While the focus is on yesterday’s elections and the ensuing fallout, I thought this piece to be interesting… it appears that Mrs. Clinton is doing a two-step with her Arab “friends”:
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the U.S stance toward Israeli settlement building to worried Arab allies on Wednesday, saying Washington does not accept the legitimacy of the West Bank enclaves and wants to see their construction halted “forever.”
Still, she said an Israeli offer to restrain — but not halt — construction represents “positive movement forward” toward resuming Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
Clinton met for an hour with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak during a hastily arranged stopover in the Egyptian capital to soothe Arab concerns that Washington is backing off demands for an Israeli settlement halt. The fears were sparked on Saturday when Clinton, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at her side in Jerusalem, praised his government’s offer as unprecedented.
She has since tried to clarify the remarks, saying that the Israeli offer does not got far enough. Still, she has indicated that the Palestinians should resume negotiations with Israel without a full settlement halt as they demand.
On Wednesday, Clinton insisted “our policy on settlement has not changed.”
“We do not accept the legitimacy of settlement activity. Ending all settlement activity current and future would be preferable,” she told reporters after talks with Mubarak.
Of the Israeli offer, she said, “It is not what we would prefer because we would like to see everything ended forever.”
“But it is something that I think shows at least a positive movement forward toward final status issues being addressed,” she said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is sticking to his refusal to resume negotiations until Israel stops building settlements. He rejected the Israeli plan to complete 3,000 housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank, and to continue to construct public buildings and other construction in east Jerusalem — a territory Palestinians hope will be their future capital.
After Arab criticism of her comments in Jerusalem on the Israeli plan, Clinton delayed her return to Washington after attending an international conference in Marrakech, Morocco, and flew instead to Cairo.
The problem with a policy that depends on speaking out of both sides of the mouth is that you spend far too much time “clarifying” your remarks… and then even more time attempting to convey sincerity and integrity.
In the end, it doesn’t work and instead has the most detrimental of outcomes. I mean, who in hell would believe a damn thing coming out of this administration except the psychophants who hang on every word?