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March 7th, 2008
04:58 PM ET

How should next president tackle Middle East mess?

ALT TEXT
A huge plume of smoke rises from powerful explosions near the offices of the head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Shiite cleric Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, on February 11, 2008 in Baghdad, Iraq. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

One of the three remaining presidential candidates will have to figure out how to address the tinder box that is the Middle East, which exploded again yesterday.

In Iraq, twin bombing attacks ripped through a Baghdad commercial district, killing 69 people and wounding 120 more. It was the deadliest attack in the Iraqi capital in more than a month. These bombings remind ordinary Iraqis that although this kind of violence has decreased, it's still a risk from day-to-day 5 years after the U.S. invasion.

In Israel, a gunman opened fire on a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem killing eight people, including an American, and wounding nine more. It's believed the attack was planned by a group with ties to Hezbollah. Seems to lower hopes for that peace deal that President Bush is still holding out for before he leaves office.

The headaches in this part of the world are many. John McCain, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama will have their hands full. Remember Afghanistan? More than 6 years after the U.S. invasion, President Hamid Karzai controls only 30% of the country. The tribes rule the rest of it and Osama bin Laden is still at large.

Iran's president continues to cozy up to the Iraqis while refusing to halt uranium enrichment and accelerating the country's nuclear program.

The Bush administration's policy in the Middle East has been nothing short of a disaster. There have been no consequences for him for all the problems he has caused there. Instead he will leave office and leave it all for someone else to clean up.

Here’s my question to you: What should the next president do about the ongoing crises in the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jeff from Galena, Missouri writes:
Well, let's see Jack, I would say they need to: 1) Do what they can to calm the region in the short term. 2) Get all American troops out of the Middle East, not just Iraq, because the simple fact that they are there only inflames the hatred and violence. 3) Turn our country's attention to renewable alternative fuels.

Gary writes:
Turn the international problems over to the organization that we helped create for this purpose, the UN. They couldn't do any worse of a job than we have.

Mary from California writes:
Regardless of what is done, the conflict will always be with us. Their culture is thousands of years entrenched and we will never bend them to our will. The best we can hope for is non-nuclear solutions.

Leffry from Baltimore writes:
I think Obama has this one right. When did talking with your enemies become a bad move? We need to sit down at a table and hammer out these differences.

Ian from Canada writes:
Only one thing you can do to a fire: take away the oxygen. Cut off all aid to any Middle Eastern country (including Israel) and put a cap on import quantities (including oil) until these children pull their collective heads out of their butts and sign a peace agreement. You asked.

Mike from New Orleans writes:
Apparently the Republican nominee plans on bombing Iran and committing U.S. soldiers in Iraq for the next hundred years. That ought to fix everything.


Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (201 Responses)
  1. James D (Cary, NC)

    Follow the money, Jack. Guns and explosives don't magically distribute themselves, and suicide bombers don't do encores. As long as people in poverty can make money for attacking US troops or government police, we'll be bogged down chasing desperate poor people rather than the real movers and shakers running things.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  2. Al Hilton Palmdale, California

    I am hoping eventually we can help the situation in the middle east, although I find it hard to believe that ANY president will have the 'magic wand' to do much. Maybe if we focus more on peace among our own citizens, we would be better equipped to police the rest of the world. We have recent shootings in schools,and even fast food restaurants have become the O.K.Corral. Lets fix our own problems first.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Harry Kirk

    Be fair to the Palestinians, and hold the Israelis' feet to the fire over settlements on the West Bank.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  4. Brian From Fort Mill, S.C.

    The reason we have such a mess in the middle east is the culture clash between East and West.

    Eastern culture stresses close ties to community, strict cultural rules, sometimes at the expense of freedom and liberty.

    Western culture is the exact opposit. Our culture stresses individualism, freedom and liberty at the expense of strict cultural norms. In other words, our society is much looser than theirs is.

    There is one candidate that best understands the Eastern culture, because he still has family there. I'm including Africa as part of this Eastern culture. They also have very close family ties, etc. Remember, Africa is due south of the Middle East.

    Barack Obama understands this very well, and would be sensitive to this when dealing with world leaders from that area. He just may be the perfect bridge between East and West.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:23 pm |
  5. Allan,Cameron Park, Ca.

    Re: the Isreal/Palastinian problem Both Carter and Clinton had the problem nearly solved, they talked to both parties equally. This was reversed by Bush ! and 2. How can you negociate unless you do include both parties? This hate is probably too deeply engrained by both sides to attaain a peace setlement now.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  6. nancy gonzalez

    It seems that everyone we help either becomes our enemy or becomes an ally of our enemy. So here's what I think the next president should do about the mess in the Middle East.

    We should stay home and mind our own business!!!!!!!!! Keep telling it like it is Jack.

    from Nancy in Globe, Arizona

    March 7, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  7. J. Snider

    The next president must first acknowledge that we can't fix everything that is wrong throughout the world by ourselves. The problems in the Middle East have been going on for tousands of years and we aren't going to fix it unilaterally. We must remain firm, however, in our convictions to call for the rest of the world to join us in the fight for human rights and freedom where these values do not exist. We can maximixe our political and economical elements of power while reserving our military power to meet the challenges of securing and protecting our nation rather than forcing change on other cultures. But we must always remain vigilant, and continue to present ourselves as a strong and united nation. If the flaming liberal, weak kneed democrats take office, we might as well go in the back yard and build a bunker.
    John
    Kissimmee, FL

    March 7, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  8. R.Smith

    Stay out of it and deal with all the problems we have at home.Gas prices ,houseing,jobs,resession,Illigal immagrants ,dollar falling should I go on.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  9. Bert, Iowa City, IA

    The next president must take a tougher stand on the Israeli occupation of Palestine. This is a root cause of terrorism. Of course that would be right after he/she ends the US occupation of Iraq. If we resolve these two problems the Middle East will move, with a little help from the rest of the world, toward peace.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  10. James Angel

    First: Try to get Palestinians their own state. Second: cut funding to Israel and try to be mediators to a Palestinian- Israel conflict and push for independence. I have learned that the major facet of terrorism is this Palestinian conflict. Third: meet with leaders and try to push for their own designed democracy. We try to enforce our same democracy which will never work since they have different culture values and beliefs. Fourth: promote wealth distribution through these countries. Rich Oil owners make billions however don’t distribute it efficiently though the broad economy. People are poor and hungry and yet again terrorist groups can hire poor individuals because they need money to provide for their families. Fifth: Public diplomacy like schools with an unbiased education. We need to obtain a better image then we do now if we every want to tackle terrorism groups. If we were an aspiration reference group to the broad majority of middle easterners they would help us get rid these terrorism groups

    March 7, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  11. Allen L Wenger

    Get our troops out and let the people who live there, continue their 1000 year war. It was a mess before we went in and we have made it even worse. We destroyed the infrastucture, shifted the balance of power, and killed a few hundred thousand of them. Mission accomplished, it's time to go home.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Deb in San Antonio, TX

    I think regardless of who ends up with this task/mess that we're in right now, it's going to take a long time, probably a whole period in the Administration (4 -8 years) to even get close to cleaning up this mess. The most important goal is to bring our troops back home, where they belong, gradually, of course, but to do it!.

    I've always believed that two heads are better than 1, so maybe between all our present and pass Generals and Admirals, our new president will be able to analyze a new plan to succeed in leaving in a positive way, not just pulling out, but not procrastinating in doing so. Our main focus should be in maintining the security of our country, above any other issues.

    I believe Hillary is ready to take this task.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  13. tco in Virginia

    First, he or she should apologize for the ignorance of former President W. America did not endorse a "crusade." That was W's failed vision. Second, make it clear we want to talk with our Arab brothers and sisters, to find common ground, and to see what America can do to help achieve peace in the region. Third, if they tell us to get out, we should get out as quickly as possible while still extending the olive branch and keeping the door open for future negotiations. Fourth, make it clear we want Bin Laden and we need their help to bring him to justice for the 9/11 attacks on America. W dropped the ball. Do whatever it takes but keep focused on Bin Laden and do not divert our resources so that Bush/Cheney and their rich friends can make more money. Finally, I suggest we offer a trade: George W. Bush for Bin Laden for crimes to be tried before the World Court, a place where Bush can't pardon himself.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Anne, Detroit

    Get personally involved and work hard at it, like President Clinton and President Carter did.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  15. Kevin in Clearwater

    The US needs to reinstate it's position as a nation of diplomacy. The next leader is going to have to try to repair our credibility and prove that the US can reach out to world leaders and restore faith across the globe that we do not rush hastily into military actions without exhausting all avenues of diplomatic resolution prior to confrontation.

    I have grown up during Viet Nam, witnessed the dissolution of the Soviet Union and seen China move from a country that the US would have no involvement to a nation that now produces most of our household products. Throughout this entire time, there has been unrest in the middle-east. I believe that history has proven, as Carter brought Israel and Egypt into discussions of peace, that we will be best served by promoting resolution over confrontation.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:43 pm |
  16. W B in Las Vegas

    just get the hell out and leave them to themselves. since WWII everytime the United States has gotten involved in the Middle East we have come away with a bloody nose. they are all insane religious fanatics that can't be reasoned with so WHY even TRY?

