Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Condo Was Right

According to an Associated Press article, Rice Thought Palestinian Leader Weak by Anne Gearan, "Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice thought Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas a weak disappointment, and she once judged President Bush's signature Mideast peace program unworkable," considering Abbas "a nice man but ineffective" and "unworthy of the investment in trust and money the U.S. had placed in him."

I'm not sure I would consider a Holocaust denier and long-time terrorist leader "a nice man," but Abbas is certainly and ineffective, and has gotten far weaker and more ineffective since 2005, when Rice came to those conclusions early in her term as secretary of state.

Since that time, Abbas' ineffectiveness first led to the election victory by Hamas, followed by the Hamas coup in Gaza which should have cured everyone of any illusion that it was possible to come to a workable peace agreement with Abbas in the foreseeable future.

President Bush's Mideast peace program, the "road map," although heavily slanted in favor of the Palestinian Arabs, might have been workable had there been an effective Palestinian Arab leadership willing to adhere to the agreements it had already signed and willing to make minimal compromises.

The road map was biased in favor of the Palestinian Arabs and against Israel because its only real requirement on the Palestinian Arabs was that it start adhering to some of the commitments, such as the end of terrorism, it had long before made, while it required additional and unfair steps, effectively the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from some areas of the disputed territories, from Israel

Given that the Palestinian Arab leadership was not only, as Rice recognized, weak and ineffective, but also unwilling to compromise, Rice's observation "The road map is at best a marginal plan. It doesn't work," was accurate.

One wonders why she is now pushing for a "peace conference" that has no chance of any success and is highly likely to have negative consequences.
Condo was right in 2005. What she recognized then is even clearer today. She should start making the obvious inferences from her own observations.

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