Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Book of Condoleeza

According to the UAE newspaper al-Khaleej (Wednesday November 15), Syrian officials report progress in the direction of talks with the US. Muhammad Habash, a member of parliament and head of the Center for Islamic Studies, said official and quasi-official efforts by American, British and Syrian officials in that direction will likely result in the start of official talks by March. Habash said he had just completed a round of talks in that sense with a group of US religious institutions (surely indicating these talks are getting close to the heart and soul of the Bush administration). Habash said: "I'm not saying the Democrats are going to be friends of Syria, but at least they will be better able to understand what is in the interest of the United states, and distinguish it from what is in the interest of Israel." Another member of the Syrian parliament, George Jabour told the paper he too thinks Washington is backtracking on its isolate-Syria policy, having come to realize that Syria has a constructive role to play in the region. Jabour said the experience of sudden enlightenment on the road to Damascus is a tradition going back to St Paul.

On the other hand, the big American Syria blog toes the State Department line and says "US dialogue with Syria ruled out for now", actually repeating verbatim from the Book of Condoleeza where it says: "As Syria challenges the United States and its March 14 allies in Lebanon through continuing support of Hizbullah, Washington will refuse to reward it with dialogue on Iraq or the Golan". And the host professor backs this up with a half-dozen English-language analyses all leading to the same conclusion, topped off with a quotation from a right-wing blog about the devil Nasrullah, where you can read at the bottom: "Cross-posted to Right-wing Nuthouse".

There you have it. In the English language, you will not find anything about progress in the direction of US-Syria talks. In the Arabic language, you will not find anything about America shutting out the Syrians. That's because in the region of the world where this isn't a game, people tend to rely more on reality and logic.


Blogger markfromireland said...

Before long you can expect the book of kindofsleazy to be replaced with "The Passion of The Rice" perhaps directed by Mel Gibson. In it she suffers increasing irrelevance and shoes which not only fit but get ever more agonisingly tighter.

2:49 PM  

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