Wanted to add a rejoinder based on what I just read.

The Iraq Study Group (commonly referred to the Baker-Hamilton Commission) came out with its report today. Among the other things it recommends to solve this Iraq quagmire, the main points are:

  • Embed more U.S. forces with Iraqi units.
  • Renew the push to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict through a “diplomatic offensive.”
  • Involve Syria and Iran in negotiations over Iraq’s future.

Note bullet point 2. And that was one of my arguing points. Ultimately, the root of all the disturbance in the Middle East arises from the fundamental problem of Palestine and the perception in the Middle East (and indeed, all over the world) that the United States is totally, unconditionally, irrationally and sometimes immorally always siding with Israel, regardless of Israel’s actions. And to be able to solve this issue through a “diplomatic offensive” would require first and foremost, a clear and unbiased understanding of the issue. Of the pain, suffering, humiliation and displacement suffered by generations of millions upon millions of Palestinians on an ongoing basis. To understand that for innocent Israeli citizens’ security, that nation needs to understand (or be prodded to understand) that as by far the stronger of the two warring sides – it is incumbent upon it to make concessions. It is also important for the world to understand that Palestine needs aid very urgently. The Mahmood Abbas government is so woefully out of funds – that it hasn’t been able to pay its civil servants for months now. Along with prodding the nation towards a Unity Government, it is extremely important to ensure the government does not fall due to the embargo that the United States now has on the government – which by the way, is democratically elected.

In conclusion, it comes back to the basic central issue – We do not like the Hamas government but we don’t understand why the people elected the government. And till we get a fundamental bi-partisan understanding of the issue, there will never be a solution to this very difficult issue.

And the book serves as the first steps to that end. If ever it is taken seriously.

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