    I for one have had ENOUGH of being the "WORLD POLICE". it's BANKRUPTING AMERICA. we have enough problems right here in America to worry about without pouring money down the Arabian rathole.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  17. JIM

    the simple solution would be to give iraq 6 to 8 months to get their ducks in line and tell them thay got six to eight months to clean up their mess, pull all troups out of the cities and create a human barricade on the primetersof iraq and let nobody in or out if they cannot clean up their own mess how would we be expected to do it for them.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:45 pm |
  18. Vickie

    JACK this is a good question for the news meadia to ask obama to see if he can answer it not the american people who are not running for president,i said obama because clinton would answer it where obama can not,,,,,,,

    March 7, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Jorge from Monterey, California

    First of all the name Clinton will not Help at all!!

    The Only one that can restore our image all over the world is Mr. Barack Obama!!! just with the name! his name means Blessing in arabic!!!! He can be the Blessing that the region needs

    March 7, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  20. Damian

    You know that's not an easy question Jack. But I think the best start to show good will and put in a new leadership here at home. The Democrats will put a new face to America and will decrease our presence there. We need to show we are willing to let them solve their own problems without letting them destroy us or each-other.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:47 pm |
  21. Linda from Spring, Texas

    The best person for the job of mending US foreign relations is no doubt Barak Obama. I say this because he has already signaled he will seek diplomatic relations with countries that have been kept at arms length for to long, right here in our very own hemisphere. I think we can begin repairing America's reputation first, sending diplomatic envoys to our backyard neighbors in Mexico, South America and Canada, and then work outward.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  22. Kevin- Webster, MA

    Jack, You don't get it. If I had that answer I would have a cabinet position and wouldn't have the time to be here answering your questions.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  23. Dave Brooklyn, NY

    We need to get out of the region and stop pandering to Israel’s every whim and demand for money. It infuriates the Arabs.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  24. G. D. Moore

    The President must first set a diplomatic table using a long-term change agenda, and get out of crisis mode. Second, the USA must position itself to support regional initiatives in a positive manner. We set the table, invite the players, and be supportive, and get out of the business of forcing our solutions on other cultures. Third, we need to accomplish North American energy independence, and uncouple ourselves from dependence on Middle East oil. Last, we need to bring the UN into Iraq, and get our military out. If there is a military problem, it is and always has been in Central Asia, in Pakistan, not in the Middle East.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Joe in DE

    With integrity and candor. Listen to thosedirectly involved and encourage them to settle.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  26. Joy-Morrisville, NC

    Bring our troops home for beginners! Who knows if this mess from the Bush administration can be cleaned up by any president, however, leaving our troops in Iraq isn't the answer.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  27. John from Chicago

    I am an Iraq war veteran and from my experience the best way to solve the problem in the middle east is to leave. simple as that. Cut off all aid and then see what happens. They have been fighting each other for centuries and we will never understand it or stop it.

    Let them fight their own battles and lets get off the foreign oil so we dont need them anymore. lets stop making them rich and invest in our own country.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  28. Charnie

    It would kill me to see Hillary become our president. She is a liar and she will do anything to win this thing. Hillary knew she was going to run for president a long time ago. That's why she didn't leave her husband. She wanted to use him for her own purpose. That's what she is going to do to the country too. The Clintons behavior make me lose all respect for them.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  29. Mark - Gilbert, AZ

    I would cut and run Jack. There's no way we can have a permanent influence on another country unless we permanently occupy their territory and keep forcing our propaganda down their throats.

    If we were occupied in the US, I know there would be lots of fighting back and it would be bloody, just as it has been in Iraq. Save as many American lives as you can now, get out, and focus on domestic security. Let everyone else duke it out amongst themselves.

    March 7, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  30. kb from Iowa

    Maybe its time for the US to start worrying about strengthening our country instead of trying to cure the ails of the middle east. Build up our military to protect us. Our addiction to foreign oil make us vulnerable so put all our resources in alternatives to break this hold. Both of those scenerios will put Americans to work and strengthen the economy. We cannot control crisis in the middle east...its been there as far back as jesus...but we can control how a crisis will affect the US with a more proactive, in house, approach.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  31. Captain Noah , Magical Arc , Pa

    Madame President we have a situation ? the next President will need industrial sized mopps to clean up the mess left by Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rummy administration. a useful tool might be to hire Louis Farakhan and his Flaming Farsi's for the Presidential Inaugural Ball. short of genocide you can't unring the bell in Iraq or Afghanistan... like chinese handcuffs pulling out will only tighten the grip .

    Captain Noah , Magical Arc , Pa

    March 7, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  32. Ted Fort Worth

    Stay out of the fray unless we are asked by them to come help. They have been pitching rocks at each other for generations and we have no business trying to stop them. The good old Usa is in a cess pool and the next president will have to come up with a way to get us back on its feet. I am tired of paying over $3.00 for a gallon of milk. Give us a break and not a measly $300.00 tax rebate check.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  33. Chuck in Eugene Oregon

    How do you say it... do a tactical retreat. Pull all our troops out of any area of conflict. Take the political leaders of the waring countries, put them in a arena with no way out and have them duke it out or talk it out until it is settled. Then abide by that settlement. As for the rest of our military forces cut those forces all areas by 50 to 90%. The reality is that if we want the option to wage war we do not need to have thousands but a mere hand full there to say our forces were attacked.
    Silly isnt it. The reality is we need to stay out of the business of other countries unless or assistance is specifically requested and that cost paid for by the requesting countries.

    No matter how you spin it, Our Government needs to focus on the problems here at home. They need to clean house here first befor worring about what is happening out side our borders.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  34. Kirk (Apple Valley, MN)

    Which crises are you referring to? The Iraq Debacle? The Israeli-Palestine continuing mini-war? The Iran nuclear debate? The resurgence of al Qaeda? John McCain isn't going to resolve any of these since he is a warrior. Obama isn't going to resolve any of these because he is a dreamer. Hillary is the only candidate that can resolve these problems using diplomacy which the Bush administration has throughly trashed the past 7 plus years. It will take awhile for Hillary to re-establish this country as more diplomatic than armed enforcer, but when she does, then we will start to see movement towards a more peaceful Middle East. Probably by the beginning of her second term in office.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  35. Michael

    I'm entirely confident that the leader of pledged delegates will represent the winner. It's not a perfect system, but the leader demonstrates that they can survive the system. 2000 taught us that there is more to the popular vote.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  36. Amy in Woodstock, NY

    To combat this ongoing crises in the Middle East is to stop being in denial about the Palestinian disenfranchisement. I do understand Israel is our ally and must be protected. But as a nation that believes in justice and democracy, we can not keep turning a blind eye on the Palestinian problem. It needs to be resolved. The entire world knows this is the core of the ongoing Middle East problem.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  37. Les Young Oklahoma

    I think we have to deal evenly with both sides we need to quit siding with one side are the other. We messed it up when we told the Palestinians to elect their own leaders but then we would not accept who they elected. Some time you get what you ask for.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  38. MIKE ADKINS,CHARLOTTE,NC

    the next president should simply extend their right arm, raise their middle finger and say adios...you're on your own. don't call us, we'll call you and by the way, you owe us a trillion dollars worth of oil.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  39. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    God now, He keeps telling us to go bomb people who are oppressors. But Allah keeps telling his people to Jihad against anyone who bombs them or claims their Allah-given land. That, in turn, pisses Jehovah off since He promised land to His people, too. Did I miss any dieties at work there in the Middle East?

    I am afraid that all of my solutions would simply alienate one or t'other of them there dieties - oh, they's the same Being, you say? Jesus! Oh, well, back to diplomacy.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  40. Marcus mt.olive

    STOP ALL AID TO THE MIDDLE EAST;IF THE USA CAN NOT STOP THE VIOLENCE AT LEAST WE CAN STOP PAYING FOR IT;

    March 7, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  41. Dan Dallas, TX

    The next President needs to recognize that the Middle East is not going to be stable at the end of his or her presidency. The President needs to understand that there is no quick fix and that eight years from now the Middle East is still going to be a violent place. The best thing the President can do is to help establish and solidify institutions and norms that may lead to more peaceful and rational conflict and resolution than what exists now.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  42. MIchael "C" in Lorton

    The next President needs to exepedite and resolve the conflict as soon as possible. War is a big business for some and a tragedy for others...it only produces armies of disable individuals; armies of mourners; and armies of theives.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  43. Randy Porter Mo.

