Only hours ago, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in Malaysia, resisted calls for her to return to the Middle East to broker an immediate cease-fire:
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said she would return to the Middle East “when it is right” but gave no timetable, dashing hopes she would launch a new Middle East peace drive on Friday.
It was unclear where she would go to next but Rice indicated it was too early to use her diplomatic muscle and push for a ceasefire between Lebanon and Israel, which has been pounding Hizbollah in southern Lebanon for over two weeks.
“I am going to return to the Middle East. The question is when is it right for me to return to the Middle East,” she told a news conference after taking part in a global security forum in Malaysia.
In what appears to be a reversal in U.S. policy, President Bush has just announced that Rice will return to the Middle East tomorrow. While he doesn’t appear to have said this, I assume her return can only mean an effort to negotiate a cease-fire.
I suppose it’s possible that this about-face may have occurred because Israel notified the administration that it has completed its effort to dismantle Hezbollah several weeks ahead of schedule, but it isn’t likely. I fear that the administration (and perhaps Israel’s government as well) has caved in to pressure to stop the fighting in preference to winning the battle. If so, it is a very sad day in the history of our effort to resist the advance of terrorist Islam.
Via Power Line News.
PAUL adds: Although this visit is a bad idea, I’m hoping that it’s just an effort to keep Tony Blair and others happy. With any luck, Rice will just go through the motions while Israel gets on with the job. Unfortunately, as we have noted, Israel does not seem to getting on with the job as forcefully as it needs to.