Tom Friedman Points Out Void in US Foreign Policy
Tom Friedman’s column in Sunday’s New York Times, written before Colin Powell’s resignation, points out why Powell would have been important had he stayed on. Friedman wrote:
- If only President Bush called in Colin Powell and said: “Colin, neither of us have much to show by way of diplomacy for the last four years. I want you to get on an airplane and go out to the Middle East. I want you to sit down with Israelis and Palestinians and forge a framework for a secure Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and progress toward a secure peace in the West Bank, and I don’t want you to come back home until you’ve got that. Only this time I will stand with you.
- “As long as you’re out there, I will not let Rummy or Cheney fire any more arrows into your back. So get going. It’s time for you to stop sulking over at Foggy Bottom and time for me to make a psychological breakthrough with the Arab world that can also help us succeed in Iraq – by making it easier for Arabs and Muslims to stand with us. I don’t want to see you back here until you’ve put our words into deeds.”
One key phrase in this fictional dialogue is, “Only this time I will stand with you.” It’s not going to happen now. So, who’s going to bring peace in the Middle East? Paul Wolfowitz? I don’t think so. Bush is keeping his evangelical Christians and Zionist Jews for whom hatred is a way of life, and his moderates are jumping ship, or being pushed over the side.