For years, the White House has chosen to put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the backburner. Actually, that’s probably overly generous — the Bush gang has preferred to ignore the problem altogether.
The good news is, the administration is now poised to hold a major Middle East peace conference. The bad news is, no one seems to have any idea who’s coming, when they’ll meet, or what they’ll do.
[N]o conference date has been set. No invitations have been issued. And no one really agrees on what the participants will actually talk about once they arrive at the Naval Academy for the meeting, which is intended to relaunch Bush’s stillborn “road map” plan to create a Palestinian state.
“No one seems to know what is happening,” one senior Arab envoy said last week, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid appearing out of the loop. “I am completely lost.”
A senior administration official, described by the WaPo as being “deeply involved in the preparations” for the conference, conceded that he or she “can’t connect the dots myself.”
To be sure, brokering Mideast peace is exceedingly difficult. But if the Bush administration could at least maintain the appearance of competence, it might instill a little more confidence.