Wednesday, April 7, 2010

An Obama "Peace Plan" For the Middle East

According to the Washington Post, the Obama administration is set to unveil an "American Peace plan to resolve the Palestinian conflict." Great, just what we need. A foreign policy incompetent who can't even tell the difference between friends and enemies in the region thinks he can resolve an intractable problem. What are the odds that it will involve a great deal of empty talk and wishful thinking? Here's a "senior administration official."
"Incrementalism hasn't worked," continued the second official, explaining that the United States cannot allow the Palestinian problem to keep festering -- providing fodder for Iran and other extremists. "As a global power with global responsibilities, we have to do something." He said the plan would "take on the absolute requirements of Israeli security and the requirements of Palestinian sovereignty in a way that makes sense."
Here we go again. There are few situations more dangerous than when the government starts talking about how it has to do something. Almost invariably, that means they are taking action just to pretend to address a problem, regardless of the actual situation, or the fact that their actions often worsen the situation they are supposedly fixing.
Obama's embrace of a peace plan would reverse the administration's initial strategy, which was to try to coax concessions from the Israelis and Palestinians, with the United States offering "bridging proposals" later. This step-by-step process was favored by George Mitchell, the president's special representative for the Middle East, who believed a similar approach had laid the groundwork for his breakthrough in Northern Ireland peace talks.
Translation: Obama has no idea what he's doing, and has decided to throw something else at the wall and see if it sticks. I'd be worried if I were an Israeli. It's almost a certainty that Israel will be asked to make all sorts of real concessions in return for little or nothing but empty promises. As an American, I'm always worried about any Obama proposal, since the chances of it actually being in the U.S. interest are pretty slim. 

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