It's the Middle East, Stupid

[Washington Post] Michael B. Oren - The Middle East remains bitterly divided between religious moderation and the surge of Islamist extremism. Backed by Syria and Iran, a phalanx of terrorist groups threatens Israeli and Arab societies alike. Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan and is engaged again in peace talks with the Palestinians, but it is still an object of abomination for the overwhelming majority of Middle Easterners. If anything, the Middle East is even more flammable today because of the countless thousands of short- and long-range missiles in its armies' arsenals. These weapons vastly amplify the potential destruction of any military confrontation while slashing the amount of decision-making time that might be needed to avert all-out war. And modern weapons, including unconventional ones, make everything scarier. The writer is a senior fellow at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

2008-02-26 01:00:00

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