Friday, July 21, 2006

Rice Goes to Middle East with Zero Credibility as Honest Power Broker

The U.S. government might as well save the gas and not send Condi to work the diplomatic end of the Israel-Lebanon crisis. The AP just ran a news story with this assessment:

President Bush's uncompromising support for Israel in its battle with Hezbollah, now backed by Congress, is threatening to isolate the United States even further from the international community.

It is also putting the administration at odds with fragile democratic governments in the Middle East that it is simultaneously trying to prop up, and sowing increasing anger across the Arab world.

The democratically elected prime ministers of both Iraq and Lebanon have been among the most vocal critics of U.S. policy in the 10-day Israeli bombardment of Lebanon.

At a time when the U.S. wants Syria and Iran isolated, America increasingly faces a dose of our own medicine. Why won’t Middle Eastern countries directly confront the Hezbollah issue? Any neighborhood high school has the answer. Kids there can fight amongst themselves, but they unite quickly when an outside threat from another part of town materializes.

The U.S. and Israel are the bullies from elsewhere in the eyes of most Middle Eastern countries. How Bush, Cheney and Condi continue to miss the basic facts on the ground remains puzzling? At least they have another chance to get educated when two of the crew meet with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal this Sunday. Will they ignore his prophetic advice yet again?

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