"Every day the headlines from the Arab world get worse: An Al Qaeda affiliate group, aided by foreign fighters, battles with seven different homegrown Syrian rebel groups for control of the region around Aleppo, Syria. The Iranian Embassy in Beirut is bombed. Mohamad Chatah, an enormously decent former Lebanese finance minister, is blown up after criticizing Hezbollah’s brutish tactics. Another pro-Al Qaeda group takes control of Fallujah, Iraq. Explosions rock Egypt, where the army is now jailing Islamists and secular activists. Libya is a mess of competing militias."
Yup, the Middle East is a pretty frightening corner of the world these days.
Now go back to a January 3, 2014 New York Times editorial entitled "The Ticking Mideast Clock" (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/04/opinion/the-ticking-mideast-clock.html?_r=0), which begins:
"Five months into the latest American effort to nudge Israelis and Palestinians toward a peace agreement, the one party clearly committed to a deal is the United States. This week, Secretary of State John Kerry made his 10th trip to the region to get the two sides to stick the timetable he set forth when he started new negotiations last July."
Heck, to read this New York Times editorial is to be made to believe that the Palestinian-Israeli controversy lies at the heart of all of the Middle East's troubles. Well, as highlighted by Friedman above, it just ain't so.