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Obama’s choice of diplomacy over war carries grave risk
Nov 27th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Perception of US strength

as ally suffers again

in Middle East

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has staked his presidency on the success of the Geneva negotiations.

TWO SEEMINGLY UNRELATED developments this week received disparate treatment in U.S. media, but they are so closely related as to be inseparable.
The deal with Iran over its nuclear ambitions overshadowed, for most part, the Monday announcement that a new attempt would be made to convene peace talks on Syria.
The two threads were woven together in an excellent analysis on the front page of The New York Times on Tuesday, but one essential element was missing.
How is President Obama’s choice of diplomacy over confrontation being perceived by the major players in the region?
Perception is reality. It is not hard to discern.


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New developments imperil Iran nuclear talks

ISRAEL, SAUDI COOPERATION COMPLICATES CHANCE OF DEAL
With negotiations set to resume in Geneva on Wednesday over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, ominous developments mostly behind the scenes have enormously complicated any chances of a settlement.
The current compromise has the potential to divide America from some of its staunchest allies in the Middle East, and needs to be approached with extreme caution in case it backfires in ways not yet imagined that could change the balance of terror in the volatile region and actually increase the chance of a nuclear conflict.


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US foreign policy stalled on many fronts

INITIATIVES THREATENED BY DOMESTIC, FOREIGN OPPOSITION
Top of the agenda American foreign policy initiatives are, at best, stalled. At worst, they are threatened by opposition both at home and abroad.`
To anyone following these different threads, it is quite apparent that American foreign policy is embattled on many fronts.
It is emblematic of the problems the US faces in trying to influence events all over the world in the face of its declining willingness to go to the mat over issues of vital national interest.
It remains to be seen if any of these stalled initiatives can be turned around.


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US foreign policy in shambles as blunders multiply

DECLINE OF AMERICAN INFLUENCE IN THE WORLD SPEEDS UP
The signs are everywhere that America’s foreign policy is in disarray. Allies are anxious; enemies are gleeful.
They all point to a surprising acceleration in the decline of U.S. influence everywhere, most particularly in the volatile Middle East.
Germany, France, Brazil and Mexico are disgusted with over-reach by American spy agencies. Israel and Saudi Arabia disagree on vital issues of Iran, Syria and Egypt.
Russia is harboring U.S. fugitive Edward Snowden, while China is threatening a de-Americanization of the world financial system.
Do we need any more evidence that American foreign policy is a shambles? That U.S. influence is on the decline – and dropping like a stone?
It is not too late. It should be made a top priority.


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IRAN: Historic gambit at start of Geneva talks

BUT MAIN PLAYER – ISRAEL – IS ABSENT AND WORRIED
The Iranian government on Tuesday presented an historic proposal to end the decade-long standoff over its nuclear weapons ambitions.
But as the West engages with the rogue regime in Iran, it cannot ignore the interests of the nation with the most at stake.
The Israelis have to be heard because they have the means – and the will – to do something about it if they perceive the talks are a waste of time.
The question is, how much time will they wait?


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As US clout wanes in Middle East, threats mount (with video)

ISRAEL WEIGHS ATTACK IF IRAN DOESN’T HALT NUKE PROGRAM
For months, Israeli officials and media have been warning that Iran is on the threshold of attaining a nuclear capability.
It is no surprise that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is keeping all his options on the table. The only question remains how long Israeli patience will last. If diplomacy drags on for too long, an Israeli strike against Iran becomes ever more likely.
That would be a development with unknown but serious global repercussions.


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A long-term solution for Syria: 40-40-20 partition

MAP MUST BE REDRAWN TO REFLECT REALITIES ON THE GROUND
A proposal slowly gaining currency in the Middle East involves redrawing the boundaries of the modern nation state we know as Syria to more accurately reflect the religious and ethnic realities of the territory.
The political dimensions to such an arrangement are quite favorable.
It is time for a serious discussion of a long-term solution to the current stalemate.


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40 years after Yom Kippur War, Israel reflects

MEDIA ANALYZE LESSONS LEARNED ON NOTEWORTHY ANNIVERSARY
While the rest of the world was watching Geneva and the Russian-American diplomatic dance this weekend, the land at the center of so much in the Middle East was marking a different – but historic – milestone.
Exactly 40 years ago, on Yom Kippur 1973, Israel was surprised by an onslaught on two fronts: a massive force of Egyptians crossed the Suez Canal to occupy parts of the Sinai Peninsula, while in the north Syrian tanks rolled across the Golan Heights.
This is an enormously complicated corner of the earth. Any one who claims to have easy answers should be regarded as a fool.
The best we can do is learn as much about it as we can in an attempt to better understand the historical forces – some dating back thousands of years – that have led us to the present.

Due to a brutal travel schedule, posting will be limited for the next few days.


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EXCLUSIVE: ‘If Obama strikes Syria, 100,000 missiles could rain down on Israel’ (with video)

PREPARATIONS BEING MADE FOR GAS ATTACK
Israel – alas – is used to violent conflict, both within its borders and in the neighboring countries.
Perhaps this is why the entire country is calm but deliberately planning for the worst but hoping for the best.
From all signs, there is no panic; more just a resignation that continuation of a 5,000-year-old conflict is inevitable.
But the calculations of U.S. policy makers must take into account the potential of any military strike against Syria to have adverse unintended consequences for the Jewish state.

Due to the Labor Day weekend in the U.S. posting will be light over the next few days. We deserve a break from our labors! Don’t you?


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