahead of a dog that has worms.

 
At 7/30/2006 02:25:00 PM, Blogger Optimistic One said...

majedkhaldoon said...
I wonder when the Arabs in Egypt, Jordan are going to move?,...if they don't move then they deserve the bad governments they have. Mubarak of Egypt said he is not going to defend Lebanon, I wonder would he defend Egyptians?

Majedkhaldoon,

Groups of Jihadists in Egypt and Jordan who try to obtain and want to fire rockets, UNANNOUNCED, that means without warning, into cities usually don't get a chance to commit such murders. It’s a government’s job to stop such illegal actions……..that’s called living peacefully with your neighbors, the Jews.

The governments of countries that want to avoid war don't let their citizens run private military missions on their own and attack other countries.

Lebanon barely has a back let alone a spine that could be used to stop Hezbollah. If it did, then there would still be a Lebanon.

If you think all the blame for innocent Lebanon’s carnage and death

is solely Israel’s

then it’s time you check to see if there are strings tied to your arms and legs

because you are nothing but a puppet of Hezbollah

and they got you thinking just like they want you to ……… murdering Israelis’ is an innocent thing to do.

Bad governments allow their country to slip into war;

very, very bad governments

allow a group of religious zealots to grow a private army and

then doesn’t do anything to stop this private band of religious dreamers from attacking another country.

Egyptians and Jordanians deserve the governments they have because they want peace and have avoided war for over 25 years;

it’s called living in peace and not worrying if your child will die in a war……a stupid war that can accomplish nothing but the grow the devil’s hate here on earth.

Congratulation! Your way of thinking should go far in controlling the population growth where ever live.

 
At 7/30/2006 02:41:00 PM, Blogger majedkhaldoon said...

Optimistic one,
Isreal deliberately murderd kids and innocent, it is criminal terrorist state, how dare you defend criminals, then you are one of them,this is crime, and Egypt must respond forcefully,politicaly at least,this is not acceptable,I am not a puppet of HA, but you are puppet of the criminal isreal.

 
At 7/30/2006 03:03:00 PM, Blogger t_desco said...

"But there are persistent signs that the US is egging Israel on to bring the war to Damascus.

Here's a clip from the end of an article today in the Jerusalem Post ...

[Israeli]Defense officials told the Post last week that they were receiving indications from the United States that the US would be interested in seeing Israel attack Syria."
Josh Marshall, TPM

 
At 7/30/2006 04:20:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

[I wonder how the children feel about it?
]



Here

 
At 7/30/2006 04:21:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

www.fromisraeltolebanon.com

http://www.fromisraeltolebanon.com/pictures/mainpage.jpg

 
At 7/30/2006 05:42:00 PM, Blogger Ivanka said...

Israel has commited a new massacre and a new act of terrorism today. It has killed all these children with the help of American and European so called diplomacy. The west has proved it's racism to us and Israel and the US their terrorism.

Let no one talk to us about terrorism anymore. There is no greater terrorism than theirs.

Israel's destruction of Lebanon and it's massacre in Qana will just make the cycle of violence more viscious and inevitable.

 
At 7/30/2006 06:00:00 PM, Blogger Ivanka said...

Ugarit:

The interests of the US and israel are very correlated but they are not the same. The interests of Europe and Israel and the US are not the same.

Of course you are right they will not stop Israel for the sake of the Lebanese people, they do not care about the life of the Lebanese people. But I do not think Europe backs Israel blindly.

The US backs Israel blindly because it is controlled by a lobby. But even the US has disagreed with Israel several times about Lebanon since 2005.

Now,

It is true what the west loses for not speaking with Syria is relatively small. But it does lose it.

More moderate western leaders prefer to work with Syria rather than have to get around the obstacles it will put in their way when it feels it is being treated injustly or ignored.

More determined leaders will say what the hell, Syria will try to put obstacles in our way, we will waste a few more months and a few more billion $ and pass these obstacles and get what we want without talking to Syria.

I think they are stupid. Syria has efficiently helped all the western countries that have worked with it.

It is an annoying enemy and a relatively useful friend. I think many European leaders know this and some people in the US do.

 
At 7/30/2006 07:14:00 PM, Blogger Ivanka said...

http://www.globalecho.org/view_article.php?aid=7545

A very interesting article on the possibilities of Syria becoming part of the war.

