Tuesday, August 01, 2006
Syria bids for world's attention
Last night, Syrian President Bashir Assad told the country's armed forces to "raise their readiness." It was a deliberate statement, timed amid rising tensions in the region and meant to remind the world that Syria should not be ignored.

President Assad did not mobilize more troops. He did not increase the number of military vehicles at the border. He simply told the forces to train harder and to be ready for whatever comes next.

Amid growing calls for a diplomatic solution, Syria is trying to make enough noise to let the world know it doesn't want to be left out of the discussion.

The United States, among others, has been wary of calling for an immediate cease-fire, fearful violence will return to the region after the world stops paying such close attention. Instead, "sustainable peace" is the phrase bandied about by American and Israeli leaders. There are, they say, root issues, such as getting rid of Hezbollah's militia -- labeled a terrorist group by the United States and Israel -- that must be dealt with permanently before lasting peace can be achieved.

But a permanent solution seems increasingly elusive. Since the tragic attack in Qana, Lebanon, there have been demonstrations across the Muslim world, from Tehran to Damascus to Baghdad. Not surprisingly, many demonstrators screamed anti-Western slogans, burned American and Israeli flags, and voiced support for Hezbollah.

But from where I sit it in Syria, it seems that those impassioned voices are finding more sympathy in Arab countries. Where there were some skeptical Arab voices when it came to Hezbollah, there are now more and more impassioned supporters. Hezbollah's infrastructure can be decimated by Israel's military, but allegiance among a new generation is rising by the day.

Clearly, the region's problem will not be solved in the weeks ahead by any simple means. At the end of the day, this may be one of the key questions: For real peace in the Middle East, does everyone in the region need to be at the negotiating table?
Posted By Aneesh Raman, CNN Correspondent: 1:40 PM ET
  51 Comments
The old saying goes, "Too many cooks spoil the broth" that appears to be what is happening in the ME. With the emergence of Syria on the radar it appears that everyone wants to put their 2 cents in, which seems like a good idea in theory, but in reality would cause more confusion. By trying to hear from everyone you hear no one.

