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U.S. And Syria Need Blunt Talk

March 3, 2009

It pleases me greatly that the Obama Administration is starting to reach out beyond the traditional approaches of the recent past to forge a new diplomatic style and methods to the intractable problems of the Middle East.

With the announcement that two senior members of the American government will begin talks with Syria’s President al-Assad, there is a clear break from the past.    Every step of the way in the Middle East will be a hard slog, but by doing nothing and and talking only to our friends has placed us in the position in which we now find ourselves.  This dialogue by the Obama administration is appropriate, and timely.

But the need for stern and blunt discussions is as important as the desire to find new avenues to relieve the tensions of the region.

One of the mighty thorns is the way that Syria deals with Lebanon.  There can be no countenance by the U.S. in any manner to the way Syria has injected itself into the politics of its neighbor.  There also must be, has to be, a firm and resolute response by Syria to hand over information dealing with  the 2005 assassination of Lebanese ex-premier Rafiq Hariri.

Both of these items are bottom line fundamentals.  If a nation wants to be dealt with in a mature fashion, then it must act with responsibility on the world stage.   Syria has the chance to prove what side of the line it wishes to be placed.

One Comment
  1. March 3, 2009 12:11 PM

    Those “bottom line fundamentals” sound a lot like “preconditions,” Derek. 😉 Not that I disagree with them in any fashion.

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