Middle East Peace Summit

Well, it's coming up and there is news all over the web on it. Here are a few interesting quotes from sundry places:

New York Sun:

Mr. Bush the son, and his secretary of state Ms. Rice are going into this one as anemic supplicants pleading with a collection of keystone cops for anything that can be dubbed success. A far more attainable success may have been wrung from an Iraq conference seeking to build on what finally seems to be some progress there. Instead, Ms. Rice picked a sure loser — ending the 50-year conflict of Arabs and Jews in one afternoon photo opportunity.

Equally hard to believe is the coyness of it all. The ever-precious Saudis first said no, then maybe, and then okay. The Egyptians, who were not needed in the first place, said please. The Syrians are doing us the favor of coming.

Yet it remains unclear how the same Saudis, who last week were busy condemning a rape victim to 200 lashes, can contribute to anything called a "civilized" Middle East. Nor how President Assad's killing machine, which for two years has been picking off pro-Western politicians in neighboring Lebanon, will push peace negotiations.

Times Online UK:

Pope Benedict XVI today offered prayers for this week's Middle East summit at Annapolis, saying he hoped the participants would find the "wisdom and courage" needed to bring peace to the Holy Land.

He said he hoped the meeting would relaunch negotiations "to find a just and definitive solution to the conflict which for 60 years has bloodied the Holy Land and provoked so many tears and suffering among two peoples".

Al Jazeera English:

Hosted by the US president and supported by Arab, European and other foreign ministers, Palestinian and Israeli leaders are expected to re-launch their long stalled negotiations in Annapolis on Tuesday.

Judging from its high attendance and low expectations, Annapolis is more likely to help three sitting ducks, Olmert, Abbas and Bush, than advance the cause of peace in the Middle East.

The summit also helps the "peace president" silence his domestic Iraq policy detractors as the "war president" tries to isolate his Middle East rivals like Iran who reject a pax Americana in the region.


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