Monday, November 19, 2007

Annapolis: "Diplomacy With The Devil"

Danielle Pletka, vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, has an editorial in The New York Times entitled Diplomacy With The Devil. She writes about the Bush administrations sudden search for a legacy as it pursues questionable policies in North Korea and the Middle East.

When Bush first started out as president, things were much different:
Back in 2001, the newly minted Bush administration was scornful of Bill Clinton’s efforts to build a Palestinian state with a terrorist government in place. Mr. Bush refused to allow Yasir Arafat to darken the White House door and said he would “not support the establishment of a Palestinian state until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists.” Now Hamas is in control of Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas is the powerless president of a Palestinian Authority and members of his Fatah forces tried to assassinate Israel’s prime minister.

Nonetheless, Ms. Rice has been to the region repeatedly and recently sought advice from not just Bill Clinton but, of all people, Jimmy Carter. Next week, she’ll be playing host to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel and his Palestinian antagonists at a cozy chat session in Annapolis, Md. (None seem as committed to the meeting as Ms. Rice — originally expected to last three days, it has reportedly been pared down to one.)
Pletka notes Rice's apparent indifference to Israel's mission in Syria back in September, to which her response was, “issues of proliferation do not affect the Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts we are making”--which is an odd response if those who claim the Annapolis summit is an exercise in forming a coalition against Iran, with whom Syria is closely allied and dependent.

Pletka concludes:
By kowtowing to the conventional wisdom of what a secretary of state should do, Condoleezza Rice is making her legacy dependent on the future behavior of a North Korean tyrant and Palestinian pretenders. Ultimately, that will serve neither selfish nor national interests.
Pletka compares Bushes current policies with Bill Clinton's policies when he was in office.
Indeed, what was old is new again.

Technorati Tag: and .

No comments: