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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tell us something we did not know

The headline, UN envoy warns Mideast faces possibility of 'full-scale war'. What a bummer! I thought we live in Switzerland all along. Seriously, so what else is new? Mr Terje Roed-Larsen should know that the Middle East has faced the possibility of full scale war since wars were invented and especially since the Turkish empire started to go kaput.
He said, according to the artlicle:
"A few years ago, as it had been over many, many decades, the center of gravity for all the conflicts were the Israeli-Arab conflicts," he said.
"Now, there seems to be four epicenters of conflict in the region with their own dynamics, the Iraqi issues, the Iranian issues, the Syrian-Lebanese issues, and of course the heart of hearts, the traditional conflict, the Palestinian-Israeli issue."
"The new phenomenon seems to be that all these conflicts are now completely intertwined so that it is very difficult, maybe impossible, to find a solution to one of them without finding a solution to all of them," Roed-Larsen told reporters after briefing the UN Security Council.
"One is that we continue on the path of violence - the kind of mildest one being that we continue on the slippery slope of violence that we've seen not only in Lebanon but also in Gaza, West Bank, Iraq and elsewhere in the region," he said.
"The other one is that it leads to a full confrontation, and worst case to a regional confrontation with arms."
"The second option is energetic diplomacy by the international community to address the underlying problems," he said.
Roed-Larsen said this is extremely difficult today because the four conflicts in the Mideast are separate, but have become entwined.
"Hopefully there is still a possibility to address this diplomatically and with peaceful means," he said. However, that this will happen in the very foreseeable future is not that likely.
The third option, he said, is a vigorous containment policy which stems the slide on the slippery slope and moves to address broader regional tensions.
Note that he mentions four epicenters, but lists three, and mentions three options, but lists four. Another option, not mentioned is to get better diplomats, and a U.N. with teeth. The conflicts are not "intertwined." There are two countries, Syria and Iran, who are stirring up trouble, and their footprints are found in all of the "epicenters."
Ami Isseroff

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