Tom Friedman wrote something that I more or less agree with today, about the Israel/Palestinian “peace process”:
It is time for a radically new approach. And I mean radical. I mean something no U.S. administration has ever dared to do: Take down our “Peace-Processing-Is-Us” sign and just go home. …
Let’s just get out of the picture. Let all these leaders stand in front of their own people and tell them the truth: “My fellow citizens: Nothing is happening; nothing is going to happen. It’s just you and me and the problem we own.”
Indeed, it’s time for us to dust off James Baker’s line: “When you’re serious, give us a call: 202-456-1414. Ask for Barack. Otherwise, stay out of our lives. We have our own country to fix.”
Liberals have long harbored the fantasy that the “peace process” is the key to stability in the Middle East, tempering Islamic radicalism, making America popular–whatever. The fact is that Israel’s relations with the inhabitants of Gaza and the West Bank have close to zero impact on any of those things. There is no good reason why brokering an endless “peace process,” which is destined to futility as long as one of the parties doesn’t want peace, should be a priority of our foreign policy. The pathetic situation of the Arabs of Gaza and the West Bank is the consequence, not the cause, of Islamic radicalism and expansionism.
It’s worth noting that even when he’s right, Friedman can’t let go of his trademark hyper-partisanship. This paragraph made me laugh:
The fact is, the only time America has been able to advance peace — post-Yom Kippur War, Camp David, post-Lebanon war, Madrid and Oslo — has been when the parties felt enough pain for different reasons that they invited our diplomacy, and we had statesmen — Henry Kissinger, Jimmy Carter, George Shultz, James Baker and Bill Clinton — savvy enough to seize those moments.
Got that? Democratic Presidents can be “savvy statesmen,” but Republicans? Friedman can’t bring himself to bestow that praise on Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan or George Bush, so he credits their aides instead. How petty!