Friday, August 29, 2008

The germ of an initiative

Search for Common Ground is a think-out-of-the-box organization in Washington. They are trying to crank up second track contacts between the US and Syria. (In fairness, I should note that I have been on the Search advisory committee for many years.) Sometimes these efforts go nowhere, but sometimes they pay off. For instance, I participated in Search meetings in Moscow in the 1980s, and sessions did pay off very nicely in terms of establishing lines of cooperation during the Gorbachev period.

There is a growing awareness that the Syrians would like to build a new relationship with the U.S. That probably will not happen during the waning months of the Bush adminstration, but it is--ceteris paribus--a good thing that the groundwork is being laid now.

I don't know Thomas Dine, the former head of AIPAC, but I do know several of the other participants in the intiative and they are serious, sensible people with all the right qualifications to explore what is possible with Syria.

Former Aipac Head Leads Push for American-Syrian Rapprochement -"

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