Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Reading various analysts today, it's interesting to see the "Syria Card" repeating itself. The suggestion that an attempt be made to drive a wedge between Iran & Syria in an effort to foster stability.

I listened intently to today's Terry Gross interview with Thomas Friedman. Friedman, NY Times' foreign affairs columnist, multiple Pulitzer Prize winner and author of From Beirut To Jerusalem and The World is Flat, is known for left-leaning views included advocacy of a peaceful compromise between Palestinians and Israelis.

When the current crisis started nearly three weeks ago, Friedman headed to Lebanon, Israel and Syria for a first-hand view. He commented on Syria as a landbridge connecting the Iran/Hizbollah weapons gateway and the backroom for Gaza's Hamas.

He went to the region to assess whether or not there may be room for swaying Syria away from the Iran alliance and ushering leadership towards ties with Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

He came away feeling it's a very long shot but that it could happen. The current non-existent relationship with the U.S. would have to be patched and incentives offered.

When referring to Hizbollah, he openly scorned Nasrallah's claims of victory over Israel, saying: (paraphrase) Israel has more companies on the Nasdaq than any other country outside the U.S. and Canada and you can't make a lightbulb and you won? He also liberally paraphrased the late Golda Meir who said: We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us. Take a listen to the full interview ..

And incidentally, I heard the first ever interview of its type w/Lebanese Christians saying Hizbollah took up posts between and surrounding their residential, suburban homes - without their permission - and fired rockets at Israel. The crying woman on tape said she feared telling them to beat it.

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