    Not by sitting down for a happy go lucky lunch date. Most of these people hate our guts. Not because of George Bush, but because of the things we believe in as a country, our all to much forgotten about constitution, and our right to worship however we want to. The next President needs to protect our interest in the region, protect and preserve our allies, stay out of the ethnic cleansing business and don`t take any --. Put our millitary back where it was before Clinton cut it down to the size of a Boy Scout troop. Show the strength that the U.S. used to be known and respected for. Not make any deals of any kind, especially trade deals with ant terrorist states. Have massive millitary might in reserve, so we will not be a future target of terrorism. Stop trying to force Democracy on people who don`t want it.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  44. L.M.,Arizona

    First we start a energy program that gets us off the dependcy of oil like we should have done in the 70s. Then we start a policy of let them solve there own problems that includes stop financing Israel's war machine.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  45. Keith

    What should the next president do about the ongoing crises in the Middle East?

    The EXACT opposite of what Bubya has done.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  46. Tim

    Here's a thought, let the Middle East care for themselves (it's about time they did) and let our next president concern themselves with our country. We Americans are sick and tired of worrying about the Middle East. Israel is just as much to blame as anyone.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  47. James in Cape Coral, FL

    Jack,
    Get the hell out of Iraq to start. Middle Eastern states see us as a big bully. And anyone who's ever been bullied knows you don't forget that easy. If the next President stops trying to police the world and starts taking care of America it might go a long way towards removing that bully label.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm |
  48. Mike S., New Orleans, Louisiana

    Apparently the Republican nominee plans on bombing Iran and committing U.S. soldiers in Iraq for the next hundred years. That ought to fix everything.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  49. Richard Sternagel

    Jack, the next President needs to familiarize himself/herself with the religious passion that drives the Middle East in its culture,violence, and its forms of government! Only with a total understanding of these dynamics,can the USA offer a dialogue that could lead to peace hopefully.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:14 pm |
  50. David in Raleigh, NC

    The hatreds go back too many generations to end now. Every American President who's tried to fix the problem has failed because of the deep hatreds between parties in the Middle East. Best advice for the next President is to stay out of the fight and let the people who live in the Middle East deal with fixing the problem.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:18 pm |
  51. Paul, Michigan

    The next President needs to begin by regaining respect in the World. The current president has basically been and isoaltionist who has created so much hatred and enemies in the last 7 years that the next President needs to some major damage control and regain those allies that America has lost. It's alot more than the Middle East that doesn't like America and making allies is the number one defense for our Homeland Security. Making enemies, like the Republican Party has been so successful at, will take our country downhill faster then a snowsled on ice.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  52. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    After seeing Iran's Ahmadinejad walk freely through the streets of Iraq and Iraq's Prime Minister Malaki lay out the welcome mat for him, that's enough for any American to say, it's time to go.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  53. Jerry

    Jack

    Just go ask Hillary, she's had 35 years experience in just about

    everything, or was Bill the President of the United States?

    Jerry
    Roselle, Illinois

    March 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  54. chuck cornett

    Jack, I think he should arrange to gather the heads of these nations together and have a peace summit at least this would be a start, next he needs to apologize for the non-actions of the past administration but before any of this he should ask the nation to pray for Gods intervention at this summit.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  55. Ruby Coria, LA. CA.

    Jack, they will self destruct, the drug they harvest will kill them and the civil war will kill more, we helped by destroying their land and people. The next president should play defense now, by rebulding America and the intelligence we need so bad. Secure the borders would be a small start.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  56. California Independent

    One of the candidates heads a committee that develops these policies, why don't you ask him? No meetings you say? Never mind.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  57. Charles from Hull, Qc

    The next president will continue in a gray zone of perpetual war.
    What the next president should do, begin with withdrawing troops from military bases outside of Iraq and Afghanistan, as they will require more time and effort to withdraw. All nations must deal with their own issues! Americans would appreciate an armed force of foreing origin to occupy its territory...

    I know this as I know myself...The president must protect life, liberty and the pursuite of happyness. The presidents of the United States of Amercica, have not...can not...and will not, they have failed the people, they have served the Lord, whom they call Master.

    Peace is the unending strugle against violence...

    March 7, 2008 at 3:28 pm |
  58. Beth from Michigan

    We should talk to them. Talk to them all. Not ride in on our high horse with a lot of demands, but just listen to what they have to say. If possible, send some Amirican Islanic diplomats. They might be able to bring a fresh perspective.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  59. Bill, Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    One thing he that he should not do is to send troops. Tried to help get peace talks started but other than at stay the hell out of it.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  60. Brett Milam

    The Middle East has been in crisis for centuries. Many Western countries have tried to tackled the crisis and have failed. The United States will be no different. The next President should just leave it alone.

    Brett
    Cincinnati, Ohio

    March 7, 2008 at 3:31 pm |
  61. Tom, Y-town, OH

    First of all the next president should:
    #1) Make sure he/she is Barack Obama; if it's not Barack himself then she should / will think like him as it's the only way out of this mess.
    #2) Handle it the way Obama said he would during the campaign....
    sit down with ALL those who are causing dissention and begin to iron things out in give and take peaceful negotiations that was given forethought through much preparation.
    #3) Remember......blessed are the peacemakers for they WILL inherit the earth.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  62. Dawn Starr

    McCain, Hillary and Bush for that matter think it would not be wise to talk with our enemies. They’re right! THEY shouldn’t! Obama however has a way with words that the whole world loves and if anyone can bring about peace and friendship with the United States, he can.

    Dawn
    Portland, OR

    March 7, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  63. George Wilson

    Send Jack Cafferty to solve the problems. He sees all, and hears all, says way too much, and has all the answers. Just maybe with him there we want have him to put up with on CNN, and I am sure he will do a great job.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  64. joan

    First of all, the next president should have the courage to meet the enemy face to face. In the words of Winston Churchill 'It is better to jaw-jaw than war war. (He should know)

    March 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  65. Terry from North Carolina

    Jack
    These are the type of questions the canidates should be answering instead of throwing rocks at each other. Unfortunately the next president has to jump into this one with both feet because this issue aint going away anytime soon, and will take our involvment to resolve.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  66. Amnesty is Treason

    "SHUT THE HELL UP" best advice someone gave me when i said something i know nothing about!

    March 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm |
  67. Sharon, Indiana

    The policy changes in the Middle East required for the next president is a very difficult question. As an independent, I watched both the Democratic and Republican debates, and it is obvious that there are so called experts who call for vastly different approaches.

    We appear to be over taxing our military, to the point where we may not be fully able to address any unexpected events. After the visit of the Iranian President to Iraq, I get the distinct impression that if we withdraw our troops, Iran will step in to take control.

    It almost seems as though we have gotten ourselves in a lose, lose situation - we lose if we stay in, and we lose if we leave. That would seem to call for a greater need for diplomacy, and the need to ensure that troop deployments in both Iraq and Afganistan are carefully considered and balanced, as it doesn't appear as though we have any troops to spare. We also need to re-evaluate our policies to make sure we are not unintentionally fueling the conflicts.

    At the end of the day, I think voters are going to get their pants scared off during the general election again, and they'll probably flock to the candidate with the most military experience, which will most likely be McCain (although I don't currently support him, I think there is a good chance that will happen).

    March 7, 2008 at 3:41 pm |
  68. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    Obama's reversing Bush's inflammatory acts like the invasion of Iraq will set the stage for peace talks.

    Negotiating with the peoples' leaders rather than puppets we prop up and announce are the political leaders is the only way forward. Not just allowing an honest Palestinian vote, but honoring the outcome is the American way.

    The king and Queen of Jordan have been so right about everything for so many years that we would only continue to embarrass ourselves to continue to ignore their advice.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  69. Brian - Trinidad

    The next President is going to have to convince those Middle East states that are sitting on the sidelines that their safety and sovereignity will be at risk if they continue to provide financial and logistical support for the numerous factions, such as Al-Queda,Hamas,etc. We have to get the oil from non-violent countries, Canada,Venezuela,Mexico,etc instead of the Middle East and stop using our military as bodyguards for those corrupt sheikdoms such as Saudi Arabia, Dubai, etc. Let them feel the heat for a change and you'll see how quickly they stop supporting terrorism.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:43 pm |
  70. Vinnie Vino

    Jack,
    To start we have to talk to people face to face, freinds or foes, in order to workout any deals for peace or we can just this nuke the middle east off the face of the earth, before they nuke America...

    C.I., New York

    March 7, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  71. vikki from VT

    concentrate on educating and giving voice to the women. they are the ones who can stop their children from becoming baseless haters. they control the population rate ya know.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  72. Bill Vorbeck

    Jack

    The sooner we pull the troops to sooner they will settle their own problems. It may turn out to be a blood bath but it will be their, their blood and treasure, not our it's their decision to make. They'll have no one to blame but themselves.

    There is no way a person can deal intelegently with a religions fanatic's, and they are, in my view religious fanatics. I don't believe Ala wanted them to fight among themselves.

