Some news reports are so absurd in themselves, they need barely any comment. Glenn Kessler article today with this title in the Washington Post fits the description. He explains that until recently,
whenever Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with Abbas, the ensuing news conference would be held in a dark and dank room, which had poor lighting, mediocre sound and yellowing walls. Rice and Abbas would speak in front of picture of the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest sites, and a photo of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. The visual images were never great from the American perspective.
So in the summer of 2005, Rice dispatched one of her most trusted aides, then-senior adviser Jim Wilkinson, to come to the Palestinian territories with more than $1.2 million in U.S. aid money. His task: create modern facilities in both Ramallah and Gaza.
The Americans assumed that Abbas's Fatah party would win legislature elections in January 2006, and the facilities were to give his administration the trappings of a modern state. Abbas, for instance, would be able to give speeches to the Palestinian people with the new equipment, presumably outlining his progress in negotiating peace with the Israelis.
Alas, Hamas unexpectedly won the elections.
Comment: Unbelievable, is it not, that U.S. taxpayer funds should be spent on such a facility? (January 14, 2007)