Signaling he intends for the Obama administration’s second-term foreign policy to be just as dysfunctional as it was during the first, Secretary of State John Kerry is tackling the enormous U.S. national security challenges in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and Libya . . . by trying to negotiate peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
This is like trying to deal with a flooded basement by pumping out the attic.
From an excellent piece in today’s New York Times calling Kerry out:
In Damascus, the Syrian government’s forces are digging in against rebels in a bloody civil war that is swiftly approaching the grim milestone of 100,000 dead. In Cairo, an angry tide of protesters again threatens an Egyptian president.
At the same time, in tranquil Tel Aviv, Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a busy round of shuttle diplomacy, laboring to revive a three-decade-old attempt at peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He insisted on Sunday that he had made “real progress.”
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, once a stark symbol and source of grievance in the Arab world, is now almost a sideshow in a Middle East consumed by sectarian strife, economic misery and, in Egypt, a democratically elected leader fighting for legitimacy with many of his people . . .
And yet Mr. Kerry, backed by Mr. Obama, still believes that tackling the problem is worth the effort: five visits to the region in the last three months. The most recent trip involved nearly 20 hours of talks, stretching almost until dawn, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.
Well, it may be a mystery to some, but I’ll tell you exactly what Kerry is doing: He’s going for the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Denied his rightful seat in the Oval Office by that supposed dunce-head usurper George W. Bush, Kerry must somehow make history. And so he will do what Henry Kissinger, George Schultz, Madeleine Albright, and of course Hillary Clinton all failed to do: He’ll make peace once and for all between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
But the Israeli-Palestinian situation is relatively quiet right now. And who in their right mind thinks that the Israelis are going to take a chance on a peace deal with the Palestinians while barbarism and instability are raging all around them?
This is not about securing America’s future – or Israel’s. This is about securing John Kerry’s future in the annals of world history.