Dohiyi Mir
    In Which NTodd Says His Peace

Thursday, July 10, 2003
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Too Many Irons in the Fire

Ha'aretz provides an Israeli POV to Bush's efforts to remake the Middle East:

A little over two months ago, U.S. President George W. Bush, dashing and plainly delighted in a sea-green flight suit, flew onto an aircraft carrier to declare an end to major combat in his war against Saddam Hussein.
But if Bush seemed to be leaving the war in Iraq, the war was clearly unprepared to leave him. Since turning to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and full-bore efforts to push the road map peace plan that he views as the cornerstone of a future peace deal, the conflict in Iraq has increasingly taken on the trappings of an Intifada East.
Bush this week opened yet a new front in his administration's involvement in foreign relations and efforts at conflict resolution, visiting African states including Liberia, the subject of speculation over a future police role for American forces.

With so many irons in so many unbanked fires, can Bush succeed where one after another of his predecessors failed - bringing an end to six score years of Arab Jewish conflict?

Even our previous Mediator-in-Chief Clinton, who could bring amazing energy and focus to bear on a problem, failed to bring resolution to the I/P situation. Bush has a couple quagmires, a potentially new one in Liberia, and a jobless recovery to oversee already. With a brewing scandal over false war justifications, can the administration really put forth what's necessary to end the current intifada, let alone decades of conflict?

I'm skeptical that Bush can succeed, particularly when it still (through my cynical filters) appears that the Road Map was just an add-on to give further cover to BushCo's war aims. And while promising some aid to Palestine, it's still a pittance compared to our aid to Israel. We still seem to have a large bias toward one party in this conflict, and I'm not convinced that's a good place for a mediator to be.


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