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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 5, 2006 / 14 Kislev, 5767

If U.S. invites Iran, Syria to the table, region will pay in blood

By Jonathan Gurwitz


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Rule No. 1 in the Middle East is that the rational desire for peace is often perceived as weakness. Rule No. 2 is that weakness guarantees aggression.


To understand how these two rules work, consider the events of the past two weeks. In the United States, a key recommendation of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group reached the public domain: launch an aggressive diplomatic initiative to stabilize Iraq that includes direct talks with Syria and Iran.


Iraq shares two large and porous borders with its neighbors to the east and west. Syria and Iran have important confessional and ethnic ties with Iraq. Leaders in both nations ought to have an economic and political interest in halting Iraq's slide into anarchy.


In some sense, therefore, it seems perfectly rational that the United States should set aside the assassination of a former Lebanese prime minister, embassy hostages, support for international terrorism and nuclear proliferation in pursuit of regional stability.


But that's not the way the leaders of Syria, Iran and the Iraqi insurgency see it. The desire to entreat the mullahs in Tehran and the dictator in Damascus is a sign of weakness. The code of the bazaar is that the more someone wants something, the higher the price one can exact for it.


So it's no coincidence that once the trial balloon of diplomacy had been floated and Syrian and Iranian cooperation had been identified as crucial to solving the Mesopotamian security puzzle, Iraqis endured the bloodiest week of violence since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.


Then Syrian and Iranian proxies went to work in Lebanon to roll back the clock on the Cedar Revolution. Assassins with suspected links to Syrian intelligence murdered prominent anti-Syrian government minister Pierre Gemayel. And Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah's leader and Iran's ventriloquist, began agitating to bring down the pro-Western government unless it ceded more power to his party.


And the diplomatic talks haven't even started yet.


The same rational principles that make Syria and Iran the keys to stability in Iraq also suggest a course of action in Afghanistan. Why not launch an aggressive diplomatic initiative to stabilize the Karzai regime by engaging in direct talks with al-Qaida?


If that suggestion seems absurd, so should the idea that Bashar Assad, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Ali Khamenei would help stabilize Iraq because some deep thinkers in the United States believe it would be in their rational self-interest.


The extremist regimes in Syria and Iran have their own agendas for the Middle East. And bleeding the United States and driving American forces and influence out of the region top the list.


These are non-negotiable. The United States will receive no diplomatic dividend in Iraq without indemnifying the anti-U.S. stakeholders. The intensification of violence in Baghdad and Beirut were unequivocal confirmations of the new perception of American weakness and a new commitment to aggression. The next target on the regional hit list will be Israel.


Yes, of course we must communicate with our enemies. There's no hope of reaching any kind of accord with an opponent, short of annihilation, unless some modicum of understanding exists.


But understanding does not necessarily entail diplomatic initiatives of the first order. There are more ways to communicate than only through ambassadors. And the code of the bazaar imposes severe retribution for negotiation in bad faith.


Thus far, the grand diplomacy of Iraq has only managed to spell out what Syrian and Iranian cooperation will cost the United States. To be successful, at some point the United States will need to assess the price of Syrian and Iranian intransigence.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Jonathan Gurwitz, a columnist for the San Antonio Express-News, is a co-founder and twice served as Director General of the Future Leaders of the Alliance program at NATO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. In 1986 he was placed on the Foreign Service Register of the U.S. State Department.Comment by clicking here.

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© 2005, Jonathan Gurwitz

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