Someone asked if I had any thoughts as to what the content should be of the wide ranging negotiations in the ME that I proposed last night in the "Situation Room." I do. A while back I wrote the attached piece for a client and for various reasons it has not been published until now.
This is a statement of what I think SHOULD happen if we are to avoid an accelerating downward spiral of violence and inter-communal warfare throughout the region. The fires of ancient rivalries and hatred are being "stoked" throughout the region by unremitting efforts for both the Bushian "freedom agenda" and the desire of Iran of the mullahs for what they think is their rightful place in the world.
The list of issues and "bargaining points" that I offer is by no means all inclusive. This is an OUTLINE.
I have no illusions about whether or not the "plan" I outline will be adopted, but I think the writing, and the contemplation of such a plan, is, in itself, a worthwhile thing.
The president’s repeated statements about the "ideological" nature of the war leave no room for the bargaining and compromise inherent in diplomacy. Alas. pl