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Monday, February 19, 2007

Quick Question: State Department or Saudis?

Who do you trust more to accomplish a positive result in: Iran, Syria, and Palestine?

Condi or Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan?

I have no doubt who has more influence in the region and who has a more realistic world view. Unfortunately, the Saudis are looking out for the Saudis, not the US.

What do you think?

Comments on "Quick Question: State Department or Saudis?"

 

Blogger JPTERP said ... (8:16 PM) : 

On balance, I'm glad to see that at least one ally is successfully pressuring regional powers in a more constructive direction. However, the Israeli-Palestine conflict can't be resolved without an active U.S. role.

One thing that gets me about this administration is that it states "pre-conditions" for negotiations, which would more commonly be "outcomes" of a successful negotiation. If the administration used this approach selectively, it might have some potency, but it is used as a default position, which is just flat out boneheaded.

In other words, the administration is throwing out a wish list, but it is doing absolutely nothing to bring its objectives to fruition. In fact, the "pre-conditions" are likely to have a chilling effect on negotiations, because we are treating sovereign states as if they were subject states. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Meanwhile we are leaving the door wide open for other global powers to exert a more powerful influence in the region (e.g. China in particular, which is extremely saavy and ruthless on the diplomatic front).

The post-mortem from the Bush years is going to look pretty ugly. The North Korean deal has some promise, and the Libyan deal which was forged during the Clinton years bore some fruit. But that's pretty much it. Things like Gitmo, extraodinary rendition, and the jettisoning of things like the Kyoto Treaty have alienated our ALLIES and weakened our diplomatic power on a range of issues.

In reference to the Kyoto Treaty, even if this administration didn't accept Kyoto as it was it should have at least acknowledged the decade of work that went into the agreement. They could have stalled on this, or asked for more "business" friendly terms. But simply dismissing it out of hand was not constructive diplomacy.

 

Blogger Robb said ... (8:32 PM) : 

Brilliant comment. Thank you.

 

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