Oh where to even start. I have been trying all day to write something about the pressure-cooker in
Five years ago this month, the President of the United States made a Rose Garden speech, wherein he laid out a bold, vivid two-state vision for the Middle East.
That vision was a mirage.
I certainly do not have the answers to this dilemma but I do know one thing beyond all doubt – a lot of it can be directly traced to the horrid policies of the Bush (mal)administration and the State Department that wasn’t.
He thought wrong.
So the Bush administration – on the heels of moving the goalposts in Iraq from WMD’s to fostering Democracy – decided that they didn’t much care for Democracy the way the Palestinians exercised it, because gosh-darnit, they picked the wrong leaders. Money and aid was cut off – a situation choreographed by
This blew up in their faces most spectacularly. The attempt to make Hamas unpopular enough that the Palestinians would blame them and their support would erode, instead engendered hatred and pure, unadulterated resolve toward the west, and by extension, to the man they perceived as a marionette of western masters, Abbas. This week, the seething cauldron boiled over. Hamas and Fatah turned their guns on one another, and as it stands now, Hamas is in control in
Abbas, whose bouts of vacillation have irritated
"There is no more Hamas-led government. It is gone," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the administration must still consult with other members of the Quartet. He said that humanitarian aid will continue to
The evolving U.S. strategy would let the Hamas-run Gaza Strip fend for itself while attempting to bolster Abbas as a moderate leader who can actually govern and deliver peace with Israel. The senior administration official noted that
Referring to Abbas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told reporters yesterday that "we fully support him in his decision to try and end this crisis for the Palestinian people and to give them an opportunity to return to peace and a better future."
But analysts said yesterday that this strategy of dividing the moderates from the extremists -- which was the core of Bush's 2002 speech -- proved ineffective and may have led to the dilemma facing the administration.
So now, the government has been dissolved, and the Gaza Strip is under Hamas control. Fatah has retreated to the
No one has asked me, but if they did, I would say that it looks to my eyes like we should probably bow out. Every damned thing we have done has turned around and bit us on the ass. Beyond encouraging the “Quartet” to get aid and assistance flowing, and maybe send a check.
Although I am perhaps the least religious person you will ever encounter, I leave you with a prayer for peace. Oseh Shalom, Gaza.