Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 19, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

ANNAPOLIS UPDATE....Speaking of foreign policy competence, here's the latest on the Annapolis Mideast summit. It's supposed to be held at the end of the month:

But no 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."

....Even a senior administration official deeply involved in the preparations confided, before speaking off the record about his expectations: "I can't connect the dots myself because it is still a work in progress."

A one-day conference of 50 different countries is probably not likely to accomplish much anyway, but it would be nice if we could at least avoid too much embarrassment just in arranging the thing.

Kevin Drum 2:24 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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With our luck, Bush will probably decide it's time for another round of "When do I get to cut the pig?!?!" jokes.

Posted by: scarshapedstar on November 19, 2007 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Look, we have lost all of our credibility with the rest of the world because of Dubya, Dr. No and the boys.... I don't think the rest of the world is going to much care whether the meeting goes or not... it is just another "ho hum" moment, in their minds, in the life of the current administration and their inept foreign policy.

Posted by: Roger on November 19, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, it's no big deal! At meetings like this, all of the best deal-making takes place in the hotel bar afterwards...uh, wait a sec...

Posted by: JM on November 19, 2007 at 2:51 PM | PERMALINK

Someone must have told the President that it would be a good thing if the US appeared to be engaged on the Mideast Peace Process. So this is what we get, another Bush-league publicity stunt completely devoid of substance.

Posted by: Ted Frier on November 19, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

No one could have anticipated that if you hold a summit you need to invite people to it.

Posted by: Dennis -SGMM on November 19, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Sometimes the Bushies are evil, sometimes they're incompetent, and very often they're both.

With respect to Annapolis, they're merely the usual gang of f***ups. It's gotten to the point where that's a relief, really.

Posted by: low-tech cyclist on November 19, 2007 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Regrettably, Ted Frier is right on the money. Still, it's funny how, even after all the evidence to the contrary over the last eight years, we all immediately fall into the trap of thinking the Administration is trying to DO something, rather than LOOK LIKE they are trying to do something. Spin is all there is and all there ever was with these guys.

Posted by: Pat on November 19, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

"America is committed, and I am personally committed, to implementing our road map toward peace."

-- President Bush, March 14, 2003

Posted by: croatoan on November 19, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

And does anyone know what results are possible if Hamas--the elected representatives of the Palestinian people--remains disinvited? It seems pointless if they will not be attending, but maybe it is a Potemkin Village Palestinian-Israeli confab.

Posted by: mckinneykid on November 19, 2007 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

Looks pretty much like the planning for post invasion Iraq? No surprise there, in fact, it hardly looks like news.

It's too sad to cry about, so you might as well laugh.-Kurt Vonnegut

Posted by: TJM on November 19, 2007 at 7:06 PM | PERMALINK

Jack Abramaoff knows how to plan international events -- why wasn't he consulted?

Posted by: pj in jesusland on November 19, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

That Roadmap to Peace was sure a big success wasn't it?

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on November 19, 2007 at 7:48 PM | PERMALINK

"No one seems to know what is happening"

The Bush Administration in eight words.

Posted by: tomeck on November 19, 2007 at 8:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Administration's efforts to promote this Annapolis conference reek of the worst diplomacy of the Clinton and Carter eras. Puuleeeze.

When will there be peace between the Jews and the Arabs? When Jordan takes back the West Bank and Egypt takes back Gaza, and they enforce peace treaties with Israel, and not a day before.

Posted by: DBL on November 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK



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