Two months ago, President Bush convened a conference at Annapolis whose goal was creating conditions for peace in the Middle East. He deliberately refused to invite groups like Hamas or Hizbullah because of his belief the only way to deal with terrorism is to kill its leaders, During the ensuing seventy days there has been non-stop rocket attacks on Israel cities, and leaders of terrorist orgaizations killed without any change in death and destruction. A report in the Sunday Times suggests Mossad agents played a role in the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh in Syria by replacing the headrest of his car with one containing explosives.
Mughniyeh was reported working with Syrian and Iranian sources on a plan to strike at Israel targets to avenge an IDF attack on a Syrian installation in 2007. Fears of Israeli attacks have now compelled Hamas leaders in Gaza to avoid using telephones. The attack and counter-attack syndrome is the basis for dealing with political issues in the Middle East. Each side claims the right to strike because the other side killed someone. The assumption killing leaders somehow results in destroying an organization has rarely been accomplished in history. The strategy of killing civilians to prevent the other side from attacking has never been proved successful in history.
It is time for a real conference, perhaps chaired by someone like Kofi Annan or Nelson Mandela whose agenda is dealing with step one of any peace process– how to end the immediate killings on the part of all sides.