    Bill Vorbeck

    March 7, 2008 at 3:49 pm |
  73. Nora. South Texas

    I don't know Jack, why don't you ask McClinton, she says her and John have all the experience and all the answers.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:50 pm |
  74. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    To begin with, stop fanning the flames by continuing to occupy one of the countries there. The next president could offer to broker peace plans and assist in the process but it is up to the middle eastern countries to solve their own problems. They have had a couple of thousand years to do so and I see little progress so far. I suggest breaking our oil addiction and letting them work things out for themselves.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:52 pm |
  75. Greg from Mechanicsburg, PA

    You forgot to mention Pakistan. Firstly, the next President should stop telling these sovereign nations how to run their country. Secondly, we need to emphasize diplomatic relations with all parties, even those that Bush has labeled as terrorist organizations, so we can work on changing the bombing into talking. Thirdly, we need to pull the bulk of our troops out of Iraq so we can focus on Al-qaida bases wherever they may be. Fourthly, instead of bombing them all to hell, we need to help the people of the region find gainful employment rebuilding their infrastructure.

    March 7, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  76. Candace from MA

    Obama believes that America has a moral and security responsibility to confront Iraq’s humanitarian crisis — two million Iraqis are refugees; two million more are displaced inside their own country. Obama will form an international working group to address this crisis. He will provide at least $2 billion to expand services to Iraqi refugees in neighboring countries, and ensure that Iraqis inside their own country can find a safe-haven. This info. is from BarackObama.com

    March 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  77. Hill Supporter!

    If you'd like to know....go to HillaryClinton.com.....she has all of her plans outlined, including the forgotten Afghanistan.......you'll probably see the same ideas on Obama's web site soon, after he copies Hillary's and pastes them to his site 🙂

    March 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  78. Lenny Bruce , Sagg Harbor , Me

    I think the POPE... POPE BENNIE... IS YOUR MAN... he has the credentials , learned scholar, humanitarian, compassion for fellow man... good morals, a by the BOOK kinda guy...

    Lenny Bruce , Sagg Harbor , Me

    March 7, 2008 at 4:01 pm |
  79. rclendz

    Hillary has the right plan. Not an immediate pull out, but a slow, unannounced pull out every three months. Staying there is not helping us, and pulling out immediately is suicide for our tropps and all of the unarmed contractors and their workers.

    Bobcat
    Philadelphia, PA

    March 7, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  80. CHARLIE

    The next President should observe but out of the middle east as much as possible. Let them take care of their own country ,but be alert to any spill over of "terror' to our country. We have enough problems to take up the President's time for ALL four years. Also, the press should mind our problems at home and help get them solved by reporting agressively about them. This will be a big help to the President.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm |
  81. Arjan Balchandani

    Look what happens when you help others, they sometimes get ahead of you! See Europe and Japan. With its vast economic and intellictual resources and access to space age technology, there is no reason why America should depend on others. The need of the hour is to clip the wings of corporations who are really running this country. Instead of America fighting wars for others, let others fight among themselves and we sell them arms. That way, we keep our defence industries booming at home and get paid as well. And we may have those middle east sheiks riding camels again when nobody wants their oil

    March 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  82. Ed Chapman

    Jack,

    When are the politicians in this country going to get the message that the Middle East crisis will never end in our lifetime, and the next President should stay clear of that mess entirely. This great country of ours has been trying to force democracy down the throats of several countries like Vietnam (58,000 American soldiers killed), and it is about time that the good old USA "Mind it's own business", and stay out of the soviergn affairs of other nations! Our intervention in these countries only results in more Americans getting killed here and oversea's! I know I am asking the impossible, but there are Americans here that need help, and the next President should concentrate on them for a change!!!!!

    Ed Woodbridge, Va.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  83. rclendz

    Why can't Israel and Palestine live in a democratic country that can be renamed Palesrael and Isalestine? With any elected President who is either Israeli or Palestinian and the VP would have to be the opposite. Is there any end in sight for the Israeli-Palestinian problem. I guess we have Balfur, Truman, and other leaders in 1948 who declared that Paelstine is now Israel.
    There is hope in Iran, but only with an Iraq pull-out (in which Hillary has the best plan) and many, many meetings. And we have to push our pseudo-friends, Saudi Arabia to help out with peace talks.

    Good luck to all involved,
    Bob L.
    Philadelphia, PA

    March 7, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  84. Lin

    Send Bill Clinton to broker the peace between Israel and the palestinian people, no matter who the pres is. He almost did it in the 90;s and has a deep knowledge of the situation. We should never forget who our allies are. and I think on that front sen Clinton is clearer

    March 7, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  85. Michael, NY

    How about this: NOT the thing we've been doing for the past 8 years which is going to give us four dollar gas.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:07 pm |
  86. Brian

    Jack the middle east problem will continue regardless of who our President is, primarily because it was created by the west shoving the state of Israel down the throats of the Muslims in 1948. The Palestinians will forever hate the Jews and the western nations( especially Americans) for this. Combined with the fact that the only reason the Muslim nations haven't brought total war against Israel is that the U.S. and Israel would bring nuclear war down on their collective heads. Can you say radioactive oil boys and girls!

    March 7, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  87. Cathy C.

    We should begin diplomatic talks between all parties. Wait and see what happens from those diplomatic talks.

    I think Obama is the right person to represent America. He is a good listener and and has shown he has good judgement.

    I think McCain would not be a good person to represent America because the people in the Mid East would see him the same way they see Bush, arogant ... they will remember that McCain said he doesn't care if the war lasts another 100 years. Something tells all people of all nations want to live in peace and not war.

    I do not think Hillary would be a good person to represent America. Hillary Clinton keeps wanting to say she helped in the Clinton Administration's national security situations. Then that would mean Hillary and President Clinton BOTH told the Sudanese government "NO" when the Sudanese offered to arrest and hand Osama bin Laden over to Clinton in 1993 after bin Laden shot down the Black Hawk helecopter in Mogadishu.

    Hillary Clinton's claims regarding her involvement in negotiating peace in North Ireland and open borders in Kosovo leave disturbing questions about her honesty.

    Fact is, former Democratic Senate majority leader George Mitchell said Hillary Clinton was NOT involved in any negotiations. All she did was bring in women's groups.

    Fact is, Hillary Clinton did NOT negotiate any open borders for refuges fleeing Kosovo. Fact is, CNN reported at the time that Macedonia reopened its border to Kosovar refugees BEFORE Clinton's visit.

    It is hard for me to have faith that someone who skirts the truth just to get elected would be a good representative of the United States of America.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  88. thelma

    this is what my mom and always taught me .KEEP your nose out of your heighbors business. what not try that. we don't want any other country telling us what to do.......clinton 08....thelma,ky.....

    March 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  89. Phil

    The U.S. President needs to meet with all the leaders in the Middle East, one on one, and win them over. Obviously tailor made for Sen. Obama.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:10 pm |
  90. Karen P

    it's naive to just leave this to one person, the President. It takes Cabinet members, advisors, military leaders, Congress, and TALKS before jumping feet first into the fire. The President has to be a uniter and LEAD not just talk down to people or act alone, just like Bush has done. Obama is the only candidate who has already stated this. Hillary and McCain just talk about "I will do"...what's with this "I" stuff?

    March 7, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  91. john b

    nothing...they've been fighting for 60 years and will still be fighting long after the next president leaves office

    March 7, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  92. doug gengler

    the next president needs to contact the U.N. and say theres a problem in the mideast, FIX IT, and hang up. i am tired of our nations tax dollars going overseas when it needs to be spent here for a fence, roads and the list goes on and on and on...It is way overdue that the rest of the superpowers in this world spend their cash to fix the world. doug in knoxville arkansas

    March 7, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  93. Selma Rhodes

    I think our next president should announce to the world that as of now we are going to mind our own business and allow others to mind theirs. We will still be vigilant of our defense, but we will be more like a porcupine rather than a shark.
    To help focus the attention of all the wonderful diplomats around the world on the problems in the middle east, we should move the UN headquarters to Jerusalem.

    Spokane

    March 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  94. Carmelo, NJ

    The next President should first play the honest broker to the Palestinians-Israeli conflict. Prior to the killing of 8 Israeli by a Palestinian, 120 Palestinians were killed by Israeli troops of which 40 were children which barely made news in the US. The US media should play a fair role in reporting the truth on the ongoing struggle by Palestinians of ending the 40 years of Israel oppressive occupation.
    By being the honest broker of this conflict the US will be perceived by Arabs & Muslim countries in a favorable light and will cut off all support to the extremists who wants to do us harm.
    Second, he or she should withdraw all troops from Iraq and leave to the Iraqis to settle their differences. Did any other country interfere when we were in a civil war?

    March 7, 2008 at 4:13 pm |
  95. Tom from Boston Massachusetts

    Withdraw from Iraq. Invest in Afghanistan to go full force after Al Qaeda like we should have in the first place (doesn't anyone care about Osama Bin Laden anymore?). Stand up to Israel for a change (by threatening to withhold some of the huge sums of money we give them every year) and force them to sit down with the Palestinians and actually create a Palestinian homeland.

    Oh wait a minute, I forgot. There will never be peace in the Middle East – there's simply too much history and dropping Israel into the center of it after WW II sealed that fate.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:14 pm |
  96. steve o, barstow, ca

    Tell that part of the world " America is going to take a nap, you work it out and do not bother telling me how it went."

