Sunday, April 20, 2003

Al-Jazeera has an interesting article on the current Syrian-American situation. Today the noises from the administration were much more positive regarding the Syrian situation. At the same time, Abu Mazen threatened to resign over his Cabinet dispure with Arafat in the Palestinian Authority. Are these two developments connected? Possibly..the administration is committed to releasing their "road map" to a Palestinian state only if there is a Prime Minister in the PA with real power, and that road map was to be the cornerstone of their policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The administration has clearly been expecting Abu Mazen to take office shortly, as seen in the pressure they're starting to exert on Sharon. And the Israeli-Palestinian conflict affects Syria because Syria's involvement in tension with Israel is much more direct and unavoidable than Iraq's.

Incidentally, the main point of tension between Arafat and Abu Mazen is the appointment by the latter of Muhammad Dahlan as Minister of Internal Affairs. Dahlan is an interesting figure in his own right...I first read about him about a year ago, and he's basically the main rising star in the Palestinian leadership. I forget his precise agenda, but he tends to combine opposition to terrorism, commitment to the peace process, and resistance to Israeli occupation in interesting and credible ways.

Easter has come and pretty much gone...I was going to make devilled eggs, but was missing too many key ingredients. All well. Maybe next year. I also did nothing religious today whatsoever, though generally the Incarnation has been more central to my sense of spirituality than the Resurrection anyway.


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