Here's an unintentionally hilarious Reuters news report datelined Washington, D.C.:
Anxious not to repeat mistakes of past Middle East peace-making, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has turned to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for tips ahead of her own conference this year. … Other sources of advice have been former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross and ex-secretaries of state James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright.
Does one really need to enumerate the failures, dating back to 1973, of these six individuals in the area of Arab-Israeli diplomacy?
Almost as scary is the current secretary of state's total determination: "Rice has made clear she will devote all her energy in the Bush administration's final 14 months to get what others have failed to attain in the past—a viable, independent Palestinian state living side by side with a secure Israel." Toward this end, she has seven times in the first ten months of 2007 visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority, with the eighth visit scheduled for next week.
Comments: (1) Interesting that Rice's Stanford University colleague, George P. Shultz, is missing from the lineup. (2) "All her energy"? All of it? Even allowing for exaggeration, don't Venezuela, Russia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, China, and North Korea, for starters, matter any more? (3) Looks like Rice is positioning herself to win the uncoveted Irving Kristol Whom-the-Gods-Would Destroy Award. (October 26, 2007)Nov. 2, 2007 update: Diana West has done justice to this little topic at "Chasing Mideast Peace," where she recalls the ignominious record of the named sextet. Summing up, she notes that "Rice is ‘reaching out,' as her State Department spokesman put it in New Age diplo-speak, to living legends of failed U.S. policy in the Middle East, including among them some of the most hostile critics of her own Bush administration, the war on terror, Israel or all of the above."