See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .The United States is seeking a "new Middle East" by alienating the Syrian beating heart of the strategic region. Washington wants Syria to cooperate as near as in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon and as far as in Iran but is sending her messages and messengers all around the region except to Damascus.
This Wednesday the U.S. sponsored in Rome an international conference on Syria's next door war-ravaged Lebanese neighbour to which were invited regional countries that have no common borders with Lebanon and nations as far as Russia, but not Syria the most burnt and threatened by the Lebanese raging fire.
And while carrying this mission herself in the eastern Iraqi front, the U.S. delegated the job in the western front to her Israeli regional proxy, which occupies a strategic part of Syria.
True the war decision-making is made in Israel, but Syria holds the key to the regional peace-making as well as to any sustainable regional re-mapping in the immediate vicinity of major U.S. strategic concerns, namely the security of oil and Israel.
The relative stability the region enjoyed during the past three decades and the twin Jordanian and Egyptian peace treaties with Israel were only made possible thanks to the Saudi-Egyptian-Syrian troika of which Syria constituted a cornerstone.
President George W. Bush has sent his invading troops into Iraq, gave a green light for the Israeli war machine to bombard the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, spearheaded a regional propaganda campaign to adopt the Iraqi-model of the U.S.-sponsored democracy towards Syria, and put his Secretary of State on a shuttle plane to send a message to Damascus: Make the choice and subscribe to our "New Middle East."
But why didn't Bush send his message and messengers direct to the Syrian capital? Is Bush na-ve not to? Absolutely he is not.
Bush is very well aware that Syria had received the U.S. message early and long enough to loose trust in it and to conclude from a bitter experience that Washington was not serious to be even-handed and remained biased in the Arab - Israeli conflict, that its promises to bring about peace were phoney and hollow, and that it was only interested in reinforcing the U.S. - Israeli hegemony in the region.
The U.S. message was sent to Damascus thirty-six years ago, received positively, led to a lengthy honey moon in the bilateral ties, and could have lasted longer had not Washington had second thoughts when it led the invasion of Iraq early in March 2002, sowing deeper doubts in the U.S. real intentions and complicating further an already complicated regional situation.
Unleashing the regional Israeli war machine against democratically elected grassroots anti-occupation movements in Palestine and Lebanon, the geopolitical allies of Syria, confirmed the Syrian doubts about the U.S. regional plans.
The US-led invasion of Iraq, the Israeli US-backed periodical invasions of Lebanon and the Israeli 39-year old occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights have all focused Syria in the eye of the Middle East storm and are stretching Syrian strict adherence to the peace option, international law, United Nations legitimacy and diplomatic norms to a breaking point.
"We are pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old one (and) the Syrians have to make a choice ... Are they going to be a part of what is clearly a consensus of the major Arab states in the region?" Secretary Condoleezza Rice said on Friday.
Syria did make the "choice" when late President Hafez Assad assumed power in 1970-71, joined the "Arab consensus," subscribed to peace as a strategic option and officially adopted the U.N. Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, risking internal rift in the ruling Baath party.