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U.S. Seeks Syria’s Help in Mideast

How can anyone seriously entertain the notion that there exists a basis for a “negotiated settlement” of the current Mideast crisis? What’s to negotiate? If a criminal sticks a pistol in your face and demands your money, do you invite the gunman to sit down and discuss ways to solve your “wealth realignment problem”?

And if some international effort should manage to produce some sort of Byzantine conference between Saddam Hussein and the rest of the world community, what useful results could be expected? Suppose Hussein were to agree to withdraw his troops from Kuwait, release all foreign nationals now being held against their will and pay appropriate compensation to anyone harmed by his actions. Who could trust Hussein to keep his word? And even if he did initially keep his promises, who could be sure how long the status quo would last? To put it another way, under what circumstances would the world community be willing to pack its bags and go home, leaving Hussein alive and his military machine intact?

RONALD J. KAYE

Carlsbad

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