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FROM THIS EPISODE

As Democrats advocate a phased withdrawal from Iraq, is it time for negotiations with Syria and Iran? As Prime Minister Olmert arrives at the White House, is there any chance of a weakened US commitment to Israel?  Plus, as the new Congress meets the old, what are the prospects on Capitol Hill? 

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Andrea Brody

Main Topic What Next for US Policy on the Middle East?

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert arrived at the White House today as James Baker's so-called Iraq Study Group has been meeting with the foreign policy team. It's believed that Baker and new Defense Secretary-designate Robert Gates favor negotiations with Iran. British Prime Minister Tony Blair will address the Iraq Study Group tomorrow. Meantime, Democratic leaders want a phased withdrawal from Iraq, and there's pressure from several directions for talks with Syria. All this as the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, are putting together a unity government.  President Bush is embracing advisors who served his father. Will they push diplomacy rather than confrontation? Is there any chance of a weakened US commitment to Israel?

Guests:
Dennis Ross, Washington Institute for Near East Policy (@washinstitute)
Philip Wilcox, Foundation for Middle East Peace
Shibley Telhami, University of Maryland (@ShibleyTelhami)
Emile Sahliyeh, Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of North Texas

Reporter's Notebook Democratic Maneuvers in Lame Duck Session

Old business for the lame-duck Congress as Democratic leaders begin to clarify their alliances and objectives.  We hear what's happening on Capitol Hill.

Guests:
Jonathan Weisman, New York Times (@jonathanweisman)

Making News President Bush Meets with Iraq Panel, Israeli Prime Minister

On yesterday's Sunday talk shows, leaders of the Senate's new Democratic majority called for redeployment of US troops in Iraq--within months.  At the White House today, President Bush expressed enthusiasm in working with Democrats but tempered his comments by cautioning that "with victory comes responsibilities."

Guests:
Michael Hirsh, National Journal (@michaelphirsh)

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