    March 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  97. char

    the next president should stop blindly supporting israel and start looking into the oppressive control israel has manifested over the decades against the palestinians. to continue to allow israel the power to levy and collect taxes, not to mention withhold monies for a necessary functioning government is idiotic. the u.s. should stand up to israel at the united nations and practice what we use to preach, human rights for all. withhold the 3 billion dollars that we give to israel on a yearly basis.

    montara, ca

    March 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  98. GODWIN FERDINAND

    since we use millitary for all solutions,why dont we allow the isrealis to go in millitarily and finish everything since we cannot support them openly.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  99. Gary D Rhodes

    Will Hilary do anything to win?

    HELLOOOO

    March 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  100. James Appleton

    When the American government decides to correct its one sided policy and enforce the policy of no more expansion into the West Bank by Israel, there will not be a peaceful solution. The original balfour declaration that established Israel in Palestine called for two sovereign states and no confiscation of Palestinian land.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  101. Harry

    Every one in the mideast sees how weak morally, financially and militarily we have become, so all parties think they can easily challenge us.

    We, as americans must think of Iraq as a war, that all americans are making sacrifices for, not just the military and their families. The military has a slogan.. "the military goes to war, america goes to the mall. We don't seem to be going to the mall, so much anymore, so maybe we can focus on the war.

    My memory seems to indicate a large majority of americans were in favor of invading Afghanistan and Iraq. There seems to be a lot of flip flopping by americans, now. There is something immoral about a country's citizens, that they can so easily send people off to die and then go "Ooops, my bad."

    We need to be willing to make the sacrifices similar to the WWII generation. If we are so selfish that we are not willing make some sacrifice for "the cause", then the cause is certainly not worth spending blood for.

    Until we regain the moral high ground, get our economy back on track and regain the strength of the military, we have no business sticking our nose into anybody else's business.

    Harry
    Carlisle, Ky

    March 7, 2008 at 4:26 pm |
  102. Burt

    Jack,
    I liken the warring factions in the Middle East to kids with toys. When the kids start fighting, the parents resolve it by dictating fair solutions. Then, the President should convene an international conference to put in-force the already approved UN resolutions. You should not ask the countries in the area to negotiate, you dictate a fair resolution to everyone. FAIRNESS IS THE SOLUTION FOR EVERYBODY.
    Burt

    March 7, 2008 at 4:27 pm |
  103. Kris Koliwad

    Jack,

    The next American president should take some common sense allproach to the middle east problems: Don't take sides. Treat everyone as equals. PERIOD. Dollar diplomacy is a myth. By the way, has the sovereign "democratic" goverment of Iraq recognized Israel diplomatically? Just curious.

    Kris, CA

    March 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  104. thelma

    don't worry Clinton will be in command. she help take care of it before and shecan handle it when she's the commander in cheif in 08....................thelma, ky.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  105. Jay

    We have to start by bring people together. But lesson learned, bombing people doesn't do that... who woulda thunk?

    March 7, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  106. Kevin Dobies - Albany, NY

    What's our primary interest in the Middle East, Jack? Oil? If we weren't so addicted to the black-gold, we might not be contributing to Middle East violence today. This Iraq War has been going on longer than the second World War. Perhaps we need to return to a pre-WWII policy of non-involvement. The next President could make that happen by reducing our economic dependence on Middle Eastern Oil and pursuing energy independence for the U.S.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  107. independent indy

    Ask Senator Lugar. I believe he's been pushing diplomacy buttons, instead of war based ones. Obviously since we have started this mess, its our duty to help clean it up, but forcing our ways on cultures of the world that will NEVER see it the same is pointless. We need to stop the bleeding of cash into the middle east, and start the healing our own country needs. Could any of the nominees do it? Sure they COULD, but likely we'll be stuck over there, in some capacity, for a very long time. Hillary thinks she has answers, McCain thinks he has answers. Obama isn't giving us answers, because he doesn't know what the questions are until he takes office. I think its extremely wise of him not to lay his neck on the line, when the appropriate questions have not been presented to him. No candidate knows exactly what the questions and problems will be until they step foot into the White House. As a country, we need not be blinded by those who think they already know the questions.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  108. Raphael from NYC

    Jack, the next President should look in the Middle East as who is causing the problems. Israel is our ally and the most stable country in this area; supporting her only lays the groundwork for peace, if our leader also takes a harder line on those arab states which foster terrorism and unrest both in this area and throughout the world. Believe me, Israel prefers peace to see her young people fighting, or to see terrrorism facing all its citizens; the Arab population will believe the same as long as their oppressive governments are not supported by our President.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:33 pm |
  109. Samuel, West Virginia

    We should just re-elected George Bush (McCain) and do the same thing that we have been doing its working just fine. Who needs the rest of the world. We are America!

    Or we could elect a President who hasnt offended the rest of the free world say like Sen. Barack Obama to try and straighten this mess out.

    If you continue to do what you've done in the past you will get the same results.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  110. Leticia Jacksonville, Fl.

    I think the next president should consider our own involvement in some of the turmoil. If we stop playing bodyguard to everyone than maybe they can learn to defend or negotiate for themselves. If we can help, we should, but not take over. Whatever the next president decides to do, we already know what not to do, that is whatever george bush agrees with.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  111. Michael in New Jersey

    Ahh... if only the president had the power of the neuralizer (like the one in both movies of Men in Black) then he could flash the hostile side to make them forget about all this ongoing conflict with the State of Israel and each other, forget about their oil and go back to being harmless agrarians, because we all know that it was the discovery of oil in the Middle East that made them go nuts and hate America and Israel. Too bad you see this handy gadget only in Hollywood.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  112. NELLIE B. CORTLAND,OH

    Hi Jack,

    Simple; Get the hell out !!!

    2000 years, very long memories, wars and broken treaties, have not stop the Middle East problems. Therefor, the U..S.A. is insane thinking we will
    solve the problems of the past, present, or future to come.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  113. Velle In Halifax

    The "mess" in the middle East is not ours to clean up! The factors are many the solutions few.Giving that American security is THE ISSUE...the only American issue then secure America. An economically healthy, border secured, well educated, peacefully engaged, crime controlled America is a strong and secure America. We must not keep being "played" by these rogue governments that seek to weaken America from the inside. When we are soverign, secure, and opperating "in the right" we have allies and UN cooperation. A unified free-world is the way to handle these global criminals. If the "smuggled" Iraqui oil is going mostly to Iran, what will happen when we "pull out". Sanctions....Sanctions....unified sanctions is the way. But that requires the support and cooperation of ALLIES. We cannot be just anothr rogue nation. That is emmenient destruction.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:39 pm |
  114. Annie, Atlanta

    Diplomacy, and keep our noses out of other folks' business.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:40 pm |
  115. Victor James. Gainesville Florida

    John mCcain as the US next president to bring peace to the middle east is tantamount to trying drive around the 50 states in America in flat tire. The Mccain/Bush foreign diplomacy of exclusion will only give rise to more poor popularity of the American national image . Hasn't the mediocrity strategic of misplacement of priority that gloom over the Bush administration mean anything to the Americans? Give me a break!

    March 7, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  116. Terry from: Fayetteville NC

    The new president wil have access to far better information information than we do but I think will show that a lot of people, especially American troops, need to get back on their own side of the fence.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  117. Bruce St Paul MN

    The next president has to find a way tobe a friend to Arabs, a friend to Islam, and an enemy of terrorism. Thousands of years of history suggest that the Arab nations will not be dictated to by foreigners. We can not rule the region. If we really truly sincerely want to help promote peace, we have to listen to the people in the region. Building trust will be the most important and difficult task in the coming years. it will not be done at the end of a rifle.They will never trust Israel if they don't trust the U.S..

