Oh my. NY Times scorches Obama foreign policy

A New York Times editorial has bestirred itself and heavily criticized the Obama Middle East policy as well as the incompetents who are running it.

We were thrilled when President Obama decided to plunge fully into the Middle East peace effort. He appointed a skilled special envoy, George Mitchell, and demanded that Israel freeze settlements, Palestinians crack down on anti-Israel violence and Arab leaders demonstrate their readiness to reach out to Israel.

Nine months later, the president's promising peace initiative has unraveled.

There was nothing ever "promising" about it which the Times admits later in the editorial:

Peacemaking takes strategic skill. But we see no sign that President Obama and Mr. Mitchell were thinking more than one move down the board. The president went public with his demand for a full freeze on settlements before securing Israel's commitment. And he and his aides apparently had no plan for what they would do if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said no.

Most important, they allowed the controversy to obscure the real goal: nudging Israel and the Palestinians into peace talks. (We don't know exactly what happened but we are told that Mr. Obama relied more on the judgment of his political advisers - specifically his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel - than of his Mideast specialists.)

The idea made sense: have each side do something tangible to prove it was serious about peace and then start negotiations. But when Mr. Netanyahu refused the total freeze, President Obama backed down.

Mr. Netanyahu has since offered a compromise 10-month freeze that exempts Jerusalem, schools and synagogues and permits Israel to complete 3,000 housing units already under construction. The irony is that while this offer goes beyond what past Israeli governments accepted, Mr. Obama had called for more. And the Palestinians promptly rejected the compromise.

The Times says "stalemate is unsustainable." Funny, because that's pretty much been the case for 60 years. No matter. What the editorial makes clear that at the White House, it is has been amateur hour when it comes to foreign policy.


Hat Tip: Hot Air

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