Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Comment and Analysis: Rice Headed to Mideast to Perpetuate Conflict

The headline in the Associated Press story, as published in The New Haven Register, was "Rice headed to Mideast in effort to save peace talks," but like most such efforts it will almost certainly be counterproductive.

Here are some quotes from the article, labeled as comments, along with primerprez' interpretation, labeled analysis.

Comment: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice urged Palestinians on Monday to quickly resume peace talks with Israel, suspended in protest over an Israeli military offensive that killed more than 100 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

[Analysis: The supposedly moderate Mahmoud Abbas/Abu Mazen cannot countenance Israel defending itself even against the attacks launched by his rival terror group, Hamas. He's never been serious about negotiations. Rice should let him sit in his Ramallah compound until he picks p the phone and starts talking about what he's willing to do to begin serious negotiations.]

Comment: Despite the violence, she said a deal to end the six-decade conflict is still possible before President Bush leaves office.

[Analysis: And there is a Santa Claus. And what's the point of an agreement that can't be implemented?]

Comment: "I'm hopeful that we can get through this current situation and get back to negotiations," Rice said as she headed to the Mideast for meetings that amount to a rescue mission for a peace push Bush launched last fall.

[Analysis: Pushing for negotiations when the Palestinian Arabs have neither the will to negotiate seriously nor the ability to implement an agreement is counterproductive.]

Comment: "I continue to believe that they can get to a deal by the end of the year if everyone's got the will to do it," Rice said.

[Analysis: See above.]

Comment: Palestinian leaders pulled out of peace talks, at least temporarily, after Israeli troops, tanks and warplanes launched a major weekend sweep against militant Palestinians who use the tiny Gaza territory to launch rocket attacks on Israel.

[Analysis: Why is the Associated Press afraid to use the word "terror" when referring to terror attacks by Palestinian Arabs on Israeli civilians. Why is the Associated Press afraid to include the very salient fact that all the rocket attacks are directed at innocent Israeli civilians?]

Comment: Photographs of dead and injured Palestinian children blanketed Arab media Sunday and Monday amid stern international warnings to Israel to avoid what Palestinians and others say is the indiscriminate killing of civilians.

[Analysis: It's interesting that the Associated Press doesn't shy away from mentioning alleged civilian casualties among Palestinian Arabs.]

Comment: Israel pulled its forces out of the territory Monday, even as Israel's defense chief warned that a larger assault may be in the offing.

[Analysis: Obviously, as long as Arab terrorists keep targeting Israeli civilians, Israel has to defend its people. It's amazing that Israel has done so little to protect its citizens from the Arab terror attacks.]

Comment: The top U.S. diplomat condemned the rocket attacks and blamed Hamas militants for initiating the current round of violence. She said she will urge that the talks begin again fast, but set no deadline.

[Analysis: Current round? The Arab terror has been continuous since Yassir Arafat rejected peace and launched his offensive nearly eight years ago.]

Comment: Rice declined to call for a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel, but said all violence must stop. Without criticizing Israel, Rice suggested she would be blunt about the stakes involved in further military action.

[Analysis: To stop Israeli defensive measures while Hamas builds up its terror capabilities is counterproductive and just costs more lives in the long run.]

Comment: "The issue of the loss of innocent life is one that needs to be very much in the center of everyone's mind ... and one always has to think in carrying out military operations about the day after. So those are the discussions that I'll have with the Israelis," she said.

[Analysis: Those are the discussions she should be having with the Palestinian Arabs, the ones for whom civilian casualties are a strategic goal, rather than the Israelis, who are trying to minimize or, ideally, totally eliminate civilian casualties.]

Comment: Her first Mideast stop is in Egypt for hastily arranged talks on securing Egypt's small border with Gaza and improving the flow of aid to the densely populated tract that was sealed off for months by Israel in retaliation for the rocket and mortar fire.

[Analysis: Israel does not control the border between Hamastan and Egypt, and thus cannot possibly seal off that border.]

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