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…
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