Sunday, October 28, 2007

Virtual Apology

Ehud Olmert offered an apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting last week in London for any inadvertant violation of Turkish airspace during the Sept. 6 airstrike on Syria, and any "affront" that may have resulted. Aside from being Olmert's first public coments on the raid, the apology doesn't really advance the story at all. The Times of India story does include this quote fom the IAEA's Mohamed ElBaradei, though:

To bomb first and to ask questions later I think it undermines the system and it doesn't lead to any solution.

Can't find much to argue with there.

To my mind, ElBaradei is one of the the most compelling public figures of our time. By all rights, the guy should be poring through technical reports and chairing meetings of degree-laden geeks. Instead he's been thrust into an unlikely and prominent role smack dab in the middle of three crises that will mark history -- North Korea, Iraq and Iran. And at every turn, he's refused to back down when people on every side of the issue exerted heavy pressure to try to instrumentalize him and his agency.

The non-proliferation system might be in its death throes. But there's something noble about the way ElBaradei's gone about defending its integrity.

Posted by Judah in:  The Middle East   Turkey   

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