“A State Department! A State Department! My kingdom for a functioning, competent State Department!” Don’t you just want to shout it from the rooftops when you think about what has come to pass in
It’s like Déjà vu or something…Haven’t I heard what they are peddling now – or a variation of it, anyway – before?
In the wake of the chaos in
This “new policy” is accompanied by a huge dose of hypocrisy and a furious editing of recent history.
This floundering about is no way to solve the problems in the
Right up to the minute they…stopped.
Lets retrace the events that led to this point.
First of all, the Bush administration pushed for the complete withdrawal of the Israelis from
Case in point: Lots of folks were right pissed when Sein Fein was given a seat at the table, too, since they are the political arm of the IRA. But progress was only realized in
"[S]eizing the moment," as Rice said, involves risk. It is inconceivable without some sort of good-faith engagement. There was no way that Gaza, a slither of impoverished territory crammed with 1.3 million Palestinians, driven into the ground by corrupt Fatah governance, was going to show Swiss moderation in its first election.
To believe otherwise is to inhabit an imaginary
Condi’s stirring rhetoric and four bucks will get you a coffee at $tarbuck$. It was not hard to foresee how this was going to play out. Hell – it was writ large for anyone who cared to look.
I thought I was the only person who remembered that they were peddling Gaza First! – until I stumbled across a piece by Roger Cohen at the New York Times, and realized there are a grand total of three of us – Mr. Cohen, myself and former World Bank president James Wolfensohn, who remember. (Yes, there was a Wolfensohn before there was a Wolfowitz. Had you forgotten?) He went to the State Department in 2005 – to be Special Envoy for Gaza Disengagement. But a year later, he was gone, increasingly marginalized by the administration he tried to serve – like everyone else who truly understands the
When Wolfensohn went to the State Department he raised $15 million ($10 million of it from a single donor) to buy the greenhouses that the Israelis were leaving behind as they withdrew. Do not believe the plaintive wails of “We even gave them the greenhouses!” from the Israelis. But that is not how it happened. That ignores Wolfensohn’s role, and it ignores the money that changed hands.
But more importantly, it overlooks the fact that those commercial greenhouses were on the verge of becoming profitable, and that the opportunity they represented was an opportunity for peace to flower, too. "Once it was clear the business was viable, threats stopped and the community took tremendous pride in growing flowers, fruits and vegetables for export to
“Gaza First” failed, because
Wolfensohn seems almost dejected in his assessment. "I can only tell you that the Israeli closing of the