Mideast Peace Initiatives Dodge US Disapproval

America on the bench as region works itself out
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 3, 2008 10:00 AM CDT
Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, shakes hands with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Ash-Shaeb presidential palace in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 26, 2008.   (AP Photo/ Bassem Tellawi)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Middle East nations are moving to resolve their conflicts without, and often in defiance of, Washington, write Hussein Agha and Robert Malley in the New York Times. Israel is in peace talks with both Hamas and Syria, and Lebanon has reached political reconciliation after a near civil war. All three deals have been mediated by US allies—Egypt, Qatar, and Turkey—despite US disapproval. All realize that US guidance has failed.

“The region is in a mess, and Washington’s allies know it,” Agha and Malley write. “They privately blame the United States and have given up waiting for the Bush administration to offer them a way out.” Where America has been intent on defeating and isolating its enemies, cooler heads now realize that cooperation will bear better fruits. It is America that has wound up isolated.