September 11, 2013
Re "The road to Damascus," Editorial, Sept. 10 The Times dispassionately explains the challenges faced by the Obama administration in selling the case for action against Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. Members of the administration have been spending an immense amount of energy and media time making the case that the U.S. is compelled to act against Syria. The American people just aren't buying this, so your tone seems wishy-washy on a matter that deserves a voice. Allow me to do you the favor: The United States is not compelled and should not act in the Syrian civil war. Getting involved in the Syrian conflict is a slippery slope.
July 17, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan -- Secretary of State John F. Kerry, on his sixth trip to the Middle East in four months, met Wednesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and asked an Arab League committee in a separate session to support his efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Though U.S. officials played down prospects for a breakthrough on this four-day trip, which began Monday, Kerry appeared to be pressing hard to restart face-to-face talks. His meeting with Abbas here, which lasted five hours, was his second in two days.
July 17, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- The United Nations has called on nations not to turn back Syrian civil war refugees, whose swelling ranks now constitute the world's fastest-growing refugee flow in almost 20 years. “I reiterate my call to all states in the region and further afield to keep their borders open and receive all Syrians who seek protection,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres told the Security Council in New York on Tuesday via video link from Geneva. In recent weeks, several of Syria's neighbors, along with Egypt, have made it more difficult for Syrians to enter their countries.
June 8, 2013 |
BEIRUT - He sits on a couch in an inconspicuous building in a southern suburb of Beirut. A baseball cap pulled down low, his eyes twitching, Hassan, a Hezbollah squad leader, describes killing more than 20 men in three weeks in the Syrian town of Qusair. "It was a street war. We went from room to room, from house to house, from window to window," said Hassan, who is in his late 30s and sports a light beard. "It was guerrilla warfare with gangs, not a war with a traditional army....
June 7, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- He sits on a couch in an inconspicuous building in a southern suburb of Beirut. A baseball cap pulled down low, his eyes twitching, Hassan, a Hezbollah squad leader, describes killing more than 20 men in three weeks in the Syrian town of Qusair. “It was a street war. We went from room to room, from house to house, from window to window,” said Hassan, who is in his late 30s and sports a light beard. “It was guerrilla warfare with gangs, not a war with a traditional army .... So it needed a bit more work.
May 30, 2013 |
Getting into wars is easier than getting out of them. Could the same logic apply to peace conferences? Indeed, could U.S. diplomacy - however well intentioned - actually make matters worse? Secretary of State John F. Kerry has two diplomatic tracks in the works: ending a civil war in Syria and promoting a peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Both will be difficult to get started, but the real challenge will come the day after. Diplomatic conferences and events are usually good for one of two things: launching a serious process of negotiation or concluding one. What the U.S. confronts with both the Syrian civil war and the impasse in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process is a kind of twilight zone that's betwixt and between.