    March 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  118. Dan in Chicago, Illinois

    Last I checked, none of these 3 candidates was President of this country yet, let alone, President of the world. Which makes me think, maybe we should just stay out of that whole mess. We've gotten ourselves so entrenched in it and what has it done for us? Those countries are quite capable to making their own decisions. The candidates need to focus on being President of America first.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:45 pm |
  119. Dan in Chicago, Illinois

    Last I checked, none of these 3 candidates was President of this country yet, let alone, President of the world. Which makes me think, maybe we should just stay out of that whole mess. We’ve gotten ourselves so entrenched in it and what has it done for us? Those countries are quite capable of making their own decisions. Maybe the candidates need to focus on being President of America first, and forget this whole imperial attitude.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  120. Ralph Taliercio - Long Island, NY

    My response is the same as it was immediately following 911. If we don't try to understand why someone would act like this, then it is only the very begining of what is to come. McCain endorses a continuation of the horrific policies that got us into Iraq and estranged us from most of the rest of the world. By how she's run her campaign Clinton seems unencumbered by morality. Obama speaks of inclusion and reaching out.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  121. Gary

    Turn the international problems over to the organization that we helped create for this purpose, the UN. They couldn't do any worse of a job than we have.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:48 pm |
  122. Gigi in Alabama

    First of all they need to get the Middle East Peace Talks going in earnest. Up until this last year, George Bush has put it on the back burner along with North Korea and just forgot about them. Then give the Iraqi's an untimatum to get their act together and mean it. We have mollycoddled them for too long.
    Get our young men and women out of there and let Iraq take care of their own country for a change. With our troops out of there, they would have to take care of business.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:49 pm |
  123. Len, Colorado

    The next president needs to understand the cultural differences and their history and be willing to work hard to solve problems. Not like this administration. Not all countries can become westernized...we must understand their culture and respect their culture...Not wage war.
    The next president needs to bring people together and work with the UN and be a positive influence instead of a negative influence.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:50 pm |
  124. Tim in WV

    Jack,

    The next President needs to allow the military to do a phased removal of troops from Iraq and let the Iraqi's start standing on their own feet. But there needs to be more focus on the Afganistan – Pakistan border. Right now the Replubican roles in Iraq, make them seem more like Democrats, by supporting social programs and using more government, but it's just not in the U.S. and its not for American people. To me, this is simply an Iraqi welfare system that we are paying for.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:51 pm |
  125. Dan (Chandler, AZ)

    The new president must appoint a well-seasoned Secretary of State that is adept at negotiation and problem-solving – not a Secretary of State that is short-sighted and close-minded as we have now. Along with that, the new president must put a strong focus on alternative energy and fuels so that we are no longer dependent on foreign (read: Mideast) oil. Once that happens, let them do whatever they want to each other, because there will no longer be a reason for us to get involved. They will have to figure it out for themselves. Then we can finally focus on domestic issues.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  126. Jeff, Galena, MO

    Well let's see Jack, I would say they need to 1.) Do what they can to calm the region in the short term. 2.) Get all American troops out of the Middle East, not just Iraq, because the simple fact that they are there only inflames the hatred and violence. and 3.) Turn our country's attention to renewable alternative fuels.

    If G.W.Bush, or anyone for that matter, thinks they are going to be the "Great Peace Bringer" to the Middle East is sadly mistaken. They have been fighting over there for over 2300 years and no person or nation will ever truly stop it. A puny little peace treaty that lasts a decade or so is the best anyone could hope for and they need to realize that "peace is fleeting" at best in that part of the world.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  127. Mary, CA

    Regardless of what is done, the conflict will always be with us. Their culture is thousands of years entrenched and we will never bend them to our will. The best we can hope for is non-nuclear solutions.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  128. Elinor

    I hope the Democratic party will follow the lead of the pledged delegates wherever that takes them. For the first time in years, voter turn out has been exploding. The last thing we need is a back room deal to determine who is the nominee of the Democratic Party. Howard Dean initiated a 50-state strategy, and all 50 states should have a chance to vote, but Fla and Mi should hurry up, because someone is going to be unhappy, and the last thing we need going into the election is charges of voter fraud.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:54 pm |
  129. Josh, Winter Park, FL

    Simple, pull the troops out, stop being the worlds police and befriend all of those nations. Not an alliance but create free trade. No alliances and no enemies. Free trade with all. Hasn't anyone read the constitution?

    March 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  130. john marlton nj

    The next President should move all our troops in Iraq to Israel. Once there we give notice and demand that within one week all Israeli insurgents occupying Gaza and West Bank settlements must immediately leave and return the land to the Palestinians. If Israel does not comply our US troops will, with force if necessary, move the settlers out of Palestinian lands. We would also make it perfectly clear that any attempt to stop or harm American Troops would be an act of war. Frankly, our position should be we believe Israel should be a state in which Jewish people may live, in harmony with Palestinians, Catholics, and anyone else, but not a Jewish State which excludes all others.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  131. Amy from Granite Bay, CA

    Dear Candidates,

    Conflict in the Middle East is nothing new. Take the lead from Moses: Just throw the tablets down and go back up the mountain. Let God sort it out.

    March 7, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  132. James Richard

    It doesn't matter what we think. We're going to continue with these silly, mindless foreign occupations (only in countries with smaller armies, of course) no matter who the next president is. 2008 was our chance to turn this country around, and America blew it. That's right, I said it.

    Rather than choosing their candidates based on records and platforms, Americans are voting for those who can give the best speeches and say the word change the most times. I can't wait until the next president fails to live up to their expectations, and I get to say "I told you so".

    March 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  133. Donna in ID

    Since we have more oil in this country than they do we should start using it then we don't need them. Start using our own supplys and stop doing business with them. If they decide to keep up the terrorist activity against us and our alies then we hopefully would have a President and Congress with enough guts to do a "Harry Truman".

    March 7, 2008 at 5:02 pm |
  134. Leffry - Baltimore, MD

    I think Obama has this one right. When did talking with your enemies become bad move? We need to sit down at a table and hammer out these differences. Too often we want the president to act as if he is in the Wild Wild West. This explains Bush's actions in the Middle East. Let's pretend we are civil and talk with people and discuss the issues at hand and there just might be a peaceful solution.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:03 pm |
  135. Karen

    I say again, Jack, since when does ANY political party have the right to dispute a state legislature??

    March 7, 2008 at 5:04 pm |
  136. Karen

    TALK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  137. Paulette Dallas,PA

    Hi Jack! In the early 1970's the Chair of my college History Dept. warned us undergrads that the next "hot spot" will be the middle east. This has been a problem from biblical times and will most likely remain a trouble spot for years to come. The next President should try to mediate amongst those countries and not jump in and commit American lives or dollars. Rather than sanctions maybe the velvet glove will work wonders. Gentle persuasion rather than bullying may be the answer. Bush has been clubbing anyone disagreeing with him with the big stick for the last six years and the only result is loss of many lives and dollars and the collapse of the American economy. Let's try diplomacy – what the hell!!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  138. Ron, Toronto

    The next administration needs to have a constant effort at solving the problems in the Middle East, not the half-hearted, periodical efforts so far. That means having a high profile U.S. Middle East envoy to work alongside Tony Blair.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  139. Ashley Freeman, Chattanooga, TN

    I think the next president really needs to get our troops out of there. They're smack-dab in the middle of a civil war. A CIVIL WAR. Tell me again why we're in Iraq? Oh yeah! Weapons of Mass Delusion. I forgot.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  140. Joe

    Jack, we should ask the superdelegates, it seems to me they decide everything in the end.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  141. darlene

    Yes, and I am sure Obama would have the right answers. Hillary needs to know it is her husband we love and trust and the canidate that takes his attributes to the next level is Obama. Just because she was married to him doesn't mean she is qualified to be president. She just doesn't have IT.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  142. Mary

    Jack, Very simple, GET OUT!, they don't want us there.

    Mary Asheville NC

    March 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  143. Pat

    Hopefully, it will be Senator (President) Hillary in the Whitehouse and she should hire Secretary Albright tand Secretary Colin Powell to deal with the Middle East. They are great Foreign Diplomats!!!

    Pat – Sunrise, FL

    March 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  144. Dennis A Dull

    Pray!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  145. mike

    Jack;
    real simple;;;mind our own buisness....PERIOD

    March 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  146. Nick from Florida

    The Next President should keep the troops in Iraq we have made a lot of progress over their and we don't want to loose that progress

    March 7, 2008 at 5:13 pm |
  147. Mrs. Joe Richard

    I think that the only way to solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem is for some neutral party to draw a line and make one side the State of Palestine and the other side the State of Israel, with Jerusalem belonging to both of them, and the sooner the better.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  148. Richard P.

    I think one of the first things the next president should do in the middle east is to fix the mess that the Bush Administration created in the first place. We have been in Iraq far longer than what was required.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  149. Anthony A

    The next president should leave the middle east alone, let them solve their problems, if they threaten us we should act if not leave them alone!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  150. Doug

    Our next President should put the needs of our America ahead of the needs of the Middle East..... that would be a "change" worth fighting for.

    Bloomfield, NJ

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  151. Neale

    The next US President has to pass the Middle East problems to the United Nation and its members have solve this 60 years problem or President Carter has to finish what he started.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  152. Cody Weber

    Nothing... The best thing we can do in the middle east is nothing. We have done a good job at screwing it up lets see if they can do any better on their own. No troops. No Aid. No intervention.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  153. Brad

    Jack, if I had any idea how we could possibly clean up this mess, I'd be running for president myself.

    Chicago, IL

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  154. Vaheh from Cali

    Jack, the next president needs to do a whole lot to somehow mend our relationships in the middle east. We need to stop being the world police and calling everything a crisis, the truth is that we benefit more when we are allies with countries in the Middle East than when we call them enemies.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Irene Blaymore

    The next president of the United States should state to the world that we will financially and politically support any retalitations and proactive measures taken against them by Israel.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  156. Janice Phelps Williams

    The best way to "help" others is to be strong ourselves. Strengthen our economy, our education and health care system, our justice system... Invest in business, education, development, infrastructure. Figure out what to do about immigration. Increase diplomatic efforts. Strengthen the dollar.

