Q: Is the country closer to a civil war?
SEC. RUMSFELD: Oh, I don’t know. You know, I thought about that last night, and just musing over the words, the phrase, and what constitutes it. If you think of our Civil War, this is really very different…. It clearly is being stimulated by people who would like to have what could be characterized as a civil war and win it, but I’m not going to be the one to decide if, when or at all.
Meanwhile, also in the Middle East (at least they’ve concentrated this war on terror on a smaller-than-China central theater), lots of calls for Syrian interaction. Thomas Friedman (and big high five to David Sirota for breaking down the big-talking faux-know-it-all in this must-read column yesterday) says talks with Syria are better sooner rather than later. Faisal al-Yafai notes that while Syrian foreign minister Faisal al-Meqdad said he was ready to talk to the U.S. it was only because of the U.S.’s insistence that Syria not be invited to the EU / UN / U.S. / France meeting in Rome. This, inherently makes America a big part of the problem. Jonathan Freedland takes the blame even further, stating that Bush’s blind support of Israel combined with the numerous “lethal mistakes” in his diplomatic foreign policy “efforts” is to blame.
Finally, the constipated one, who remains so stubborn and adamant about a practically non-existent foreign policy masked by completely irrational if not impossible (and invisible) diplomacy got taken down big time by the right in the conservative Insight Magazine’s “Dump Condi” article: “…[S]he is incompetent and has reversed the administration?s national security and foreign policy agenda.” Remember when they wanted her to be the next president?!?
The multilateral panel that met in Rome is now qualified to call their respective consituents screaming “America is mad” after the U.S. (Sec. Rice & her “birth pangs“) became the primary obstacle in brokering any sort of cease-fire. As Marc Lynch noticed — with one eye on Arabic TV at all times — the Arab world is already more or less convinced that this Israeli offensive is only part of “the American project for a new Middle East.”
So, what now?