I really don't know if there is really a solution that would satify everyone, all I can see is that too many innocent people whether they are from Isreal or Lebanon are being killed or injured. And it has to stop before many more innocent lives are taken.
Posted By Anonymous Marcia, Warren Mi : 2:33 PM ET
The rationale for a "sustainable ceasefire" is painfully academic. It avoids the seemingly unavoidable fact that hundreds of innocent lives are being taken. If this is truly the alternative to "returning to the status quo," I'm sure there are plenty of refugees and widows who would be more than happy to return to it.
Posted By Anonymous Williams, Baltimore, MD : 2:37 PM ET
Syria does not want to be forgotten, and Israel acknowledged that wish nearly one month ago by buzzing Assad's presidential home. Syrian television reported that the Syrian airforce forced the Israeli planes out of their airspace, providing many in Israel with some much needed humor. The Syrian army is antiquated and ill-equipt to deal with Israel. It would not serve their interests to engage Israel directly, so why the saber-rattling? Not being forgotten on the international stage is probably part of the reason, but Syria might also be attempting to show support for Pan-Arabism - even if their support is limited to words they have no intention of backing with force.
Posted By Anonymous Ronit, New York, NY : 2:51 PM ET
Since no one else is helping Lebanon, why shouldn't Syria? The West's constant backing of the Israeli Government no matter what has caused so many problems over there. So, the other countries in the area have to take care of each other. Maybe instead of labeling all Arab-Muslim countries terrorists and writing them off because their values and beliefs differ from "Judeo-Christian ethics", the West (mostly US) should recognize that the Israeli government is trying to wipe out yet another territory next to theirs and stop them!! Kidnapping soldiers is a horrible thing, but is it really worth this? Lebanon needs all the help it can get, especially since the West is doing nothing to support them. Hzbollah aside, it is the Lebanese people who are paying for this. That's not Hezbollah's fault. It is the fault of the Israeli government and other nations who stand idly by and say nothing.
Posted By Anonymous KC, Cary, NC : 2:54 PM ET
Amen. The US and the other colonialists have played games with ME politics, economics, government and geography for too long. Bush sealed the deal with the invasion of Iraq without a policy to put up or shut up (Chalabi for oil minister?--on the cheap without a plan?) and a policy of excluding the many people and governments in the entire region, ignoring the right of self-determination. Even the idea of the US or others mediating a settlement without all parties at the table is simply pouring salt on a wound or gas on a fire. It is time for these nations to come together and divide the pie the way that they choose. Given the interplay of religion and old sheikdoms without the equitible distribution of assets no peace is possible until everyone has an economic stake in the peace.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 2:54 PM ET
There is more sympathy in Arab and muslim world for what happened in Qana and what's happening in in all Muslim countries because of west and Israel. THe onlyt reason is they see their them suffering. It's muslims whos genoside is being done in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Chechnia, Iraq, Palestine and Lebnan. Now Iran and Syria are being threatened.
I am requesting you all that imagine for a second that your family is being killed brutelly in front of you, and your houses your land is torn apart in front of you and when try to staop them, you are told that you are terrorist. I think again and again and I am not able to understand that how come westren people (being so logical) absorb all this. The only thing in my mind comes is that you hate us all and you just don't want to see us on this earth.
It's not we came to your land and fight, you have come to our land and fighting us and at the same time taking all the wealth we haave from us. Still you are civilized nations and we are terrorists. What a justice. It's hard to believe that you are the followers of Jesus who was such a loving prophet, giving life to those who needed and you give death to the humanity.
Posted By Anonymous Asiya Gul, Tempe, AZ : 2:57 PM ET
Everyone needs to be at the negotiating table. There has to be a ceasefire. The land and water issues have to be adressed once and for all. Permanent, internationally recognized, territorial boundaries must be established.

The violence being perpetrated on the Lebanese people is fueling hatred in the Middle East. You want to know why there is terrorism, watch your news show and listen to your one-sided analysis. By ignoring the cross border assasinations by the Israelis that led up to the kidnapping and the Hizballah rocket attacks in June which resulted in strikes on the Palestinians in Gaza, you have shown that either CNN has chosen sides or you are incapable of being a viable news organization because you do not understand the facts.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Chicago Il : 3:01 PM ET
It appears to me that we, the U.S administration have a double standard regarding the conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, and in defining what factually constitutes an act of war. The current U.S. administration concurs with Israel's claim, that when Hezbollah crossed into Israel killing three and Kidnapping two, that act constituted an act of war. If this assessment is true, then the administration has committed acts of war when it authorized the CIA to kidnap on foreign soil suspected terrorist. I guess might make us right?
Posted By Anonymous Leroy, Richmond, VA : 3:01 PM ET
As an israeli I hope (and think) that Syria is not looking for confrontation. It seems that both Syria and Iran are ready to fight this war upto the last lebanese but are not ready to pay the war price them-selfs, currently let it be so.
Posted By Anonymous Oded Liron, Givat-Ada Israel : 3:08 PM ET
Aneesh,
Thank you for doing such a great job. It seems like you have been over "there" a long time.
Since all of these countries are in such close proximity to one another they should all be included on some level in any negotiation. You are right, even with this so-called "war on terror" the threat of terrorism only seems to be growing with each day. Take care.
Posted By Anonymous Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio : 3:24 PM ET
I'd like to respond to Asiya Gul, Tempe, AZ who claims that we all hate Muslims and want them destroyed: As an Israeli American I don't have to imagine my home destroyed and family killed. I was born in 1973, remember that? Israel was attacked by 'neighboring' countries. I live in NYC. Remember 9/11?? Yup, I was there too. So in response to you, why is it so difficult for Muslims and Arabs to let Jews and Westerners co-exist? Why do you talk of massacre and killing only when it pertains to your country and your people? Do we not deserve the same right? Why is it OK to kidnap Israelis in the border? It's kind of like being in kindergarten: one kid slaps another and is surprised and cries when the slapped kid punches him. The first kid should learn to SYOP SLAPPING AND HE WON'T GET PUNCHED!!
Posted By Anonymous Judith from NYC : 3:26 PM ET
Syria could contribute to a lasting peace by closing it's borders with Iraq and preventing foreign fighters from using Syrian territory as a launching pad for operations in Iraq.

