Tag Archives: Middle East

Too early to say Mitchell failed in Mideast mission: Groundwork for peace may have been laid in past two years | Portland Press Herald

“A true patriot who has answered the call to serve time and again, George Mitchell has had an impressive career. He has served admirably through his tireless work to broker peace in the Middle East. Although he is stepping down from this role, the mission will continue, and George Mitchell’s diligence, patience and intelligence will have helped pave the way toward a lasting peace. The citizens of Maine, and the world, are proud of his great work.” – Sen. Susan Collins

Those who interpret George Mitchell’s stepping down as special envoy to the Middle East as a sign of his failure there overlook his diplomatic track record.

In her statement after the announcement that George Mitchell was stepping down as President Obama’s special envoy to the Middle East, Sen. Susan Collins encapsuled Mitchell’s amazing legacy in 77 carefully chosen, understated words.

He is a true patriot, Collins said, and she referenced his diligence, patience and intelligence.

No news there, but surely confirmation of what Mitchell’s fellow Mainers have always known and the rest of the world has learned over the years: George J. Mitchell Jr. is a great American, a devoted and resourceful diplomat, a man who has honored, sustained and enhanced our state’s long tradition of public service.

Click for the rest of The Portland Press Herald editorial.

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Political change has familiar feel, George Mitchell says | Maine Sunday Telegram

It was November 1988. Maine’s own George Mitchell had just been elected Democratic majority leader of the U.S. Senate. And high atop his to-do list was a sit-down with then-Republican minority leader Sen. Robert Dole.

“I said to him, ‘This job is hard enough under the best of circumstances. It’s impossible under bad circumstances,’ ” Mitchell recalled last week.

And so Mitchell and Dole agreed on a few ground rules:

Never surprise each other.

Never try to embarrass each other.

And finally, be as fair as possible to each other under whatever circumstances might arise.

“We kept our word for six years,” Mitchell said. “Bob Dole and I never had a harsh word pass between us – in public or in private.”

Ah, the good old days.

Click for the rest of the column by Bill Nemitz in the Maine Sunday Telegram.

 

‘Thank you, Senator Mitchell’ | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME

‘Thank you, Senator Mitchell’ | The Morning Sentinel, Waterville, ME.

Hamm, Garciaparra are among this year’s guest stars at Seeds of Peace Camp | Portland Press Herald

OTISFIELD — Cool sunglasses masking his eyes, microphone in hand, Wil Smith worked his audience, priming them with introductions of the visitors. By the time Smith reached Mia Hamm, his campers at Seeds of Peace were beyond delight.

Teenage boys and girls, mostly from the Middle East, were heading to a new level of excitement. Waiting for his wife after his own noisy welcome, Nomar Garciaparra didn’t try to hide his smile.

So this is why his agent kept inviting him to this former boys camp on the pine-lined shore of Pleasant Lake. Actually, Arn Tellem’s reason was only beginning to reveal itself.

“You know the lives they’ll go back to, but you look in their faces and see the joy,” Garciaparra said Thursday morning. “They’re giving me much more than I can give them.”

This is Seeds of Peace, the oasis away from the world’s centuries-old battle for hearts and minds and land in the Middle East. Children from other places where fear and danger are constant companions also arrive here each summer.

It’s a universal mission: Dialogue can affect peace better than terror. Plant that seed.

Click for the rest of Steve Solloway’s story in the Portland Press Herald.

Maine camp plants seeds of tolerance | Lewiston Sun Journal

Maine camp plants seeds of tolerance | Lewiston Sun Journal

Learn more about Seeds of Peace at http://www.seedsofpeace.org/.

A place where peace is possible | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

A place where peace is possible | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Here’s another newspaper’s story on the camp:

Seeds of Peace camp opens | Lewiston Sun Journal

1 millionth soldier arrives at Bangor airport | Bangor Daily News

Maine Greeters regard

milestone with mixed feelings

BANGOR, Maine — Waving flags, cheering and shaking hands, the Maine Troop Greeters at Bangor International Airport hailed the 1 millionth service member to disembark at the airport shortly before 1 a.m., Monday.

The flight carrying the 1 millionth soldier to come through the Queen City was one of several originating from Fort Carson, Colo., carrying soldiers from the 4th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade Combat Team.

The soldiers at the airport Sunday morning were part of that group of “Iron Strong” warriors who are destined for the wars in the Middle East.

The Maine Troop Greeters come to the airport from all over eastern Maine, day or night, to provide warm welcomes or supportive sendoffs to those who serve the United States in all branches of the military.

Many troop greeters at the airport Sunday morning said reaching the 1 million soldier milestone was something they hoped would never happen, but they will remain at their posts supporting the country’s soldiers for as long as necessary.

“We’re the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and neighbors of these troops who can’t be here,” Tom Kohl, a Vietnam veteran and chairman of the Maine Troop Greeters, said while standing in the airport Sunday morning surrounded by soldiers. “We feel honored.”

The troop greeters began counting the servicemen and women who fly through BIA in 2003.

 Click on the link for the rest of this story by Nok-Noi Ricker in the Bangor Daily News.