    Be a society so great, so strong, so proud and prudent that young people in other countries will dream of one day living in the U.S. And other governments will look to model their system on ours.

    Do the right thing. Earn respect. Be strong and faithful at home.
    Come up with a "how we treat our enemies" and "how we treat corrupt rulers" plan and make it across the board and equal. But don't include invasion. Work within the UN system to force unjust rulers to change.

    But I'm just a middleaged woman in Ohio. How many generations back would I have to go to find there was peace in the Middle East? Can we see a report somewhere on the effectiveness of US "help" there in the past?

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  157. Ian, Canada

    Only one thing you can do to a fire. Take away the oxygen. Cut off all aid to any middle eastern country (including Israel) put a cap on import quantities (including oil) until these children pull their collective heads out of their butts and sign a peace agreement. You asked.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  158. Aaron S

    First off George Bush is just a dumb butt! I would say the other word but I know you can't read that over the air. The next president will have there work cut out for them, personaly I think George Bush should have to pay with some of his own money! I also feel the only one that can do anything about it will be Hillary Clinton, Obama just does not have the know how to do it! And McCain just wants to stay so give me a break. Afganistain, not Iraq!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  159. josta

    we had seven years of stubbornnes, maybe it is time to have a diffrent policy in the White house and Obama comes to mind. he knows how it is to be the underdog, just like most other countries feel. they feel dominated by the US and if we believe in democratic solutions, that means bring everybody to the table and talk freely and often. That is not what we are doiing now, we say we want to spread democracy, but we do not act like that in the world. The policy right now is, if we do not like someone, he will not have a seat on the democratic table unless we can profit from that relationship.That is not democracy that is narrow mindedness.
    Curacao

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  160. jeff lewis

    With the quagmire that is the middle ease, I feel the next president SHOULD establish timetables for the Iraqi government and set drawdown dates. Since there are troops in the middle east, as troops are pulled home, a gradual increase should take place in afghanistan, where the real threat still exists. Since dubya got us in a war that should never have been started, if we completely withdraw I fee it would have severe effects. I hope a democrat gets the oval office and maybe we can move ahead instead of being stuck.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  161. Jennifer

    Jack, the only thing the next president should be concerned with is fixing the problems of this country before we go meddle in other countries again. Our economy is in shambles, our infrastructure is falling apart, and people are losing everything they have. The other members of the UN should worry about things for a while.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  162. Eric, California

    She, the next president, needs to take our reliance off foreign oil (especially in the Middle East) and GET OUT OF THERE!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:15 pm |
  163. rob moffitt

    There is only one solution Jack, We need to clone Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Albert Einstein, FDR, and John Wayne. Thats alot of compassion and intelligence and if that doesnt work We Have the DUKE on our side. Telford PA

    March 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  164. James M.

    Simple. Get out and stay out. Oh, and stop funding either of this entrenched dipsticks.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  165. Marvin Elster

    Just do everything that Bush didn't do, and don't do what he did. By the way, why is it that an artificial deadline for ending the Iraq war is unacceptable to the president, but an artificial deadline (to fit his tenure in office) IS acceptable for bringing about an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement?

    March 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  166. Barbara

    A President should have the EXPERIENCE to know when we are in the wrong place at the wrong time! It does not make any difference if the president is a woman, a 71 yrs old man, or a man who is half black. It is EXPERIENCE and a good since of judgement that will clean up the BUSH MESS. The US has never attacked another country without being attacked first. Bush should be Impeached before leaving office. Just to save face in the Middle East.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  167. jeff lewis

    better yet, why not try and get our middle eastern allies involved and switch from a US occupation to a middle eastern coalition to help the iraqis?

    March 7, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  168. Ram

    Get out of Iraq. Let them settle their problems created by US.We had no business to go there. Isreal, palestanian issue can be negotiated with both patries willing to compromise. we can help.
    Ram
    La Verne, California

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  169. Will A., New Mexico

    Our government continues to try to fix conflicts older than our own country and seldom defer to the United Nations. When we are unable to resolve so many issues with our own infrastructure, how can we look to solve another country's. My biggest foreign policy concern is China. Taiwan has been seeking our assistance in simply supporting a UN bid, yet our Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice continue to pander to the bullying of what many consider our biggest threat. We supported Kosovo, we "liberated" Iraq. How about assisting someone who actually asks for our support?

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  170. Worried Al

    The next president has to be Hillary. She cleaned house after the first Bush. Now she has to do it again. She'll problably need an entire cleaning service to do the job.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  171. Stuart Brinkley

    It seems like the best thing for the next president to do is to pull every last troop we have out of the region with some exceptions for Israel and let the situation work itself out without us standing in between fighting factions. The only thing keeping us in the region are the oil resources, but I think the next president would be doing us a favor by forcing us into finding more stable alternatives with pulling out our troops in the region. From now on our presidents should act with world consensus, which means listening to the U.N. from time to time.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  172. Vince - Pasadena, TX

    The next president should undo the harm Bushco has done. Remove our troops from Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Replace them with a temporary UN force. Coordinate with Iraqi armed forces by leaving advisors in Iraq to fight remaining insurgents. Provide some money to Iraq to continue rebuidling infrastructure with Iraqi contractors and provide funding for ongoing security forces.

    Start humanitarian aid to all of the middle east nations that need it. Begin overtly to provide money and assistance to the Palestinians. Once we start helping these people, they might start hating us alot less.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  173. John

    Jack,
    There is no way that we as a country can walk away from the area because it is really a nowin situation. Until there are more moderate governments in the Middle East, it will be difficult to come to a reasonable conclusion. A foreign policy that holds sovereign governments more accountable is maybe one small step that we can hope for .
    John R

    March 7, 2008 at 5:17 pm |
  174. M. Fisher, Columbus, OH

    Whoever the next President is, he/she should begin to talk with all the players in the middle east and try to understand their perspective on how they can relate to each other. It should be a looked at as a learning experience for the new US President since the current President has not learned anything about those issues and does not want to understand anyone's point of view but his own. All the sides in the conflicts in the middle east deserve respect and the ability to clearly state their reasons for their point of view even if it is not what we want to hear. Then all sides should be encouraged, with both carrots and sticks, to compromise on solutions to the many problems. Perhaps with sincere listening and understanding by our government something can be done to solve these problems. We certainly haven't accomplished anything with our sanctions and nasty name calling.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:18 pm |
  175. Joel Sartoris

    The next president should ensure our country becomes energy independent of the middle east and let the chips fall where they may as regards the perpetual conflict(s) there.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:19 pm |
  176. Victoria Deneroff

    Nothing will change in the Middle East until there is one SECULAR state in Israel/Palestine. For 60 years there have been continuing tit-for-tat responses, Israelis retaliating for Arab (currently Hamas & Hezbollah) provocation retaliating for Israeli reprisals. The fact is that Israelis grabbed Palestinian land in the 1940's, they continue to occupy Arab territory they confiscated after the 6-day war. The toll on the psyche of continual warfare shows in the way both Israelis and Palestinians have set aside the commandments to seek love, peace and justice which are core values of both Judaism and Islam. Both use religion as a way to justify intolerable cruelty. The experience of America would be most valuable to the people of Palestine/Israel: Separate religion and politics.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  177. Ryan, Charlottesville VA

    The next president should find a suitable alternative to oil for providing our energy needs and let the middle east sort out their own problems. The US has too long been reliant upon stability in a inherently unstable region to continue our use of cheap oil. The possibility of lower oil prices and stability in the middle east seems distant.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:20 pm |
  178. Chuck

    Gee whiz Jack, let's think outside the box! Maybe actually talking to these people might help! We've had over seven years of the US sitting back trying its hand at nation building. McCain will deliver more of the same, and Hillary is right behind (after all Jack, Hillary bellows about how she and John have "experience.") Obama's concept of diplomacy, actually talking to these people scares the establishment to death. He's America's last best hope.
    Chuck

    March 7, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  179. Ted

    What should we do? Stay out of the mess. We have countless problems here in the USA that need fixing. Remember the saying, "Take care of #1 first"? That should fully apply in this case. It's high time our elected officials end the turning of their backs to the people of this nation and face us, listen to us, and do what is right: fix this country's ailments!

    If we stop policing the world and keep our nose out of other nations' affairs, I truly believe we'll be safer than we can ever imagine.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  180. Ari Hoffman, Orlando, FL

    To be perfectly honest, I am not convinced there is anything we can do. We've seen the hard way what exactly happens when you try and change an entire region's way of living and thinking. There will always be violence so long as people can be inspired to act so extremely on their fundamental beliefs. President Bush's policies have done nothing but pour kerosene on an already raging inferno. We talk so much about our own national security but then immediately compromise it by fueling the mentality with undiplomatic doctrines. The next president needs to jump on the last Blackhawk out of Iraq and fly straight to the conference room. Nothing will be solved without talking to our enemies.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  181. D. E. Miller

    Let's hope the next President continues the significant progress that this administration has made. ie. Iraqi people are returning home from Syria, Jordan and other countries to participated in the rejuvenated economy. Oil production has increased to levels realized before the War and the educational system is improving significantly.