Just a thought Mr. Assad.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle, Odenton MD : 3:31 PM ET
Hi Aneesh. Syria threatening military involvement makes me nervous, even if it is just bluster.

It's a shame all the "collateral damage" we've been seeing were only human beings and not embryonic stem cells. Then maybe we'd see a call for a cease fire by now.
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 3:35 PM ET
What is the old saying "the only person you can change is yourself"? As long as everyone involved wants everyone else to change, there will be War. Who is going to take the lead on accepting change for themselves? One person or groups decision to change the way they are functioning could have a huge beneficial impact on the entire region.

Yes it would be great to have everyone at the table, but if everyone is not willing to be at the table, that does not excuse the others for walking away.
Posted By Anonymous Jackie Sonoma, CA : 3:41 PM ET
Syria shouldn't be ignored with the peace keeping ideas. They are right to stand. Peace cannot be won over by 2 countries standing together everyone must come together.

Peace though may never happen in the Middle East or anywhere. The act of peace is easier said then done. The act of peace is a great and never ending battle between the countries and people of the world. I doubt that peace could ever be found. It would be a perfect world if there could be peace through out it. I doubt it could happen.

The ceasefire is needed, and everyone needs to be at the negotiating table for anything to happen. There is hatred in the Middle East, and that needs to stop first.
Posted By Anonymous Kristina, Toronto, Ontario : 3:48 PM ET
In order for a "sustainable peace" to be realised, everyone needs to be at the negotiating table. I don't think I'm being too idealistic in making that statement. The killing has to stop, on both sides. Why can't they understand that violence only begets more violence?
Posted By Anonymous Courtney, St. Charles, MO : 3:51 PM ET
Syria just wants to join into the chaos going on between Lebanon and Israel just to prove they are significant to what is happening. They want to show the rest of the Middle East that they are tough, and if they have to, are willing to fight. Right now President Assad is most likely just "all talk" of mobilizing more troops, but if the situation worsens we could see Israel fighting a two-front war.
Posted By Anonymous Liz Yaslik Sylvania, OH : 3:55 PM ET
I take issue with blogger Julie saying CNN is one-sided. I have seen plenty of coverage questioning Israel's tactics. Of course Hezb. is appearing less credible in the public eye, since they betrayed Israelis with rocket attacks after Israel left Gaza in good faith.
Posted By Anonymous JK - Lake Barrington, IL : 3:58 PM ET
Syria has just become a pathetic joke. I think they would be better served by freeing their own people and letting a few dissidents out of jail.
Posted By Anonymous Josh, NYC, NY : 4:02 PM ET
First of all, the two (Isreal and Hezbollah) need to get their stories straight. Increasing anger with the Isrealis and that nagging doubt about Hezbollah being responsible will not be decided until its probably too late.I would urge potential Hezbollah supporters to hold off on their dying alligence, as it may turn into just that.
Posted By Anonymous Bev. Ontario Canada : 4:16 PM ET
Seems to me that, if Syria is the one that gave Hezabolla the go ahead to start this war, sitting at the table and not being forgotten is getting what they want. I don't think real peace is possible with the thinking of Syria and Iran in the mix. But at the end of the day, after Israel has erradicated the weapons that can reach her borders, I think it is fine to sit down with all those involved and find out how it will not happen again. (Lot of good it will do anyway.)
Posted By Anonymous Mike Roberts, Madison, WI : 4:22 PM ET
