The photo ops in Maryland will be easy. Developing a fix for Mideast woes, a little more difficult
|By ERIC MARGOLIS|| |
About the only things on which Palestinians and Israelis agree as they head into this week's U.S.-orchestrated peace talks is their mutual love of falafel and belief the conclave at Annapolis, Md., will be little more than a photo op.
After creating disasters in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Palestine, and fanning worldwide anger against America, President George Bush desperately needs a foreign policy success in the final year of his ill-starred term.
So the same White House fib factory that produced such hit science fiction epics as Saddam's Death Rays, Iran's Nukes Menace the Globe and Muslim Terrorists Under Our Beds has been ordered to churn out the pre-Xmas fantasy Bush Brings Peace to the Holy Land.
A bunch of U.S. clients has been dragooned into reluctantly appearing as spear carriers. The cast includes Israeli PM Ehud Olmert, Palestinian semi-leader Mahmoud Abbas, and delegations from U.S. Arab allies. Syria, which fears a joint U.S.-Israeli invasion, debated whether it was more dangerous to come or stay away. Great Satan Iran was not invited to Bush's Maryland clambake.
Israel's strategy has long been to talk about talks about peace while steadily continuing to expand by building settlements on the West Bank and the former Syrian Golan Heights. Israeli settlements and military bases now occupy over half the entire West Bank and its best farmland and water resources.