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Where did that Reset Button get to?

The one we heard so much about?  Especially now that The One's Middle East program is in such disarray that his Special Envoy is resigning...

White House Down in Middle East

The news that George Mitchell is resigning as US special envoy closes a chapter in the greatest international failure of the Obama administration to date.  The President's foreign policy team has some real successes under its belt -- the reset with Russia, a marked reduction in global levels of anti-Americanism, steady progress in Iraq, and of course the spectacular Abbottabad raid to name a few -- but there is no way to disguise the harsh truth: the White House flopped big time on the Israel-Palestine process.

Administration apologists want to shift the blame for the Middle East failure to Israeli intransigence and Palestinian fecklessness, and while those factors are, as usual, part of the problem, the failure of its peace initiative is one mess the White House owns.

Brimming with self-confidence, the incoming team was sure it could get the job done back in 2009.  President Clinton, they argued, had the right idea, but he left it too late.  Bush also left it too late, they said, and was both too close to Israel and too diplomatically inept.  The Obamans would show us how the job should be done.  They would start early with a full court press and, unlike President Obama's supposedly incompetent predecessors, they wouldn't be "Israel's lawyer."  Getting tough on Israel would score points in the Muslim world and bring the peace negotiations to a rapid conclusion.



I would quibble with counting Russia as a success.  From where I sit, too much was given away for intangible concessions, while our actual national interests were far more closely aligned with the former Soviet Republics that Russia has been steadily undermining and re-integrating.

Quibble aside, did the 0bamites really believe that history was not prologue?  Were they so arrogant in their self righteousness that they believed they could change the nature of the issues and the actors involved by merely being fresh faces?

Motivations aside, the fruits at this point are relatively clear:

Let us hope that things change, but the bitter truth is that so far President Obama has the worst Middle East peace policy since US presidents first took a direct interest in the peace process back in the Nixon Administration.  No one has tried harder and accomplished less than President Obama.  After two years of high profile White House activism neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians think that this President can help them; neither side feels much need to work with Washington at this point.

Worse, there are now questions about the survival of the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty negotiated under Jimmy Carter.  President Obama may not only be remembered as a president who failed to make any progress towards Middle East peace; he could well be the president who saw thirty years of painful progress collapse on his watch.


Read the whole thing for Mead's analysis of how things ganged astray.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

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Comments (14)

Mitchell resigned because O... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Mitchell resigned because Obama has continued Bush's slavish obeisance to the Likud Party of Israel.

There's no hope of a settlement, as long as the settlements continue to carve up the West Bank.

Chico, channeling his inner... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Chico, channeling his inner Jimmy Carter:

it's all the fault of the JOOOOOOOOS!!

way to go, Chico!

Hahahahaha! Who knew Chico... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Hahahahaha! Who knew Chico was a comic!

As for 'the Best Administration, evah!'. Too bad they got bitch-slapped by REALITY.

So Obama tried harder than ... (Below threshold)
john:

So Obama tried harder than Bush, and they both failed to accomplish anything. Thanks, good article.

"Mitchell resigned because ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Mitchell resigned because Obama has continued Bush's slavish obeisance to the Likud Party of Israel."

Could you expand on your incisive analysis and explain why Obama has chosen a policy he has characterized as wanting in the past?

Absolutely nothing will cha... (Below threshold)
recovered liberal democrat:

Absolutely nothing will change for the better nationaly or internationaly until Obamalala and all of his regime are thrown out.

Could you expand on your... (Below threshold)
Chico:

Could you expand on your incisive analysis and explain why Obama has chosen a policy he has characterized as wanting in the past?

Simple - Obama is weak and is letting Netanyahu do what he wants for political reasons. Making a settlement would require pushing the Israelis to draw lines and agree to borders with a somewhat contiguous Palestinian state. The Israelis are not willing to do this. They prefer to grab land acre by acre and ride the tiger.

"Simple - Obama is weak and... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"Simple - Obama is weak and is letting Netanyahu do what he wants for political reasons."

Political reasons are likely. Pressuring the Israelis is a popular stance on the international stage but less popular in the US. I think Obama is "behaving himself" in anticipation of an election and Mitchell doesn't feel like sitting on his thumb until 2012 passes. Right now Obama's major efforts need to be directed at getting re-elected. Keep attention away from the unpopular stuff he has done so far and lie about policy important to the average American. Hence, the fake job on expanding oil leases as well. Take heart, if he wins in 2012 he will be back with a venegence and you will be able to smile again.

No one has tried harder ... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

No one has tried harder and accomplished less than President Obama.

Accomplished less, yes.

Tried harder ... not so much.

Its wonderful what one can ... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

Its wonderful what one can achieve when affirmative action is the driving force.

"did the 0bamites really... (Below threshold)
retired military:

"did the 0bamites really believe that history was not prologue?"

Rodney

Socialims. Obama's economic plan.

nuf said

Chico " The Israelis... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Chico
" The Israelis are not willing to do this. They prefer to grab land acre by acre and ride the tiger."

As opposed to the palistinians who have been offered every concession in the book but refuses to have peace with Israel.

It is sorta like Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. If there were no racism tomorrow what would they blame their troubles on.

Can anyone describe the Oba... (Below threshold)
Greta:

Can anyone describe the Obama plan for the middle east?

You have to understand that all the fool Barry knows is community organizing. To do that, you go in and stir up people aimed at some common enemy like the landlord or the rich. You go out each day and continue to stir the pot until you get a reaction. If it is good in some way for the community you organized, you claim credit for that and stir the pot some more endlessly as if at some point, you have solved the issue by remaking the community into what you believe it should look like. As president, he looks at an issue as to how it imapcts the community he cares about which is those who will vote to keep him in power. Knowing that only those with their hand out to government are going to vote for him along with those with white guilt, those who love as many abortions as possible, and trade unions who could care less about the country, you can see in every one of his policies that he is working for those groups to keep their anger high so they show up. The evil ones are corporations that actually employ people, those paying taxes which in his view are never enough, and those with any moral values or love of country. He never gives a speech without a demon to hate or some committment to one of his communities...

In the middle east, he really could care less about what happens there in regard to peace. Peace means oil flows and gas prices are too low for this green technology community buddies to make a killing. Oil is hated by his wacky environmental community and the more expense the better. So what are his mid east policies...as much turmoil and trouble as he can arrange. Of course those in his save the planet communities drive around in limo's, fly in private planes, and have multiple homes with massive swimming pools. They will all be given federal money to pay for the added costs and as much greeney technology as they want..just as long as their are no ugly wind mills or solar panels blocking their views...

His policy there is the sam... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

His policy there is the same as his anywhere: Punish and insult our friends, and hug those who want to kill us.




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