How do you get at a table people with different agendas? Altough they have to be part of the solution, they don't have the same goal.
I understand that since Qana, the Arab & Muslam world would be mad at Israel and the U.S. But reading some of the comments, be careful not to generalize. Someone wrote that he doesn't understand why westerners call terrorists all Arab or Muslams who want to defend their family. This is not the case. I don't think that we all put them in the same basket. We shouldn't.
But saiyng that, the groups of terrorists(who do not represent the majority of Arabs & Muslams) are very organized, have money and arms. You can not count them out. They are part of the problem. But the way Israel is handeling this war is awful and will have consequences for years to come.
And the fact that the rest of the world is watching and doing nothing, well..it adds to the fuel.
Every body at the same table negotiating? Good Luck! A shouting match in perspective. "The more you scream, the less you hear, the less your heard".
Joanne Ranzell
LavalQuebec
Posted By Anonymous Joanne Ranzell Laval Quebec : 4:35 PM ET
The only way to end the violence to bring Syria and Iran to their knees militariliy. PERIOD!
Posted By Anonymous Tim Carr, Cherry Hill, nj : 4:43 PM ET
The Lebanese people will be much better off if all these so called brotherly nations stay out of Lebanon. In the past 15 years, Syria has made 32 Billion dollars out of its occupation of Lebanon and killed over 150,000 Lebanese Civilians. with so much love, who needs enemies.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Z. Laguna Niguel, Ca 92677 : 4:43 PM ET
My God, reading some of the comments on this thread is really moving...I'm not sure I know much about the background of all this but the only thing on my mind is why is Israel bombing Lebanon because 2 soldiers got kidnapped. I mean they are soldiers for God's sake they signed up for this. I just dont like it when innocent people die so shamefully.
Posted By Anonymous Bilikiss, Boston, MA : 4:45 PM ET
It would be great if most people and their leaders could be at the negotiating table. However, for the Lebanese and Israeli citizens who've lost loved ones and are immediately interviewed by other media, some want revenge. The anger and grief is so raw, it's like asking, "And how was the play Mrs. Lincoln?" so soon after the event.
Posted By Anonymous Carol B. Frederick, MD : 4:47 PM ET
CNN help me out.....ask the big questions, be specific. Does Hezbollah use red cross trucks for moving equipment?? personnel?? Why are these people not fleeing?? Do the neighboring nations accept refugees? What is Lebanon doing to help its citizens evacuate? Anything?? I also want to know why we are not seeing the Israeli side as much?? Does all the world really just hate the jews? Please explain then if they don't why does normal war seem to matter more when muslim children die.
Posted By Anonymous Liz, Houston, Texas : 4:47 PM ET
All of the pity heaped on the "poor, suffering people of Lebanon" is disgusting and incredibly short-sighted. These are the people who elected terrorists to their government rather than disarm them as UN Resolution 1539 mandated. That they suffer the consequences is right.

In addition to this, Israel has dropped thousands upon thousands of leaflets on southern Lebanese towns telling people to get out while it is safe to do so, warning that failure to leave will put their lives at risk. They chose not to leave so while it sucks that they died, they have no one to blame but themselves, ultimately.

Much goes for the same warning that was issued to Lebanon to disarm Hizbollah. They failed to do that and, in so doing, brought this war upon themselves. If they were incapable of disarming Hizbollah, they should have sought assistance. They didn't and now pay the price for their failure.

