Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Searching for a counterweight after destroying most of the mass

Condoleezza Rice is on a diplomatic mission in the Middle East to attempt the construction of a counterweight to Iran's emerging power. The Washington Post:
In talks Tuesday in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Arab leaders rebuffed the Bush administration's effort to foster a bloc of moderate Arab states to stand against growing militancy in the Middle East. They bluntly told Rice that they do not want to be pitted against other Arab governments and movements, according to senior Arab officials.

The solution, the U.S. allies told Rice, lies with stronger U.S. leadership in solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Rice was confronted by friendly but firm pressure from eight Arab governments -- Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain -- to follow up on promises by President Bush to help achieve a two-state solution in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. They also questioned whether the administration still has the energy or full commitment to pull off a solution to the Palestinian issue before Bush leaves office, officials said.

Arab officials also expressed frustration that the United States seems far more focused on the issue of Iran's nuclear program. Although Arab states share concern about Iran's nuclear potential, Rice and her Arab interlocutors sometimes seemed to be talking at cross-purposes, according to Arab officials involved in the talks in Cairo. One senior Arab official described the talks as warm but unproductive.
The Christian Science Monitor explores this trip as well.

In early 2002, there was an Arab peace initiative spearheaded by the Saudis. If the peace process was pursued with Iraq merely contained, perhaps the situation would be a great deal better in the Middle East. Is this a lesson in dealing with Iran?


Blogger Chuck said...

The 8 moderate Arab states Rice met with want the US to do all the heavt lifting white they are doing nothing to help with the Iranian problem or with the Palestinian problem.

They don't seem to realize that Iran is a bigger threat to them than the are to the US or to Israel. Both the US and Israel have the nuclear capability to deal with Iran but the Arab states have literally no military capability to counter them.

Through proxies like Hezbolla, the Iranians are chipping away at their neighbors control of their own populations and if not checked the Iranians will eventually control the middle east.

7:35 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Iran has territorial ambitions that could negatively impact most of these eight states. But, these states probably operate under the assumption (right, wrong, moral or otherwise) that America and Israel will protect (or try to protect) the "stability" of the region.

For their own populations, these regimes need a resolution to the Mid East Peace Process.

It would behoove us as well.

1:35 PM  

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