Last week, former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell was named as Middle East special envoy to work on the intractable conflict(s) that have plagued that region. Mitchell is justifiably lauded for his good works in the process to bring peace to Northern Ireland.
Mitchell commented on his Northern Ireland experience when his latest appointment was announced. “From my experience there, I formed the conviction that there is no such thing as a conflict that can’t be ended,” Mitchell said. “Conflicts are created, conducted and sustained by human beings. They can be ended by human beings.”
Mitchell did not mean to suggest that ending a conflict is easy or quick — for either the parties or a mediator. Instead, if the commitment to end the dispute is strong, a route to resolution can eventually be found.