Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 7-Dec-06
Can we "Flip Syria" and solve all the Mideast problems?

Web Log - December, 2006

Can we "Flip Syria" and solve all the Mideast problems?

Even by Washington standards, Wednesday was possibly the most bizarre day on record.

Journalist David Gergen was heard on CNN saying this on Wednesday: "This is the best moment we've had in over three years."

His remark reflects the giddy mood throughout Washington, as Robert Gates was confirmed to replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense, and the Iraq Study Group released its report.

I frequently heard the word "atmospherics." This refers to how much better things are today than they used to be. The evil monsters, George Bush and Don Rumsfeld, have been slain. Well, George Bush has been only partially slain, but if he doesn't shape up fast, he'll be fully slain by Christmas.

The new "atmospherics" are great. It's because Bob Gates says "We're not winning the war, we're not losing the war, but the present policy isn't working." Why, that sentence alone prompted a "great atmospherics" remark from, of all people, Senator Ted Kennedy during the confirmation hearings.

And Gates promised he'd confer with the Senators. Well, gawrsch, that's just what they were hoping to hear! It's a swell world now, isn't it. And that was just Tuesday.

By Wednesday, when the new Iraq Study Group report was released, the mood of atmospherics had gone from giddiness to daffiness.

The report has 79 recommendations. (For a PDF of the report, go to

It says that there are no easy solutions. It says that we can't withdraw troops precipitously, or we'll create a calamity. It says we shouldn't stay there too long. So we're going to withdraw troops slowly, maybe by 2008. And we'll embed more American soldiers within Iraqi units so that we can train them better. It says we may win or we may lose, cause we don't know.

Thus have we slain the evil Rumsfeld monster and his and Bush's evil "stay the course" policy, and replaced them with a brand new, wonderful, exciting policy to be administered by the wonderful, accommodating Bob Gates.

Well, famous "anti-war" Democrat John Murtha, who wants all the troops pulled out of Iraq immediately and moved to Okinawa, did say, "Hey wait a minute. This is no different from the old policy!" But who cares about that.

Murtha is a hero of the Democratic Party, one of the great monster-slayers. But he's got to get with the program. We don't worry about details any more. We're all into "atmospherics."

To repeat what David Gergen said, "This is the best moment we've had in over three years."

And indeed it is. No one could ever hope to top this, even in a TV situation comedy.

There was one recommendation in the report that would represent a major change to existing policy, and that's the suggestion that we "talk to Iran and Syria," and get them to help us, which they'll be only too glad to do, of course.

Actually, Jim Baker said that he doesn't have that much hope for Iran, but he did think we could "flip Syria" over to our side. Here's how he explained it in an interview with Fox News Channel's Brit Hume:

"If we could flip Syria away from Iran and toward their Sunni neighbors with which they used to have good relations, and towards the United States, we could cure Israel's Hizbollah problem and furthermore we could get the Syrians -- I'm convinced we could do this -- get the Syrians to convince Hamas to accept Israel's right to exist and that would give Israel a negotiating partner for the Palestinian track."

According to Hume, once they were off-camera, Baker held up his index finger and said, "Flip Syria! Flip Syria! Flip Syria!"

It's just been a grand day.

Well, let's see. Syria despises Israel. Syria is actively aiding Hizbollah and Hamas in their planned war with Israel, likely to occur within the next six months or so.

And yet, Baker thinks the Syrians are going to see the error of their ways, and suddenly side with us.

Well, I hope George Bush sends him over there to take a shot at it. It'll be fun to watch, anyway.

But I could hardly believe my ears when he said, "Get the Syrians to convince Hamas to accept Israel's right to exist."

Now, we've already told Hamas that they can get hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, if only they'll just recognize Israel's right to exist. Instead, Hamas is importing weapons as fast as possible through the porous border between Gaza and Egypt, preparing to join Hizbollah in the next assault.

Furthermore, as I've pointed out many times, Gaza is run by children. The median age of the Gaza population is 15.8, so it'll be kids making the decisions. And those kids couldn't be convinced to recognize Israel if a thousand Syrias asked them to.

One more thing. What are we going to give Syria as an inducement to "flip"? We're going to give them the Golan Heights, the region adjacent to Syria that Israel won in the 1967 war and currently controls. Israel won't object to this because they're not invited to the negotiations that we'll supposedly be holding with Syria. The Israelis can learn about what happens by reading the newspapers. (Paragraph added on 7-Dec)

Yes, folks, David Gergen said, "This is the best moment we've had in over three years." But maybe he's wrong. This may be the best moment we've ever, ever, EVER had.

This is the way our country is going, folks. When I was a kid in the 50s watching Disneyland on TV, hosted by the real Walt Disney, my favorite land was Fantasyland, because that's where all the fun was, where the best atmospherics were.

When I grew up, I thought I had given up Walt and Fantasyland.

Little did I know at that time that I would one day start this web site, and that I would be writing about our own little Fantasyland, right here in good old Washington DC. (7-Dec-06) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004

Copyright © 2002-2016 by John J. Xenakis.