Friday, January 23, 2009

Delusions Spring Eternal

While George Bush basically figured out that Middle East Peace is an illusion, Mr. Obama promises to go at it full bore. Mr. Obama says:

"It will be the policy of my administration to actively and aggressively seek a lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as between Israel and its Arab neighbors," he said.

The subject of Israeli-Palestinian peace was the first foreign policy issue Obama addressed in his trip to the State Department, which came on the day Hillary Clinton assumed office following her Senate confirmation Wednesday. She also introduced a second envoy, Richard Holbrooke, who will serve as point man on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Obama was criticized even before taking office for remaining silent during the recent Gaza violence, and the Mitchell announcement - coupled with his remarks on the subject - seemed a bid to demonstrate that he is now fully engaged in the issue after relieving himself of the shackles of the transition period.

"We have come to the State Department today to send a very clear message that we will reinvigorate American diplomacy," declared Vice President Joe Biden, who accompanied Obama on his first meeting with Clinton at her new headquarters.
Every President who has tried to settle the Israeli-Arab conflict has failed. The only success story so far has been Israel-Egypt and Israel-Jordan and it had nothing to do with American diplomacy (although America did grease the deal). It had to do with the fact that the parties involved wanted to settle. So unless Obama is going to use his magic soft power on Hamas and get them in a deal making mood he is setting himself up for epic fail.

Obama doesn't understand that real diplomacy is about carrots and sticks. He is big on carrots and disdainful of sticks. Which is why he will fail. What Obama doesn't get is that Middle East Peace is nothing at all like making a deal for an Congressional Senate Seat for one of his cronies.

Plan for war - because Obama knows nothing about keeping the peace.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Neil said...

There's other issues(like entitlement reform) where I expect Obama to do tremendous damage. But Israel vs. Palestinians is one issue where I think it's probable he'll do the right thing.

On that conflict, the most an American president can hope to do is sound and look good while actually doing nothing. Coincidentally, that is Obama's primary job qualification.

I suspect he'll recognize the opportunity.

M. Simon said...