The New York Times tries to explain Rice's Shift on Leading Mideast Peace Efforts with an article adapted from Elisabeth Bumiller's book (to be published next month - Condoleezza Rice: An American Life). It's absolutely idiotic. For instance:
... Ms. Rice spent much of 2005 working on the Gaza withdrawal that she thought would contribute to stability. Instead, it was seen as so emboldening the radicals that in early 2006 Hamas won a landslide victory in Palestinian elections over Mr. Abbas and his governing party, Fatah.
Ms. Rice, who had heralded the election as a symbol of the new stirrings of democracy in the Middle East, was so blindsided by the victory that she was startled when she saw a crawl of words on her television screen while exercising on her elliptical trainer the morning after the election: “In wake of Hamas victory, Palestinian cabinet resigns.”
“I thought, ‘Well, that’s not right,’” Ms. Rice recalled. When the crawl continued, she got off the elliptical trainer and called the State Department.
“I said, ‘What happened in the Palestinian elections?’” Ms. Rice recalled. “And they said, ‘Oh, Hamas won.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, Hamas won?’”
The Gaza withdrawal led to the election of Hamas? As I remember, it was American insistence that Hamas be allowed on the ballot, followed by Palestinian voting, that led to the election of Hamas. The Gaza withdrawal led to torched synagogues, kassam attacks, terrorist enclaves and training camps where once there were beautiful, happy and flourishing neighborhoods. Oh yeah, and don't forget the cross-border attacks and captured Israeli soldiers. But none of that is mentioned by Bumiller in the Times. Nor is there any mention of what the road map required of the Palestinians (all of which remains undelivered), or the quid pro quo Sharon received for his "disengagement," the Bush Letter.
For a moment, I thought those omissions were important. Then I read this part:
Over Christmas , [Rice] took home reports written by the State Department historian on previous American efforts toward a peace agreement in the Middle East, and met alone in her Watergate apartment with [Tzipi] Livni. There they worked out an ambitious plan to get Mr. Olmert to meet with Mr. Abbas, not on the incremental steps of the road map, but on the big “final status” issues of a Palestinian state.
So now we know how Annapolis was hatched. It's of course unbelievable -- two ladies alone over Christmas in a DC apartment (in the Watergate, yet) scheming together on the couch in their pajamas, with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer on the tv, with the sound turned down... so they could think.
"Oh my goodness."
And yet they managed to bring two great nations to their knees.
I would say something about emasculation, but it might offend the feminists. And I would say something about the danger of being on one's knees in the presence of Islamists, but that would offend the Muslims. I think I'll just wait and see what happens tomorrow.
UPDATE: How funny that I should see this just now, as I was getting ready to shut down for the night. They're at it again! More trouble on the horizon.
Washington (AFP) -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday for the first of a series of meetings aimed at bridging gaps between Israel and the Palestinians ahead of a peace meeting on Tuesday.
Rice hosted Livni for one-on-one talks over lunch at her private residence in the Watergate complex just hours after the Israeli foreign minister arrived together with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in Washington, a senior source told AFP.
So what did they do with Ollie? Poor guy, so non-essential to the real peace processors. (I bet they locked him in a broom closet.)