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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Obama realizing he can't force 'peace' to happen?

Has President Obama finally realized that he cannot force 'peace' to happen between the Israelis and the 'Palestinians'? That's what former Clinton and Bush adviser Aaron David Miller claims.
This administration has ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in which Americans are being killed and wounded, an intelligence/homeland security defense that has been proven profoundly wanting in the wake of the abortive Christmas terror attack against an American passenger airliner bound for Detroit, and a set of domestic priorities that include a still-dangerous jobless recovery and still-unfinished and controversial health- care legislation.

All of this will get worse (or better) in 2010 against the backdrop of midterm congressional elections in which the Democrats, already lacking a secure popular base of support beyond their own party stalwarts (and they're unhappy too), may well suffer significant losses. None of this precludes a major effort on Arab-Israeli peacemaking but it makes the risk or success (ensuring a tough fight with the Israelis and their supporters here) or failure (meaning the administration has stumbled badly) all the more consequential politically.

It's not that Obama doesn't care about the Arab-Israeli issue. But it's not the fulcrum of his foreign-policy agenda. If he succeeds in preventing another attack on the continental United States before 2012, avoids serious American casualties in Afghanistan, reduces unemployment significantly, and Americans begin to see the future with a bit more optimism, he'll likely be reelected. He doesn't need Arab-Israeli peace to be considered a consequential president.
It would be nice if Obama took Miller's advice and left 'Middle East peace' for a second term, as his two predecessors both did. Then we could hope that Obama will be defeated in 2012 (God willing!) and we'd be out from under an administration that is no friend of Israel's. Unfortunately, US Special Middle East envoy George Mitchell's statements at the end of last week, indicate (contrary to what Miller argues) that Obama still doesn't get it. Here's what Miller says about Mitchell's statements:
The coming year may well bring a resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. The Obama administration is working hard to bring this about, and is reportedly working on letters of assurance that might enable both sides to stay at the table once they get there. But if Mitchell's comments Wednesday are any indication -- he told journalist Charlie Rose that he expects negotiations, once begun, to take two years to complete -- Team Obama now understands the difficulties much better than it did a year ago.
The idea that a two-year deadline can be put on these talks is laughable to anyone who knows the issues. Why Miller believes that Mitchell's statement that talks can be completed within two years shows that 'Team Obama now understands the difficulties much better than it did a year ago' is inexplicable. All it shows is that Obama still doesn't get it.

With his suicidal healthcare plan, Obama has already shown that he is willing to be a one-term President to push his agenda through. Just like his idol, Jimmy Carter. The difference is that while the Democratic majority in Congress can legislate Obamacare, it cannot legislate 'Middle East peace.'

And then there's little ticking Iranian bomb....

What could go wrong?


At 7:14 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Yep. Obama just doesn't realize the world doesn't run on his timetable. And not in the Middle East.

At 11:28 PM, Blogger mrzee said...

Obama also seems to have forgotten that thanks to him we know "letters of assurance" expire when the administration changes.


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