Again... I am fascinated by the thoughts posted on this blog. It seems so many "armchair diplomats" in the US can easily criticize Israel without knowing or considering all of the facts. Do these people remember that it was Hizbollah that killed 241 American servicemen in 1983? Do these people know that the Lebanese people elected Hizbollah to their government? No... it appears not. These people need to wake up to reality - Israel is doing the right thing here and the US should continue to support their effort to make their region safe for ALL people - Jew and Muslim and Christian alike.
Posted By Anonymous Sam - Tigard, OR : 4:58 PM ET
The real victims in this conflict is the people of Lebanon, not Israel. Shame on Hezbollah and Israel. And shame on President Bush for not putting the people of Lebanon first. I am so very ashamed that he is the President of the United States by his handling of this conflict. Shame on you President Bush, shame on you!
Posted By Anonymous Donna A. Reuter, Bremerton, WA : 5:01 PM ET
The first thing I'd like to "say" is that given the fact that Syria supplies/ funds/ supports, etc. Hezbollah, it was only a matter of time before they would want to become more involved and have their voices heard politically. And, I also belive that given everything that has happened both in the media's coverage (not just CNN)about this war, I think that it is virtually impossible to not have some sort of bias going into it. (I mean either our own personal bias about the situation or the person(s) reporting.) And unless we are experiencing it first hand (meaning we are over there), it is hard to imagine what life must be like over there.

I think the issue now becomes, we have a terrible situation going on where innocents are dying, name calling (whether misrepresnted or not is at each person's discression) is not doing any good to help bring about a cease-fire, and then there is propaganda. So when you have all these factors coming into play, it is hard for rational solutions to occur.

I think the situation needs to have the entire region at the negotiating table to help bring about a "sustainable cease-fire." Because, if Hezbollah really is a terrorist group who has embedded themselves into the political fabric of Lebanon, this war isn't going to solve anything. It has already drawn about more support for Hezbollah, which is exactly what Israel doesn't want. And incidently enough, Lebanon has more civillian casualties which helps to further the support from the Arab world.

If the Kaytusha rockets were more accurate and more Israelis were dying perhaps this would be a different war, but it's not. And the way the negotiations are going right now certainly isn't solving anything. I am not a Foreign Policy expert, but I don't see how having the entire region involved could hinder a cease-fire, since one isn't emminate anyway.
Posted By Anonymous Tracy, Somerville, NJ : 5:03 PM ET
This "sustainable peace" line out of the Bush administration is really starting to tick me off. To use an analogy, if there are two kids fighting in a high school hallway, the teachers aren't simply going to stand around letting them fight while trying to dream up a "sustainable peace" between the two before intervening. Obviously, these words out of the White House are masking its real intentions. Why does this administration have such a problem with being forthcoming with the American public? The issue in South Lebanon is definitely more complex than a high school fist-fight, but, first things first, we need an immediate ceasefire. You can't solve a conflict while both sides continue to get more and more polarized by continued killing and destruction.
Posted By Anonymous Adam, Newport, RI : 5:05 PM ET
In a situation like this, people should listen and consider any solution from any country instead of criticizing and waiting for more people to die. I don't understand how a country that is trying to help stop war is considered the enemy. Syria might not have the strong army to fight Israel, but if needed, they are willing to scarify hundreds of their army to kill one Israeli and still declare victory.
Posted By Anonymous Sara, Atlanta, GA : 5:11 PM ET
Yes. Everyone in the region needs to be at the negotiation table. But not the United States. While other presidents have put Mid-East affairs as a priority, because they are if for no other reason than their oil, Pres Bush thinks and plays like a little boy. He got mad a Syria and told them to take their toys and go home. His idea was to isolate them. What he has served to do is isolate the U.S., more and more by the day, and all Americans pay the price for his outrageous behavior. So, yes. Everyone in the region needs to sit down at the table, but the United States needs to butt out as long as Bush is president.
Posted By Anonymous Gypsy, an American in Mexico : 5:16 PM ET
Asiya,
I don't understand either, but don't lump all of us in with the haters.

