23
Jan
10

What? So Soon?

Remember what Thomas Friedman wrote a few weeks ago about the U.S. involvment in the Mideast peace process?
Let’s just get out of the picture. Let all these leaders stand in front of their own people and tell them the truth: “My fellow citizens: Nothing is happening; nothing is going to happen. It’s just you and me and the problem we own.”
Indeed, it’s time for us to dust off James Baker’s line: “When you’re serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix.”
And today I read that in your interview to TIME, Barack, you’re already frustrated? After one year in office?
“Both sides — the Israelis and the Palestinians — have found that the political environment, the nature of their coalitions or the divisions within their societies, were such that it was very hard for them to start engaging in a meaningful conversation. And I think that we overestimated our ability to persuade them to do so when their politics ran contrary to that. 
I think it is absolutely true that what we did this year didn’t produce the kind of breakthrough that we wanted, and if we had anticipated some of these political problems on both sides earlier, we might not have raised expectations as high.
And Hillary, you too?
“Ultimately, as the president also said in his interview, this has to be between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The United States, the UK, the EU, the Arab League, everyone can work together to try to create the conditions for a resolution of the outstanding issues between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but at the end of the day, they must make that decision.”
As my good friend Mohamed pointed out to me, it started even earlier with a typical Rahm Emanuel outburst to an Israeli diplomat:
“The US administration is tired of you, the Israelis and Palestinians. You’re wasting precious time and are missing an opportunity to make peace. There is going to be a stage in which we’re simply going to give up on this endless conflict and leave you alone.”
I don’t know. Either you guys are truly giving up, or Friedman is getting paid as an advisor to the White House… Whichever it is – it’s pretty lame.
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5 Responses to “What? So Soon?”


  1. January 23, 2010 at 01:32

    As an Amurican — and yes, Amurican — I have to tell you that you’re missing something unique about this administration.

    They admit it when they’re frustrated. They admit it when they fail. They’re not touting utter fuck-ups as successes. There are no “Mission Accomplished” banners. This is an administration that has done a 180 on PR, for better or worse.

    I’d never thought I’d say this, but Obama gives ammo to critics here and abroad when he fesses up to disappointments. I love it, but it’s killing him.

    You just can’t be an honest, forthright politician these days. When your opponents call you a failure and you don’t scold them for being un-Amurcian, you’re lost.

    • 2 Ami Kaufman
      January 23, 2010 at 07:18

      You’ve got a point. I just hope it’s not some kind of change in policy to what Friedman suggested. That would be a tad dangerous, in my opinion.

  2. January 23, 2010 at 01:34

    And who says writers are not important? 🙂


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