    In Afghanistan progress is slow but moving forward. Good for a country that was in dire straights before the invasion. Cheer up Jack, progress will continue under President McCain.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  182. jane

    The next president needs first and foremost to work with the international community again. Second, it needs to secure collaboration with Pakistan and Afghanistan without sending troops to further alienate people. A withdrawl of troops needs to begin and capacity building programs should help local governments develop adequate institutions. The next president should also push Israel and Palestine to secure a peace and a Palestinian state. That will get a lot of good will our way. Lastly, she or he also needs to resume a dialogue with N Korea and Iran, but these need to be done with the right tone and some preconditions, as it is always done.
    And last, the next president needs to be clear with the American people as to the activities the US undertakes in other countries.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  183. Mohammed

    Orlando Florida

    The next president should try and understand the roots of problems instead of repeating the same statements of condemnation of arab violence while condoning Israeli massacres. In the Middle-East, arabs don't consider the United States a credible 3rd party because of their extreme bias towards Israel. For example, they are quick to condem Palestinian attacks on Israeli civillians, however, they always have a justification when Palestinian civillians are killed. There has been over 25 babies killed in Gaza last week, and the president has justified the killings of these babies under "Israel has the right to defend themself" clause. This undermines American credibility in the Middle East. The next American president should be fair and have a deep understanding of the key issues and the history behind such key issues in the Middle East in order to solve problems. Once the Arabs begin to trust the Americans are only slightly biased towards Israel and not unconditionally supporting Israel, will there be progress in the Middle East.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:23 pm |
  184. Palestinian/American.Orlando,Fla,

    I Think the only way we are gonna have peace in my home land of Palestine is by being Fair and just to our issuies:
    Free all the Prisonerrs.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  185. Jeffrey from East Bend, NC

    Jack, the next President will have their hands full, you are right on that. For starters, we have got to get out of Iraq in my opinion but aside from that, to me there is only so much we can do in the Middle East as we have our fair share of problems over here in this Country right now which is something this administration seems to be oblivious to. Gas Prices, Housing, Economy, and so on and so forth. How can we right now help in any way overseas when this Administration can't even control whats happening here at Home? There is not going to be some magic wand the next President can wave and all of a sudden expect everything to be all good and happy again. It is going to take alot of time to get all of these problems, both here and abroad fixed.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  186. june

    if the next president happens to be Hilary Clinton, I hope she does nothing. I still remember her hugging and kissing Yasser Arafat's wife. I dread the thought of her doing the same sort of thing with Hamas.

    June

    Danville, Virginia

    March 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  187. Jeff Marcum

    In all honesty, we should not be included in the mess of the middle east. If we would have had a competent president in the white house over the last seven years we most likely would have made much more progress than we have.

    The next president needs to get our troops out of Iraq, focus more energy on finding Bin Laden and destroying the efforts made by Al Queda in Afghanistan and put tough sanctions on Iran until they are willing to cooperate in staying out of Iraq and ending their nuclear program. We need the rest of the world behind us in these efforts though. It will not work otherwise!

    Financially, the US can use the money that is being allocated to the unjust war in Iraq to get our country back on track. If the government keeps going in the direction it is now, we will fail as a country, in whole!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:25 pm |
  188. Resa

    Gainesville, Ga

    Dear Jack,

    You go man! The next president, Barack Obama, should do exactly what he proposes, begin diplomacy immediately upon taking office.

    The first step in any problem is acknowledgement that there is one.
    Obama promises to attempt to ease the world's tensions and if the Dems don't screw him out of this election, I think he will.

    Envoys, diplomacy, and lots of talking are just a few ways to begin the process. Getting us out of Iraq, focusing on Afganistan and trying to do something with the extremes are the hopes for peace over there.
    I pity the next president.......what a mess we find ourselves in at this moment in time. Go Obama Go!

    March 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  189. Mike in St. Petersburg, Florida

    It seems to me the best way to tackle the mess in the middle east is to cut our dependence on their oil. Let's face it, once that's gone we're gone.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:27 pm |
  190. Keith

    I have been a staunch supporter of "staying the course" and believing that in time it would prove that we were doing the right thing. However one thing has bothered me as time goes on. That is as follows, if what the radical faction wanted was the US to leave then why do they keep fighting? When, if they called a truce we would claim victory and leave! This leaves us with only one other option; they do not want us to leave. As long as we maintain forces in Iraq they have a unifying cause. A rallying point. So I have come to the realization the leaving Iraq and allowing them to deal with there own issues is the only solution.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  191. Erika from Atlanta

    The Middle East problem stems largely from the Palestinian situation. Since we give more money to Israel than any other, I think we could ask for a little in return. If the Palestinian people were treated better and given a REAL chance to thrive , and if the U.S. had a hand in that outcome, I think it would go very far with the people of the Middle East.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  192. Don in San Francisco

    I think we need to accept the fact that the era of empires is still coming to its inevetable end. We see regional nationalism at work undoing consolodation of territories in the former Soviet Union and in the Balkans. We may need to accept the fact that the Persian Empire, too, may need to undergo a certain level of fragmentation (a topic covered quite well in a recent Altlantic Monthly article). Internal tensions between ethnic groups and religious factions existed long before the current "east-west" tensions that most focus on (take the tensions now between Kurds and Turks). Smaller states in the region may be the only way to solve certain tensions.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  193. Claudia in Florida

    Work towards removing our troops from Muslim countries. Many people there see the presence of infidels on their soil as an ongoing provocation, in fact an act of war.

    And, reduce and eventually eliminate our dependence on petroleum, thus the middle east, for our energy. This continues to make this region more important than it needs to be, and funds extremists. It is incomprehensible that we are financing our enemies.

    As for the central problem of the region, Israel and the Palestinians, I have no constructive suggestions. It is an intractable situation.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  194. keith

    Unfortunately, there is no president that can solve the middle east conflict. This is a conflict between two ideologies and nothing short of a miracle will change that. The only other alternative will be to give Isreal to the terrorsists, Iran, Hammas and Hezbollah and remove all our troops out of Saudi Arabia than this conflict would come to an end. I don't see that as an alternative.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  195. Antonio

    The next President of the USA should probably take a more subtle and diplomatic stance by building up stronger ties in the middle east, through promoting regional economic stimulous packages and free trade agreements. The Iraq war was a fiasco and still is and the only way to clean up that mess is to leave ASAP. The Palestine, Iran or North Corean issues needs to go through diplomatic channels. Hezbollah, Hammas and Al Qaeda should be fought as you fight terrorists, cut their finances and hunt them down, but in a more point targeted fashion. The USA needs the freshness, vision and clean judgment of Obama to clean it up and even if MacCain has the experience and some established channels he is too much the same old stuff which will only worsen the situation...

    March 7, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  196. Joe & Marilyn

    What the next president needs to do is the following:

    1) First of all whenever it will happen they first need to convince all Arab nations that they need to make peace with Israel.
    2)Then a cease fire needs to be made between themselves.
    3)If this can be accomplished then a series of sessions between the Israelis and Arab countries need to be set up on common grounds.
    4)If they can work out a plan between all parties involved,this will be a good solution.

    The only question I have, if this occurs how much will it cost the US?

    March 7, 2008 at 5:31 pm |
  197. Gerald Mcadams

    The next president should take more actions than we are doing now. I am sick and tired of hearing these bleeding heart Democrats that are so worried that we might affend someone and want to try and talk their way out. We have seen what happens when you sit back and do nothing (Clinton for 8 years) Sept 11th 2001. If Iran is sending fighters and equipment to aid Al-Qaeda, then we should stop all talks and go on the offensive and invade now. If we wait it will just cost more lives.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  198. Palestinian/American. Orlando,Fla,

    – Have "Israel" withdraw to 1967 borders.
    – Allow all the refugees return if they choose to
    – STOP ALL military attacks on the Palestinian ppl.
    – Keep the US nose out of it
    – And Last But not least The Right for The State Of Palestine To exist.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  199. Adeline svendsen

    we have three remarkably competent people competing for the job - McCain, Clinton, obama - so I think we will be in good hands no matter who wins.

    the republicans have done such a lousy job the past 8 years that I strongly recommend we give the democrats their turn. Adeline svendsen (age 94)

    March 7, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  200. Marjorie

    Carefully. We have done too much damage to just walk out so we will have to stay. Perhaps the new President could convene a meeting with all government leaders sending soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan and come up with a unilateral solution rather than a US solution. Such an action may actually serve to rachet down the resentment and rhetoric in the Mideast and the world.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  201. Eric, Michigan

    I feel that the next President should re-think the tactics the current administration is using, the only way that we can secure the middle east is to use diplomacy. Diplomacy is key in dealing with all International Relations. That is why Senator Obama would be best President to clean up the mess in the Middle East. Clinton and Mccain don't want unilateral talks with countrys we are having conflicts with, which is what led us to the Conflicts we are faced with now. Military force is not the answer.

    March 7, 2008 at 5:37 pm |