Jesus wept.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Wentzville, Missouri : 5:20 PM ET
Of course everyone needs to be at the table. Althgough Israel was forced upon the Arabs (Muslims) by the western world (U.N.) it has been in existance close to 60 years. It's time for Muslims to accept the fact that Israel is not going away. It's also time for Israel to return to the pre'67 borders, compensate the refugees, and allow East Jerusalem to be the new capital of Palestine.
Posted By Anonymous David C. Martin, Wilmington, DE. : 5:23 PM ET
Yes ! all the countries in the region should be included. By now we know that this problem is much more than just about Israel and Hezbollah, there is Hamas that needs to be addressed and then how can you possibly ignore Iran and Syria. This is not the time for " who is superior than whom" its about " what would it take to bring peace" and if that means, involving Syria and Iran, go for it !
Posted By Anonymous Himali, Houston,Texas : 5:44 PM ET
Well, let's see ...

Why was Syria involved in Lebanon? CNN seems to have forgotten that they entered the country in 1976 at the behest of the world community to protect the interests of Maronite Christian factions who were also allied with Israel.

Syria did not "invade" Lebanon.

The shared interest in protecting the Maronites eventually dissolved and Syria and Israel found themselves on opposites sides of the fence in Lebanon, but Israel tacitly permitted Syria to remain present in that country because it was believed to be the only force that could keep Hezbollah in check.

In 1991, it was Syria that brokered the peace between the factions in Lebanon, not the U.S., not the E.U. and not Israel.

And, during the Gulf War, Syria was one of the Arab countries allied with the U.S. in the effort to liberate Kuwait from the occupying forces of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Following the death of Assad, Sr., Syria was seen as moving toward Westernization and liberalization of both the economy and society generally. This movement, however, was sabotaged by the Bush Administration's continuing attempts to isolate Syria and its populace.

And now Syria is a "terrorist state?" And one that the Bush Administration is begging Israel to bomb? This seems remarkably silly.

Syria will go down in history as a country that wanted to enter the modern family of nations, was rejected and -- despite its efforts -- branded as a terrorist state in order for one of its neighbors to destroy it. A real tragedy.
Posted By Anonymous Jones, New York, New York : 5:52 PM ET
Yawn, Syria, Yawn. Assad is nothing more than a gnat squating on the side of a bison...we hear you roar.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 5:52 PM ET
We need to stop this madness. Over the last five years, the United States instead of being a beacon of hope, has become an object of hate.

Our unconditional support of Israel must end and a two state solution must be made.

Israel must get out of the West Bank and Gaza and give those people a chance to have a decent life. Bring to the table anyone who can help, including Syria.
Posted By Anonymous Donald Maragioglio, Providence, RI : 6:02 PM ET
Aneesh,

I, for one, agree that any country that might possibly be involved should be invited to the table. It appears that Syria is pretty darn close to Lebanon, and at this point it seems Lebanon is drawing the most sympathy.

I'd rather confront a known, than a maybe. If Syria isn't part of the negotiations, who can say where they will stand?

Hezbollah will be joined by all other "terrorist" organizations and no one will have the chance to negotiate, it will be far too late. As it stands now Hezbollah has driven the wedge that could permanently divide two countries, and this is dividing the world.

I guess everyone can just sit around and sputter and snort until Israel finishes the job. Then who do you blame for the death of all the innocents?

