This is a hard letter for me to pen to you, since the passing of your beloved son is still so fresh. I wish I had words of comfort, but what written expression can ever sooth a wound so deep, even pain is a comfort? But, alas, there is no alternative – since you and you alone, among administration officials with the weight to impact this issue – understand the threads necessary to take advantage of an opportunity the U.S. has only a short window to act on. This idea will entail some forgiveness.
Separate the Assad regime, from their remaining long-term allies the Druze, which should be the decisive blow — by offering the Druze amnesty and a homeland around Druze Mountain.
This is the forgiving thing to do.
The Syrian Druze used to be allies of Israel, and could be again. This is also the humanitarian thing to do. Stop a slaughter before it starts.
The slaughter of the Druze most likely will ensue as Assad’s forces completely crumble. Their lines are separating now, even as this is written, this thing has only weeks now before the Druze begin getting slaughtered, since the separation of their lines will eventually leave them surrounded.
This proposal – coming from the U.S. — would have huge long-term strategic and tactical advantages to Israel and would go a long way to repairing relations there (take that Netanyahu) and give us a new regional ally, admittedly very weak but we need to back the little guy here. Pretend this is the end of WWII and you’re mindset is like Eisenhower’s and Truman’s, less backward blame — and a lot more focus on the future.
I know you at one time supported an independent Kurdish state, and I know you must lie awake at night dreaming about what the Middle East could look like with a strong Kurdish state, smack dab in the middle of it.
This Druze idea is related both logically and geopolitically to your old position on an independent Kurdish state and I know – you know that. This could be the model for returning to your previous vision of an Iraqi state without the Kurdish portion, which was dead-on accurate and must eventually happen, no matter what else does happen over there. This of course was thought unacceptable to Turkey before – hence your plan’s failure — but I believe political events in the region, the behavior of the Kurds overall throughout this ISIS ordeal, and just in the last month – Turkey’s surprising parliamentary election results – have changed that dynamic.
The Middle East at the moment is desperate, but is filled with surprising opportunity, as all desperate situations usually are. The Israeli/US friendship right now, a vital one, is suffering, and if you are a realist, as I think you are, then you’ll know that an opportunity like this missed, never opens up again. If the Syrian Druze awoke tomorrow morning with a friend they didn’t know they had, and it was the U.S. people, they would never forget.
Change this Israel/US split before it destroys your party. Rescue the Druze, before they are murdered. This will force the Kurdish state issue for reasons I know you understand — which will in turn, over time, even help the situation in Iraq.
If this is an unwelcome intrusion on your grief, I offer my sincerest and most humble apology.
God bless you.