 
At 7/30/2006 08:22:00 PM, Blogger Ameen Always said...

Here is the proof that the building hit by Israel in Qana was being used by a Hisballah terrorist whose corp was pulled from the wreckage after the bombing as photographed by Israeli airplanes and US satellites:


http://www.imageswebhost.com/store04/ebd1bac395.jpg

 
At 7/30/2006 11:57:00 PM, Blogger Optimistic One said...

Ivanka and Majedkhaldoon,

It's really important you learn the science of warfare. No army, especially one that has dropped leftlets from the sky for days telling civilians to get out of the warzone, would allow these same civilians to stop an attack from being carried out to eleminate a threat to innocent lives back home.

Do you know the Israelis have even gone so far, in many instances, to call on the telephone telling residents to get out, an attack was going to occur?

The crime or terror in this trajedy at Qana is that Hebollah leaders continue to launch attacks from areas where civilians live.

It is a common tool of cowards that allows them to look good, get sympathy, and make the Iraelis look bad in the eyes of the world.

Borden the news programs you watch and you will find the other side of the coin.

It baffles me to no end that people like you allow yourself to be fed Al Jazzir images without thinking about the entire story.

Talk about puppets.

The lack of critisism over Hezbollah tells me you support the killing of innocent people.

Please tell me the things you see that Hezbollah has done wrong and that keeps them from joining in an international community of civilized nations.

Ivanka also said:
The west has proved it's racism to us and Israel and the US their terrorism.

What you see as terrorism just might possibly be something different, you may be wearing glasses having lenses made of prejudice, hate, and ignorance.

May Alaha bless you with your vision problem and help you to see both sides of every coin you decide to judge,.....a judgement that could eventually end up with your children dying in a war that should have never been.

 
At 7/31/2006 02:44:00 AM, Blogger SimoHurtta said...

Europe’s and EU’s strategic interest are in many aspects completely different than those what USA’s and Israel’s present foreign is driving. EU will now and in future need the oil and gas from Russia and Middle East. EU can’t afford a new cold war with Russia, which USA with increasing “ambition level” is trying to create. EU is not happy how USA tries to dominate its technical and economical development. Europe is also not happy with the way USA is promising NATO troops different colonial wars and how USA is undermining the need of an EU Army. Sooner or later we will come to a point Europe will have to separate itself much more from the USA.

Even though USA and Israeli leaders very eagerly speak about the “west” and “western values” it must seen as a pure propaganda. There is no “west” that they represent. The public opinion in Europe doesn’t share the values of the present US policy and certainly not those of Israel.

The moral hangover of which Europe has suffered with Israel and Jews, caused by what happened in WW2, is beginning to over. Israel is not anymore seen as the “weak” country, not for a long time. Also the blaming of being “anti Semitic” has very little effect. The ministers of Nordic countries are nowadays mostly amused when Israel blames them of being “anti Semitic” after they have condemned Israel’s actions.

The “Israeli” propaganda the Optimistic One is writing in his comment is amusing. “The Science of War” includes that you do not bomb the roads, bridges and petrol stations if the advancing Army wants the civil population to move. Anybody with knowledge of the science of war knows that the rocket launchers are not used from houses. There is no need to destroy neither the civilian houses nor the infrastructure that has nothing to do with military. Israel and especially Haifa is full military bases and installations. And in a little country they are always near the civil population. As you see Optimistic One, Hezbollah can use exactly the same excuse that you are using. If Hezbollah would drop leaflets and phone you, saying “move out of Israel”, would it justify carpet bombing after a couple days? I suppose not. Hezbollah has not to do anything, Optimistic One, to make Israel look bad in the eyes of the world. Israel has been perfectly well “alone” managed to look bad for decades during the occupation of millions people. Cowards drop from kilometres height bombs on people.

May JHWH bless you with your vision problem and help you to see both sides of every coin you decide to judge,.....a judgement that could eventually end up with your children dying in a war that should have never been.

 
At 7/31/2006 06:21:00 AM, Blogger Akbar Palace said...

Professor Landis,

Is this the same Warren Christopher the Syrians used to toy with as they left him and his staff waiting hours on the airport tarmac?

Sorry, the US has another Secretary of State who is vastly more qualified.

 

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