Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Middle East Leaders, Bush,
Aim for the Stars in Annapolis

Compromise was once defined as an outcome that leaves everyone dissatisfied. There's something to this.

Judging from demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and Israel, what's happening in Annapolis could be a compromise. I'm looking at news video of Palestinians and Israelis making it clear that they don't like what's going on on the other side of the Atlantic.

Not all Palestinians and Israelis: the demonstrations seem to be a sort of joint Hamas/Israeli right-winger effort.

In a weird way, this could be seen as an early victory for the peace conference: Hamas and die hard Israeli zealots agree on something.

There's some more realistic good news in an Associated Press article:
  • Two states are okay - but the Palestinians and Arab states don't want the place with all those infidels to be called a "Jewish state
  • Palestinians want the phrase, "ending the occupation that started in 1967," to be in the agreement - American and Israeli delegates aren't so keen on the idea
  • Palestinians want things to be wrapped up in a year
From what I just heard, in President Bush's speech at Annapolis, the Americans are okay with the one-year schedule.

I see what's going on in Annapolis as good news.
  • Thanks to good security, nobody's gotten killed at the conference so far
  • "Death to Israel!" doesn't seem to be on the table
  • There may be a tight, but plausible, deadline in play
  • Hamas doesn't like what's going on
  • Israelis who don't like their own government's policies don't like what's going on
But, I'm not getting too excited. I remember when the Arab world rose up and tried to push the Jews into the sea, back in 1967: and the 'Mideast peace processes' that followed.

Four decades later, some Palestinians are still killing Jews, some Israelis are still putting buildings up where they aren't supposed to, and the Jewish state shows now sign of being willing to declare open season on its citizens.

But, again, what's happening in Annapolis is a good thing.

And this time it may work.

I think that bad news elsewhere may help things along here. I doubt that non-Shiite (and some Shiite) Muslims are particularly comfortable with Iran having nuclear weapons, and missiles to deliver them to Middle Eastern countries.

Enlightened self-interest in these conditions would encourage Arab leaders to sort out the gap between Palestinian desires and reality, leaving time for more vital concerns.

Back to the goal of wrapping this matter up in a year? I think it's a good idea to aim high. At least, it might encourage the parties to take the ideas seriously: and reduce the hope that the American presidential election next year will put someone with a taste for interminable diplomacy in the Oval Office.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.