Saturday, September 29, 2007

Realism in Iraq

Syria could help to avert some of the worst consequences of failed American policies in the Middle East.

By Joschka Fischer
The Guardian

"The Washington mountain has laboured and brought forth less than a mouse. General Petraeus and President Bush have spoken, but United States policy in Iraq remains as it was. This policy has led the US into a trap, so that now the largest and most important power in the world is facing only bad options......

It is incomprehensible, then, why the US, having succeeded in striking a deal with Libya, vehemently rejects any initiative towards Syria. If Syria changed sides, the situation in the region would be fundamentally transformed. This would be true for Lebanon, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq and, above all, Iran.

For Iran, this development would be tantamount to a strategic worst-case scenario, bringing about its definitive isolation. Should it become a realistic prospect, a decisive approach to Iran would make sense. The ensuing "grand bargain" should concern the stabilisation of Iraq, Iran's nuclear programme, and its role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. If successful, the bargain should also aim at a total normalisation of relations between Iran and the US....."

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