Thursday, April 12, 2007

Forget Pelosi. What about Syria?

This item by Robert Malley of the ICG was sent to us by Rafi Dajani of ATFP. Isolate Syria and engage Iran or vice-versa? The Bush government can't make up its mind. Certainly their disaray is handing the Democrats a foreign policy gift. Meanwhile Israel has a golden opportunity to go for a Syrian peace but does the Prime Minister have the courage to take the risky leap into the abys? I doubt it. Olmert's main concern is survival.

UNDERTAKING HER first major diplomatic foray, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi got an earful. As she met with Syrian President Bashar Assad, she came under immediate, stinging attack. The White House condemned her encounter as counterproductive, asserting that it undermined U.S. policy aimed at marginalizing a so-called pariah regime.

The charge is, on its face, absurd. The European Union's top diplomatic envoy just visited Syria. Assad attended the recent Arab League summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Republican and Democratic officials have been traveling to Damascus for months. The Syrian regime is no more isolated in the world than the Bush administration is embraced by it. But the fuss about Pelosi's perfectly legitimate visit obscured a far more intriguing question: What should be done about Syria?


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