Thanks,
Maggie
Posted By Anonymous Maggie, Grain Valley, MO : 6:06 PM ET
To your question, no , I do not think everyone in the regiog has to be at the negotiating table. Countries like Syria and Iran, are not stabilizing forces, but destructive forces, that have not only fueled the Hezbollah with more weapons, but also seek to continue their indirect control over Lebanon, and it is time that Lebanon, Israel and one or two more mediating forces sit at the table, so that Lebanon can finally feel and see and show its people that it is taking control of its land and that israel can feel and see it has a partner for peace nad quiet. As to the comment by KC, Cary, that is untrue that no one is looking out for Lebanon, apart from the financial and humanitarian aid forwarded to Lebanon. I am an Israeli and I draw no distinction between Jew, Muslim or Christian, we are all human beings, and no we are not trying to wipe out another territory, we are merely trying to defend ourselves. THe kidnapping of our two soldiers was not a one-time attack, it was part of a long line of attacks on Israeli homes (not solely military bases) for six years. i am sad to agree that the lebanese people are paying the price for hezbollah's acts, but we cannot ignore the fact that hezb. was not only to be dismantled six years ago, but also have been reinforcing themselves in the proximity of houses and mosques etc. in the south of lebanon, without anyone doing anything to stop them, all the while we were paying the price. they themselves have declared that they have been planning this attack for six years. I would like to ask you what you would do if you were living in a state of constant attacks, despite the fact that you had already signed a "peace treaty", would you sit by and watch your loved ones killed off by an organization that is not fighting to free lands (since these had already been evacuated), but for your ultimate destruction, or the return of prisoners who themselves had committed atrocities in your own country? It is ironic that you say that the Arab-muslim countries are immediatly generalized and attacked as terrorist countries, I can tell you that the sentiment here is exactly the same only the other way around, the feeling that the whole world would like nothing better then our annihilation, and that the press is pro-hezbollah most often then not. i guess in some things we are more alike than we realize.
i hope this all ends soon, but dont forget that this war is between israel and the hezbollah and not lebanon; the fact that it is taking place in lebanon should only hasten our steps towards a face to face neogtiation between us and lebanon alone, and no other countries.
Posted By Anonymous Dana, Israel : 6:07 PM ET
Who's right is it to declare whether one nation is right and the other is in the wrong? Every seems to have their own opinion on the Lebanon-Israel conflict, but as outsiders, is it really their place? The more we fight, the more the conflict is fueled, not diminished. No one is willing to face the issues at hand, but rather, shifts blame. Hundreds are being killed as politicians sit around avoiding the root of the problem. The Israelis are fighting the Lebanese and Palestinians over one thing. Land. And until these territorial issues are dealt with, they will continue to fight. Whether or not Hezbollah is disarmed. But does anyone need involved other than the UN? No.
Posted By Anonymous Julia, Ft. Lauderdale, FL : 6:19 PM ET
Everyone should be at the negociating table when there are innocent lives at stake. However these issues center around the military and diplomats who can initiate violence. The people concerned know very little about the reason for the bombings.
Posted By Anonymous Israel, Raleigh, NC : 7:11 PM ET
To Judith from NYC
If you want to start from 1973, I would like to start from a little past.
1947....Was there any state of name Israel. Where were all the jews at that time...in eastren EU, in Germany and in US. How come Israel just appeared on the map like a mushroom nexr year. Do all the people living there( in Israel) belong to that land? where was your family in 1948? You have nothing there. you don't belong there. It's Germans who done bad to you not muslims.
About 9-11, most of the americans are real innocentrs and they don't know that they are sacrificing for some other people?
would you like to tell me that how many jews are killed in world trade center?
no one
although thousanda of them were working there but on that specific day all of them were absent. Would you like to tell us, how come they knew that world trade center is being attack?
Well you guys are playing a big game?
a very big game, in which other nations are just being used.
Posted By Anonymous Asiya Tempe AZ : 8:37 PM ET
As a Jew in New York, I have seen many things happen. Living in one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, its pretty difficult to not have an open mind to various ideas, politics, values and traditions. Two weeks into my Freshman year at college, the towers fell, and I felt it was important for me to study History and Political Science, to get a broader understanding of our world.
And what I have learned is that every nation has the right to live within its borders peacefully. Leaders in Arab countries cry foul whenever the "big bad wolf" of Israel bites back because it is such a "larger" nation with a better military. But let us be serious. Israel has tried time and time again to acheive peace for everyone around. Constantly engaging leaders to broker peace agreements. But if you can't accept peace, then you must want to fight the wolf. And if you taunt the wolf, if you try to beat it, attack it, or punish it, be prepared for the wolf to fight back, and bite back hard. My prayers go out to all those that have lost their lives. To the men, women and children on both sides. But if you play with fire, or even if you sit and watch friends play with fire, you will inevitebly get burned by the blaze. Israel has been a sovereign nation since 1948 and if you can't accept that, then leave the planet. Its time for everyone in the world to accept certain things that will never change. Fighting and terrorism will only perpetuate the pain already present. It is time for the leaders of Syria and Iran to grow up and learn to co-exist.
Posted By Anonymous Ary, New York, NY : 11:36 AM ET
I want to reply to a comment posted by Jones in NY,NY.

