Sunday, November 25, 2007

Statecraft or Stagecraft...

This Tuesday, all the usual suspects will meet in Annapolis, Maryland in an attempt to broker a Middle East peace agreement. In an overt reversal of Mr. Bush and his closest advisers previous "hands-off" position, the administration now feels it is in its best interests to become active in the the Middle East peace process. Why do they feel it necessary to now become involved with the process, after maintaining for the previous seven years that U.S. involvement only made things worse for the region? Is this truly an altruistic reversal or is there an alternative motive? Given the the extremely low expectations for anything significant to be resolved at the meetings, I would speculate that the gathering is somehow geared towards advancing the administration's Middle-East agenda and less towards fostering a peace deal that serves the Palestinian and Israeli people.

In a strange twits of irony, Secretary of State Rice has now actually evolved from her previous neo-conservative foreign policy stance into an actual diplomatic one. I can't help but think this change resulted from her meetings with European and Arab leaders whose support is essential to any Iranian statecraft measures. So in other words, although these meetings are not likely to produce any substantive resolutions, aside from some interesting photo-ops now that Syria has decided to attend, they could increase the administration's currently weak leverage in regards to Iran. Call me sinister, but I see no other feasible objective or motivation in regards to this administration's complete reversal in its desire to be involved in the Middle East peace process.

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