Wednesday, February 28, 2007


International Herald Tribune

It's time to start talking

Henry A. Kissinger
Tribune Media Services
Sunday, February 25, 2007

The time has come to begin preparing for an international conference to define the political outcome of the Iraq war. Whatever happens, a diplomatic phase is necessary.

The conflicting interests of various countries must be restrained by a combination of a balance of power and an agreed legitimacy to provide an international sanction.

If America fails to achieve its immediate objectives — if terrorist camps or terrorist regimes emerge on the soil of Iraq, backed by its huge oil resources — no county with a significant Muslim population will be able to escape the consequences: not India, with the second largest Muslim population in the world; not Indonesia, with the largest; not Turkey, already contending with incursions from the Kurdish portion of Iraq; not Malaysia, Pakistan or any of the countries of Western Europe; not Russia, with its Muslim south; nor, in the end, China.

...and an Islamic fundamentalism that can claim to have ejected Russia from Afghanistan and America from Iraq, a period of extreme turbulence verging on chaos is unavoidable,

Yet none of the potential victims of these trends has been required to contribute even ideas, much less been enlisted in the quest for a political solution.

...Wise leaders on all sides are needed to establish an international order that provides security to all participants and respect to all religions.

The best impetus to a serious diplomacy over Iraq is by way of the international conference.

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