I am Lebanese Christian who lived through the civil war and what you are saying is absolutely not true.

Syria was deployed in Lebanon to protect Christians from Palestinian terrorists and muslim radicallists. Instead, they killed Christians (many of my cousins and uncles), allied with Palestinians groups (one of them being Hezbollah) and inflamed the situation in Lebanon.

During the Gulf War, they didn't back up the Americans like they promised. Instead, they deployed more troops (20-30,000) in Lebanon for absolutely no reason other than to oppresse the Lebanese people.

Syria is terrorist state and always has been. During the civil war in Lebanon when Lebanese authorities went after Palestinian guerrilas, Syria would hide them in the camps in Syria. What a good neighbor!

The real tragedy Jones, is that people like you support the current Syrian government. These are the same people who for 30 years raped women, killed children, oppressed the people, destroyed the economy, and degraded living quality of Lebanon.

And you wonder why they are being isolated? Open your eyes.
Posted By Anonymous Cedar1, Ontario, Canada : 3:49 PM ET
Asiya:

You need a little help in your analysis...by lumping Afghanistan, Iraq,Chechniya, Kashmir, Syria, Iran, Palestine etc. under one group, and claiming that genocide is going on in all these areas...frankly, you sound like a spokesman for Al Qaeda! Just to clarify, I personally do believe that Hezbollah is a legitamite resistance group, born out of Israel's invasion of Lebanon in 1982, but to paint all these groups as being the real victim (just like Israel uses the victim psychology and the Holocaust to justify all its aggresive intent) is ridiculous, and extremely inflammatory. All countries are responsible for their sitations to a certain degre...

To also repeat the ridiculous assertion that a single Jew was not killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11...implying there was advance notice...well, this sounds like a typical denial of facts when the truth is out there for all to see...3000 + people were killed, including 2 rabbis, but the greater story is that many more escaped the buildings in time. These did include 3 friends of mine, all Jewish..

Your arguments would seem a little more credible if it were crafted by fact and logic, not emotion, conspiracy, and religious bias.
Posted By Anonymous Samir, Washington DC : 4:29 PM ET
To Asiya from Tempe AZ
Well, I'm not Judith but I'll answer your questions.
I'm a Jew from Israel and my family has been living here more than 30 generations, so they were here long before 1947. (If you really want to know they lived, and some are still living in Zfat, "Safed").
And FYI a couple of Jews were killed in the world trade center (3 or 4, I don't remember the exact number)"
Posted By Anonymous Eldar P, Petach Tikva, Israel : 4:50 PM ET
Aneesh: At this point I very much doubt that they will get ANY of the key players to the negotiating board. Things have gone much to far for that.
I think it may take something akin to 'divine intervention' to even have a small amount of influence.
These 2 countries have built up such a hate and resentment for each other that they now have gained an attitude of having a closed mind to any and all authority that would bring this war to a peaceful resolve.
Posted By Anonymous Bev. Whitby, Ontario. Canada : 11:18 AM ET
As cynical as it sounds, I can't help but wonder if this "crisis" isn't conveniently happening 90 days before the mid-term congressional elections in the US...I seem to have noticed a pattern over the last 6 years of elevated terrorism levels in the US coninciding with critical US elections. Perhaps this sounds like a wild conspiracy theory, but I'm sure most Americans could practically recite this mornings' scheduled Presidential address from memory.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Masino, Temecula, CA : 11:56 AM ET
Can anyone tell me anything good that has come out of the Islamic world?
Posted By Anonymous Gray, San Francisco CA : 5:52 PM ET
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