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December 11, 2004

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Nur al-Cubicle

Found this from Agence France Presse through L'Orient le Jour on the Forum on the Future:

Abderrahman Yussufi, Moroccan political scientist and former government minister, is quoted as saying, [The USA's] injustice in essential matters precludes American leadership in introducing reforms.

I remember European Union comment when the President's Greater Middle East Project was introduced. They were floored by the cost and miffed that their own cross-Mediterranean partnership intiative, ongoing for years, was ignored. If I recall, most Arab leaders complained that they were not in any way consulted before Bush dropped The Project out of the blue.

If Northern Ireland is any criteria to judge the Forum and the Initiative, they will be a big flop. This is the way it looks to me. About 18 months ago, Bush trumpeted the claim that he was going to bring peace to Ulster. (Blair thought he could count on Bush to pressure the IRA to disarm for the devolution process. Except for one detail--Bush's connections are to the other side--Ian Paisley.) Bush's peacemaking promise consisted of exactly two 11-th hour phone calls, one to Paisley and one to Adams.

Gilbert Achcar wrote a very caustic analysis of the project in the Monde Diplomatique (link below) and essentially said what Abu has observed: "The initiative is "politically timid and economically firm."

http://mondediplo.com/2004/04/04world

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