Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Few things can illustrate a failed foreign policy better than attempting to have a different result with the same fact situation that resulted in prior policy failures.
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has traveled to the Middle East to speak with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to twist the arm of Israeli President Ehud Olmert in order to conclude a "peace" agreement before the end of the George Bush presidency. Each time the Secretary goes to the Mid East with this objective, the facts against which peace is to be obtained remain the same and the repeated result is no peace in sight.
What are the facts which remain the same; continued daily rocket bombardment and mortar shells launched into Israel and other acts of terrorism, successful or attempted, that reap destruction and death. Israeli soldiers abducted by Arabs have not been returned despite endless release of imprisoned Arab murderers and donation of slices, like salami, of Israel land to the people dedicated to Israel's destruction.
All Israeli attempts to defend against a continuous onslaught of rockets raining onto Israel cities is considered wrong and the need for Israeli self defense is ignored. Israeli defensive efforts have been even condemned internationally by the European Union and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has accused Israel of using "excessive force" in attempting to destroy the sources of the rockets launched daily that terrorize Israeli citizens.
With time running short, Rice's continuing travel to the Mid East will not cause the Palestinians to change their intent on destroying Israel so it is inconceivable that "peace can be achieved in our (i.e. Bushes') time", or at all. Even though there is only 10 months left in his term of office, Bush said he still believes there is "plenty of time" to get a Mideast peace deal before his term ends. Egad!
History shows peace is only achieved when one side defeats the other. Moreover, further dealing with Abbas is futile since Hamas really runs Palestine and they are unlikely to smoke the peace pipe with Israel in our lifetime. The Bush unrealistic expectation that a deal can be made with Abbas, and that any "agreement" will be abided by the Palestinians, especially while it is actually Hamas that rules, is absurd in the extreme.
Predictably, Israel's military response to the continuing barrage from Gaza has inflamed Arabs around the entire region. Naturally Arabs ignore their provocations and successfully focus world attention on the Israeli response. Arabs never lose the public relations war while never winning a military war.
In an amazing display of "chutzpah", Abbas said there would be no peace talks until Israel stops it attacks in Gaza; which really means until Israel stops defending itself. But Rice ignores the irony by Abbas and asks Olmert to do all Israel can to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. Has anyone heard Rice or anyone else ask Hamas to avoid Israeli civilian casualties?
Abbas declined Rice's request to return to negotiations until Israel "halts its aggression". Rice talking to Abbas about his decision to suspend peace talks because of the violence sounds very much like a mother scolding recalcitrant child who continually ignores her and it will have the same result. The United States and the world find it impossible to understand that one cannot negotiate with Muslims.
Madam Secretary said that negotiations between "moderate Palestinians" and the Israelis are the only solution. "I understand the difficulties of the current moment," she said. "We all must keep an eye on what is important." - How ridiculous! First of all are there any "moderate" Palestinians, and what is a "moderate Palestinian" anyway? Is a moderate Palestinian one that will try to negotiate Israel out of existence rather than blow it away?