“Even Worse Odds Than in 2008 for Mideast Deal” — AP
One of the things I liked best about President Obama’s first term was his basically walking away from trying to broker a Mideast peace deal. He seemed to have gotten the message that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I’ve never been a fan of John Kerry’s, and these new talks aren’t make me feel more warm and fuzzy toward him. I hate to think of my tax dollars spent on hosting yet another exercise in futility.
When the Israelis and the Arabs are ready to make peace, they will. Until then, we should stay the hell out of it.
At the same time, I strongly believe that we should engage on our own behalf not just with our friends, but with our enemies and frenemies. It drives me crazy that we haven’t had an ambassador to Iran since 1979. I believe that when things are bad, you withdraw your ambassador for a time to express your displeasure, but you can’t do that unless you have an ambassador there to begin with. I’d have an embassy in North Korea as well.
I believe in direct face-to-face talks between world leaders. I hate this notion that you have to have some breakthrough or major deal to announce or talks can’t be held. Presidents Obama and Putin should meet regularly to lay out their positions and simply discuss where we have common interests and where we don’t. Even if they don’t change or resolve anything, they can at least make sure there are no misunderstandings and each side can explain its rationales. That isn’t weakness, that’s wisdom. I’m disappointed that Obama cancelled his meeting in Moscow with Putin. If he’s schlepping all the way to St. Petersburg, he should make the short trip to Moscow and have a sit-down with Vlad.