Comments Posted By justakid
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Clearly, Syria's actions in Lebanon are beyond the pale, but I'm not sure I agree with your take on how to negotiate with Syria. Bi-lateral talks work more to our advantage. Regional talks don't. Iran and Syria are not natural allies -- particularly not while Iran is aspiring to be the only home-grown middle-east super-power. Conducting bi-lateral talks (even if they are back-door talks) with Syria innoculates us to some degree from the regional b.s. that is sure to clog up any regional talks. And with fewer sides to please, the more likely it is that consensus can be built.

As for the "realism" v. "immorality" statement, while I agree there is a difference, I don't see it as clearly as you do. If bi-lateral talks are what it takes to get Syria to lessen up on their involvement with Lebabnon, then so be it. How is effecting change through bi-lateral talks less moral than effecting no change (read: allowing Syria to continue killing Lebanese political opposition) through regional talks or no talks at all? If Syrian usurpation of Lebanese autonomy is such a bad thing (and we agree, it is a horrible thing), shouldn't the goal be to end it? What difference does it make if that goal is accomplished with or without Iran's participation. Screw Iran. Furthermore, I'm okay with us looking a little immoral if it means we make some strategic gains in the middle east -- we're made safer by a safer middle east.

I just want results. I (and I'm sure you) are so sick of nothing being accomplished in the middle east. It's a huge suck of life, money, time, and attention.

Comment Posted By justakid On 6.12.2006 @ 13:39

Bringing Syria and Iran into the mix, while certainly a last-ditch option, seems inevitable, and if it helps bring an end to the sectarian violence that is ripping apart Iraq at the rate of a hundred or more civilian deaths a day, then so be it. The world is a dangerous place, and like every child eventually learns, sometimes you have to make compromises, sometimes concessions, and sometimes you have to play your enemies off each other -- I'm sure you know all about Realpolitik. Using Syria and Iran to stabilize the situation in Iraq so that our "adventure" (as you state it) isn't a total fiasco, might be the most (but still an un-) palatable option.

Sadly, I think that at this point in the war we are doing little more than trying to avoid failure. What reasonable outcome at this point can justify 3,000 American deaths, 100,000 Iraqi deaths (by low estimates), and nearly a $1,000,000,000,000 dollars spent by our government? The defeat of militant islam? No way -- we are no closer to ending that now than we were at the begninning of 2003. Creating a democratic ally in the middle of the middle east? Again, no way. I can hope and pray that a strong democracy takes root, but I don't think there is any reasonable chance of that happening.

What a sinful mess we find ourselves in.

Comment Posted By justakid On 6.12.2006 @ 13:10

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