A warning to readers; this blog will be biased.
I will not dispense the motivational language usually reserved for the word leadership. It is as tiring to repeat as the recent lack of leadership from the US in the Middle East crisis has been.
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice went to Rome she faced an impossible task in trying to sell the Arab world on the U.S. policy of delaying a cease-fire on the grounds that "whatever we do, we have to be certain that we're pushing forward to the new Middle East, not going back to the old Middle East.”
Having the talks fail in producing an outcome this should not then be a real surprise. However, I ask this simple question: what were such talks supposed to do?
The most tangible and immediate result could have been a cease-fire. An end to the civilian deaths that mount each day, an end to violence that is emboldening moderate Lebanese to side with Hezbollah and for the Palestinians, a respite from daily chaos.
We, the United States have failed to be a leader. This failure began when we did not immediately respond a week and a half ago to Israel’s reciprocity and though such inaction might have been explained, failure in Rome cannot. We have failed to be the leader of the free world, which if the definition fits, includes Israel.
It is shameful. There is no other word for this failure. It is difficult to think of the next course of action, a real plan for peace. Since President Bush seems content to leave such thinking to his man or in this case woman on the ground, Secretary Rice, the mission I spoke in a prior post seems to be over, not that the mission was really defined for real success in the first place.
Where is Jimmy Carter or, dare I say the name, Bill Clinton?