Sunday, March 11, 2007

More on the Baghdad conference

There's not a lot of media attention on the Baghdad conference, but I'm seeing some interesting developments. Unfortunately, the US has focused on confrontation rather that compromise. For example, US envoy David Satterfield pointed to a briefcase that he said "contained documents proving the Iranians are arming insurgents" (though he refused to show anyone these 'documents', only the briefcase). Iranian deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi strongly denied the accusation:
"Your accusations are merely a cover for your failures in
Iraq," Araghchi said

The conference included representatives of 13 countries, but the US focused on accusing Iran, rather than a positive multilateral exchange.
Another interesting exchange came with the Syrian envoy Buthayna Sha'ban ( a woman, just to break some American stereotypes of Arabic culture). Via Juan Cole:
Sha'ban begins by saying: "In fact, from the very beginning of the war on Iraq, Syria has been working with Iraq's neighbors in order tofind solutions for this occupation and for the hefty price that the Iraqi people are paying as a result of this illegitimate US occupation. However, the problem lies in the fact that the United States rejected to hold any talks with neighboring countries and wanted to be solely responsible for any solutions."

We really should try to engage in diplomacy, listening rather than accusing. Maybe asking for help and offering something in return. But shrub only knows how to rattle sabers. I wonder if they even want a more stable Iraq?
p.s. Ever notice how spellcheckers react to Arabic names?

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