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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Look Who’s Talking To Terror…

posted by on May 21 at 14:07 PM

A glimpse of the world after the age of Bush

JERUSALEM (CNN) — Israeli and Syrian officials confirmed Wednesday they are indirectly negotiating a possible peace deal under Turkish mediation.

At a speech in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday night, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the disclosure of the talks was the end of a phase that had been going on for over a year.

He also said that he has no illusions and that the negotiations will be difficult, lengthy and will require difficult concessions.

Earlier, Olmert’s office issued a statement saying: “The two sides stated their intention to conduct these talks in good faith and with an open mind.”

It was the first official confirmation of the indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Turkish and Syrian officials also confirmed the talks.

Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War, and the area has been a source of contention since.

The last round of peace negotiations between the two countries broke down in 2000, after Syria demanded a full return of the Golan.

For its part, Israel wants Syria to abandon its support of Palestinian and Lebanese militant groups as part of any peace agreement.

The United States has been informed about the indirect talks, according to Assistant Secretary of State David Welch, who praised Turkey for playing “a good and useful role.”

Welch noted that the United States is not playing any role in those talks,

The return of diplomacy and the art of statesmanship.

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reckless, naive appeasers!

Posted by chops | May 21, 2008 2:24 PM

could someone please explain what i seem to be missing? this is the top story on all pol. blogs today and it doesnt seem like a big deal to me. glad their in talks, but other than that, is there an underlying sense of collusion going on that im not getting?

Posted by curiouso | May 21, 2008 2:41 PM

Looks like all of McCain's talk about appeasement might blow up in his face with this news

Posted by Mike of Renton | May 21, 2008 2:47 PM

jimmy carter was heavily criticized by tools like cristopher hitchens and other neo-cons for talking to hamas and syria, but it sure looks like his talks with syria paid off, though i doubt that talks with hamas and israel will begin any time soon.

Posted by SeMe | May 21, 2008 3:17 PM

now that israel's actions back's up BHO's ridiculously non-controversial stance, WTF does McCain have to attack on? the economy? you won't out-energy policy the democrat with GWB stapled to your leg.

Posted by maxsolomon@home | May 21, 2008 4:19 PM

Curioso @2 -- the controversy is that Obama has said that under certain conditions he would hold talks with people who don't like us, like Hamas, Iran, or Syria. McCain immediately attacked him for being an "appeaser", and Bush chimed in as well, making the Chamberlain-Hitler analogy explicit.

This is profoundly hypocritical of them both, because the Bush administration DOES hold talks with people like that, as he well knows. Bush's Secretary of Defense said as much the very same day as Bush's remarks.

And now we have Israel talking to Syria as well. The plain fact is, as anyone with half a brain knows perfectly well, is that you DO talk to your enemies; it's called diplomacy. For all the bluster and chest-puffing, even the people who have the most to lose in the Middle East do diplomacy too.

Bush's lies on this subject, and McCain's witless parroting of that line, suggest that neither is equipped to handle the real world of international conflict. The fact that Israel has, like everyone else, given up on the Bush Administration's incompetent leadership, and gone to talk to Syria, just underlines this point.

In short, it makes McCain look like a liar or an idiot, one or the other. Possibly both.

Posted by Fnarf | May 21, 2008 4:41 PM

Having recently read "The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy" by Stephen Walt & John Mearsheimer, the NY Times evening story regarding the Israeli/Syrian negotiations and seen "Charlie Wilson's War", the fine film by Mike Nichols, I've come to the conclusion that I'm not at all surprised at the Bush Administration saying one thing and doing another. "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". It's the nature of the beast in international relations. What's not mentioned in the excerpt is that Israeli PM Olmert is under a cloud of investigation. As a result of these negotiations, the news media has less of an onus on his legal predicament (there is a hilarious line from the film regarding such a situation with MC Charlie Wilson). I have no problem with it. Bully for Israel and hopefully with the USA to settle with Syria and get them out of Iran's sphere of influence.

Posted by lark | May 21, 2008 9:22 PM

It's an election year. R's resort to this B.S. every year to convince the white pot belly vote they are the only ones who are macho enough. Somehow the D's always fall for it and play defense. ERG!

Posted by Vince | May 22, 2008 12:29 PM

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