Jun 24 2009

Weakness Hawkish elements

Published by at 3:07 pm under Articles,Other

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
NY Times Room for Debate

June 23, 2009, 3:22 PM

Weakening Hawkish Elements

Daoud Kuttab is a Palestinian journalist and a former professor of journalism at Princeton University.

No matter how the standoff in Iran ends up, two things have become clear. The power of digital technology can override analog government efforts of suppression, and the shakeup in Iran has weakened a host of hawkish elements in the region.
The Iranian people, a majority of whom are young, have discovered, developed and perfected every possible available means of communications. All the attempts by a brutal regime, like the one currently in power in Iran, have proved incapable of totally and completely gag ging their own population from being heard.

The shakeup of the Iranian regime and the defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon have dealt a blow to radical voices in the Middle East.
The happenings in the streets of Tehran and the angry reaction of a big percentage of the population have proved that the regime’s policies have been dealt a heavy blow outside the country as well. Whether Ahmadinejad returns or not, whoever is seen as running the Islamic Republic of Iran has little choice but to show a little humility and a lot less rhetorical radicalism in international affairs.President Obama’s extended hand to Muslims and Arabs, along with the defeat of Hezbollah in Lebanon and the shakeup of the Iranian regime, have dealt a severe blow to radical and hawkish voices in this part of the world. Syria has already stated its willingness to restart the indirect talks (through Turkey) that it suspended with Israel. Hamas is also speaking in a much more moderate voice, welcoming Jimmy Carter last week and talking of a Palestinian state within the 1967 border.

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