Obama’s Daunting Middle East Challenge

After eight years of misguided policy by the Bush administration in the Middle East, the time is overdue for an enlightened strategy to tackle the region's woes. This must include an approach that will bring hope to a region shattered by violence, consumed by conflict and division and filled with disdain toward the United States.

November 10, 2008 Read more

Ending the Iraq Strife

For the U.S. representative, during the regional conference held in Bagdad on March 10, to actually sit at the same table with the Iranian and Syrian delegates represents, in itself, an important development. The next such meeting, scheduled for early April, and at the foreign minister level, offers the Bush administration a tremendous opportunity to go beyond Iraq's internal strife. With vision, boldness, and careful planning, Washington can open the door to bilateral talks on larger regional security issues…

March 12, 2007 Read more

Current Israeli-Palestinian discord over the final status of Jerusalem offers a golden opportunity to attain a major breakthrough rather than a deadlock in the negotiations. The United States must seek to interject new dimensions into the peace process. Whether the Palestinians raised the Jerusalem question because they must show a substantial gain from the peace negotiations, or because of factionalism in formulating a cohesive policy toward Israel, or as a ploy to gain other concessions, is secondary. What is important is that united Jerusalem has, for 26 years, served as a microcosm of Israeli-Palestinian coexistence that has worked well, even at the height of the Intifadah. Although the Palestinians consistently claim an inalienable right to East Jerusalem, what pushed them to raise the Jerusalem issue now rather than later was Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's closure of the territories, depriving them of access to East Jerusalem's health, cultural, and religious institutions. They regarded this as a sign of what they can expect of self-rule if East Jerusalem is excluded.

February 11, 2007 Read more

One Last Shot

After more than six years of tragic neglect, Washington might have one last chance to push for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse. Whether there is a direct or indirect link between this century-old struggle and the violence in region, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains, for Arabs, the most emotionally charged issue, fueling extremists throughout the Middle East. The administration's preoccupation with Iraq, however compelling, offers no excuse for its near paralysis on the Israeli-Palestinian front..

January 24, 2007 Read more

A Recipe for Greater Disaster

Since President Bush unveiled his "new strategy," the debate in the House, the Senate, and the media has centered around two main options: immediate withdrawal or escalation of the troop's level. If either is pursued, it will precipitate an even greater disaster in Iraq than is the existing situation. Sadly, the President simply does not get the consequences of escalation, while the Democrats seem clueless about those of precipitous withdrawal…

January 15, 2007 Read more

Averting Defeat in Iraq

Although President Bush, in his most recent press conference, provided a more somber assessment about the horrifying situation in Iraq, he still insisted that the United States can win in Iraq by remaining committed to staying the course, albeit with some tactical changes. With the civilian carnage escalating and American casualties mounting…

November 1, 2006 Read more

The Scorecard: Five Years Later

I'm writing this column from Cairo while on an extensive visit to the Middle East. If there's a more appropriate place from where to assess the implications and repercussions of the events of 9/11 and the success or the failure of the Bush administration’s so-called war on terrorism, I

September 8, 2006 Read more

Futile Debate

In the recent U.S. Senate debate over a timeframe for troop withdrawal from Iraq, both sides of the aisle seem to have missed the point. Neither the Republicans’ “stay the course” approach nor Senator John Kerry’s proposal to establish a specific time-table addresse

June 26, 2006 Read more
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