The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Michael Young confuses 1999 talks with Geneva; fails to unpack essential contradiction he himself raises

Interestingly Mike Young raises a point – and acknowledges the truth here, although he incorrectly attributes it to shepardstown talks rather than Geneva talks March 2000 – but cannot seem to acknowledge that in doing so it explodes his main thesis that Assad’s are genetically unreformable/unchangeable… suggesting that you got to deal with these particular arabs by the STRONG HORSE approach only.

Kudos for him essentially admitting the truth – that syria and assad wanted to go to peace in march 2000 and “clinton lied and the Israelis got cold feet” as uri sagi put it famously… BUT HE NEEDS TO EXPLAIN TO HIS READERS HOW this contradicts his main claims that these bad guys cannot be rationally dealt with via negotiations and bargaining.

He says they were going to peace, yes…. and this would shake up their order but were still willing to get it done…. so doesnt this mean the bargaining approach to assad was not a “HOAX” as Young claims?

Bottom line – as I argued one year ago in the NYT – had clinton gotten the israelis to do the deal in 2000, hizbullah would be disarmed and assad would likely have gone the moubarak route… heck, the whole resistance axis would have probably not existed!

From Young:

“…The inability to reform impacted on many fronts. Much has been made of Hafez Assad’s willingness to sign a peace treaty with Israel during the 1990s. Yes, the Syrians appeared genuinely willing to go quite far, while the Israelis backtracked at the Shepherdstown talks in December 1999, refusing to return the entire area of the Golan Heights to Syria’s sovereignty. However, it was never clear how the Syrian order would have adjusted to a settlement. This would have imposed a substantial overhaul and demobilization of the military and security edifice, shaking the very foundations of Assad rule. It seems apparent that Bashar Assad, despite welcoming a process of negotiations with Israel, knew that he did not have the latitude that his father enjoyed to manage the aftermath of a successful outcome….”


Written by nickbiddlenoe

January 27, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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