The Mischief-Makers – The real troublemakers in the Middle East

The Iraq war’s consequences are still rippling outward, and the destabilization of Syria is perhaps the most perilous, as far as U.S. interests are concerned. If and when whomever is trying to upset the Syrian apple cart succeeds, it is Americans – after, of course, the poor Syrians – who will be paying the price. The only solution: diplomatic engagement and the dropping of economic sanctions, followed by a policy that encourages the opening up of Syria to Western influence. This has been the dearest wish of the Syrian government, which has been earnestly, if ineffectively, trying to repair relations with the West. Yet the Israel lobby has such a powerful stranglehold on policymaking, including Congress and the White House, that this has proved impossible. Whether or not the election of Barack Obama – who supposedly will talk to anyone – will mean a fundamental break with the failed policies of the past remains to be seen. For the moment, however, we can only hope that Washington will rein in the Israelis before they do irreparable damage and Syria comes unraveled.  >>>>>

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