(Whoops, I thought this was already posted, but I had only saved it as a draft. I don't remember when I first put it together, so I hope it's still relevant.)
Helene Cooper writing for the New York Times, June 14th (hang in there - it's the punch line that is so funny):
.... Administration officials were pushing Mr. Abbas to dissolve the power-sharing agreement between Fatah and Hamas that set up the Palestinians’ national unity government, dismiss the entire government and use the power of the Constitution to call for new elections.
“He has the power of the presidency, it’s within his power to do that,” the official said, insisting on anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.
But several Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah indicated Wednesday that Mr. Abbas was considering giving Hamas control over the Palestinian Authority’s security forces in Gaza, a move that would ostensibly cede the territory to Hamas and leave Mr. Abbas with authority solely over the West Bank.
“There are a lot of people now who are angry and are saying, ‘Let Hamas govern Gaza, let Gaza go to hell,’ ” said Ghaith al-Omari, a former foreign policy adviser to Mr. Abbas who is now a fellow at the New America Foundation, a public-policy institute in Washington.
But that is a prospect that Israel and the United States fear could lead to a situation in which Gaza becomes a breeding ground for terrorists.
Never mind that people saw this coming years ago; see for example Bordering on a State of Chaos -September 2005.
Funny #2 consists of Cooper engaging in outright lies in order to editorialize that ... it's Bush's fault.
“We have limited options, and most of them are bad,” said Martin S. Indyk, the former United States ambassador to Israel. America’s options are limited in part because its role has been limited, with the Bush administration pursuing what for the most part has been a hands-off policy toward the Palestinians.
.... One diplomat, who was in the room at a summit of Arab leaders in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh the day before the Aqaba meeting, said Bush delivered a blunt message: "Look guys, if I didn't think I could do this, I wouldn't be here. I wouldn't waste my time and come all this distance if I didn't know I could do it." White House aides later said that the President's words were not so self-referential, and that he didn't mean to suggest he alone was responsible for the future of the Middle East.
Indeed, Bush spent a lot of time stressing that all parties need to take steps toward peace. But the President's decision to get personally involved in that effort — risking diplomatic embarrassment abroad and political backlash at home — was remarkable.
.... Arafat is spending a good part of his time setting up roadblocks for Abu Mazen even before the latter has started on Bush's "roadmap."
Arafat is not the only problem, however. A substantial body of Palestinian opinion is also opposed to peace. A hard core represented by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and a number of smaller leftist and Islamist groups, make no secret of their hopes to "liberate" the whole of pre-1948 Palestine, which means dismantling Israel.
"We reject the two-state solution proposed by Bush," says Abdelaziz Rantissi, a Hamas leader. "There are no ifs and buts about our position." The creation of Israel was an injustice that must be undone. There can be no compromise."
Too bad Cooper wasn't reading Banagor back in January 2004. In retrospect, he might as well have addressed this post directly to her:
Perhaps you are one of those who believes that "Kill the Jews" and "Destroy America" is some sort of quaint colloquial form of saying "Please pass the bread and salt" at the table? Perhaps you are one of those who thinks that "not all Muslims believe that", and that is probably so. But even if only ten percent of the Muslim world believes it, that is still one hundred million enemies to deal with. That is more than the German army ever had on the ground. Bush didn't create those words; the terrorists did.
What do you believe?
Perhaps that Bush did create this atmosphere of hatred, stretching even so far back as the middle ages when Islam was bent on destroying the West, as it is still today? I say Islam when naturally, I mean fundamentalist Islam. Even "moderate" Muslims are stating these things, and Bush didn't create their words for them either. He doesn't speak Arabic and he doesn't often give remarks in mosques around the world. Naturally the Left would as soon as not believe that in fact he planted all those mullahs screeching for our blood, and the stupid Leftist followers would have you believe that this is plausible because anything is possible, which makes everything true.
Cooper should know better. The only explanation I can imagine for her blaming Bush is that she might bear a grudge stemming from the early days of the war in Iraq, when she was embedded with the Army's Third Infantry Division.
"I kept thinking, this is such a stupid war to get killed in."
After about three weeks, she said, "I had a meltdown." She called her mother on her satellite phone and promised not to go into Baghdad with the invading forces.
"I turned tail and ran just outside Saddam International Airport, which was under fire at that point. I caught a Chinook helicopter and bailed out," the journalist recalled.
"If I could change it now," knowing Baghdad would fall so quickly, without street-to-street combat, "I probably would have stuck it out," Cooper told the audience. "But at the point that I left, I didn't think I would have any regrets. I had reached my breaking point."