... here are some things I feel confident are not going to happen, at least for a very long time to come:
- Hamas is not going to moderate, stop terrorism against Israel, or make a compromise peace. - The Palestinians will not reach an internal political solution, turn toward economic development, or moderate their positions.
- Syria's government is not going to help any compromise solution in Iraq, make peace with Israel, or stop trying to take over Lebanon.
- The current regime in Iran will not stop trying to get nuclear weapons, subvert the region, or sponsor terrorism.
- The incumbent Arab regimes--with a few exceptions among the smaller Gulf states--will not implement any substantive economic or political reforms.
- Hizballah will not moderate its goals. Even if it adopts "political methods," these are merely at the service of its extremist goals. Any way, Hizballah--like other radical groups--sees no reason why it shouldn't use violence at the same time as it holds demonstrations or runs in elections. All the same points apply to the Kurdish Worker's Party (PKK) in Turkey. - The communities in Iraq will not reach any power-sharing compromise until one side in the civil war has decisively defeated the other.
- Democracy, in the meaningful sense of the word, is not coming to the Arabic-speaking world very soon.
- Most Western Middle East "experts" will continue in failing to understand the Middle East.
[ Prof. Rubin's columns can be read online at: http://gloria.idc.ac.il/columns/column.html.]