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January 09, 2008


nur al-cubicle

An analysis in today's Le Monde echos your take re Bush and the Palestinian issue, AA.

I kind of wonder why Bush as President did not visit Israel before this, besides any issue of getting to know the Arab personalities/viewpoints. Funny too how his stay in Jerusalem just happens to be from "9" to "11". I suppose the visit is some sort of consecration.

Speaking of fawning. Heh: Olmert: George, you are a "decider"; Ehoud, you are a "visionary".

Last, if this is a trip to mobilize the Arabs against Tehran, well, then that US naval group nearly certainly entered Iranian waters to elicit a reaction. The use by Fox and CNN of videos and voice recordings of the "outrage" of an Iranian "provocation" is rather over the top.


maybe you should write for le Monde

nur al-cubicle

Great idea, provided the job comes with a case of Pommerol!

saeed uri

it is going to be a waste of jet fuel. Bush and the Israelis are just so far off from a solution that could be acceptable to the palestinians that the trip is pointless. I think the arabs figured this out in Annapolis, and i think only abu mazen is still dreaming.
i really dont know why he is going except to shut up condi.


AA - what do you make of this? http://www.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/AA5C923C-FAC2-450C-BD5C-18D9AE5F3AE2.htm

I realize that Abu 'Awda has supposedly been on the outs with 'Abdallah for a while, but do you think this reflects official Jordanian thinking to any degree? Any connection with the fact that Bush isn't stopping in Jordan this time?


As this is plainly a "legacy tour," Arab media reaction is not as interesting as it might be otherwise. Interesting comment would compare and contrast expectations in the region to what the White House wanted to come from the trip. What the White House wants, though, is to check a box on the Bush Presidency's travelogue and produce some photos for the presidential library, objectives that aren't relevant to anyone else. So there will be a lot of talking past one another in the Mideast this week.

Most American officials are probably hoping the President doesn't make things worse. I don't think the administration is wrong, for example, that GCC goverments have been and will remain deeply suspicious of Iran under its current government, but feeling that way and wanting to "confront" their much larger neighbor are two different things -- something I think Sec. Gates understands, even Sec. Rice understands. President Bush, well, that is another story, and I think there are probably some American officials counting the hours until this trip is over. And the President can resume his battle for fiscal responsibility in Washington.

dilbert dogbert

The presidential "Grand Tour" is a fixture of the last years of a failed presidency.


I would be more interested in hearing wich part of his entourage is following along. Is it Gates people or Cheneys people?

moddar alzoubi

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This trip reminds me of Nixon's trip to the Middle East in 1974, and I think it was done for the same reasons.

Shoghig M.

Just a bit off-topic here (or is it?), but a few hours ago an explosion targeted a U.S Embassy convoy in Beirut (just for the record, I live in Mount Lebanon, a 20-minute drive from the U.S embassy). People are coming up with all sorts of explanations. One is that the explosion is related to Bush's visit to the region... I frankly don't buy this. Ironically, it's an association that the Israeli press seems to have quite a bit of fixation on... Any thoughts about this?


First thoughts are: Hmm, they tried to take out the Norwegian foreign minister in Kabul last night. New wave?

Second thoughts: There is a meeting being held between sunni, kurds and shia factions in Iraq for political reconciliation in Beirut these days, most propably aimed at that? Please post details..

Shoghig M.

Fnord, I was never good at understanding sarcasm, so you'll have to explain what you meant by that...! And go over it slowly, will you, I'm a bit thick-skulled.
Thanks in advance!

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