On the Record

Can Diplomacy Quell Middle East Violence?

Martin S. Indyk

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Martin S. Indyk appeared at the end of this segment of CNN’s American Morning, he followed guests Anna Sumi and Ryan Sumi.

MILES O’BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, this is not your father’s Middle East war. Instead of shoveled diplomacy, we’re watching a volley of bombs, artillery and rockets with no high-level, high-profile U.S. mission to try and broken a cease-fire. Why not yet this time? Joining us from Washington is Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel. He’s now head of the Saban Center for Middle East policy.

Ambassador Indyk, good to have you back with us.


M. O’BRIEN: Good morning to you.

A lot of people would say, among them former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, that it’s time for Condoleezza Rice to be there in the region shuttling back and forth, engaging in high-level diplomacy. What do you say to that?

INDYK: Well, I think that she will be going out, but she’s kind of dragging her feet. And there are two reasons for that.

First of all, Hezbollah, which has seemed to have provoked this crisis, backed by Iran and Syria, are part of the panoply of terrorist organizations and sponsors that the administration is fighting a war against. So in a sense they do not want Hezbollah to come out victorious and a cease-fire in place would in effect be a victory for Hezbollah, give them a chance to strike again at will.

Secondly, there’s a real question of, if she goes out, who is she going to talk to. Hezbollah is not going to cease firing just because Condoleezza Rice wants them to. The United States has a close relationship with Israel, and basically can get Israel to stop firing, but who stops Hezbollah? That’s the big question.

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