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January 16, 2008
Is the Bush Doctrine Dead?
Jeff Jacoby thinks so.
The Boston Globe columnist makes a compelling case that Condoleeza Rice announced its death last week:
The secretary of state was speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One en route with the president to Kuwait from Israel. She was explaining why the administration had abandoned the most fundamental condition of its support for Palestinian statehood - an end to Palestinian terror. As his predecessors before him, President Bush has fallen so in love with the "two state solution" to bring peace between the Israelis and Palestinians that the fundamental problem of Palestinian support for terroism has been overlooked in favor of getting negotiations on track.
Rice's explanation, recounted here by The Washington Times, was as striking for its candor as for its moral blindness: "The 'road map' for peace, conceived in 2002 by Mr. Bush, had become a hindrance to the peace process, because the first requirement was that the Palestinians stop terrorist attacks. As a result, every time there was a terrorist bombing, the peace process fell apart and went back to square one. Neither side ever began discussing the 'core issues': the freezing of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the right of Palestinian refugees to return, the outline of Israel's border, and the future of Jerusalem.
"The reason that we haven't really been able to move forward on the peace process for a number of years is that we were stuck in the sequentiality of the road map. So you had to do the first phase of the road map before you moved on to the third phase of the road map, which was the actual negotiations of final status," Rice said. . . . What the US-hosted November peace summit in Annapolis did was "break that tight sequentiality. . . You don't want people to get hung up on settlement activity or the fact that the Palestinians haven't fully been able to deal with the terrorist infrastructure. . ."
Thus the president who once insisted that a "Palestinian state will never be created by terror" now insists that a Palestinian state be created regardless of terror.
This absurdly dangerous position has put Israel in quite a bind. Prime Minister Olmert - weakened by scandal and perceived incompetence - cannot give Bush what he wants simply because the Palestinians themselves refuse to be cooperative in the least. They continue to launch rockets into Israel while fighting each other for dominance. Why the president thinks he can break through this morass and create a Palestinian state is beyond me.
There will be a Palestinian state when the terrorists are stopped by the Palestinian authorities and not Israeli incursions into the West Bank and Gaza.