Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Annapolis and the ‘merry-go-round’

Online Journal, November 26, 2007

By Dr. Marwan Asmar
Online Journal Guest Writer

It is being described as a “merry-go-round” peace process, because it keeps going round and round with actors going on and off, but doesn’t lead anywhere. It has new faces all the time but it does not move on substance.

The latest peace conference on the Middle East due to be held in Annapolis on 27 November is seen as another brave but diluted attempt to put the peace process, which has been on a life support machine for the last seven years, back on track.

Annapolis is sort of a last ditch attempt by the Bush administration to tell the world, and probably the Arabs and the Palestinians especially, ‘we are trying, we are trying, but its is up to you guys, including of course the Israelis to sit together and sort out your differences.'

For the Bush administration Annapolis is a face-saving attempt to tell the Arabs to support US policy in Iraq, as if they really need to. Privately Washington knows the Arab world has long become the careless sick man of Europe, but argues a little pandering now and then would not do any harm.

It sends public blessings to the Israelis to carry on their business-as-usual with the Palestinians, while embroiling them in a continuous hand-shaking formula that means much political-speak but no practical action on the ground.

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