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How Could Such a Thing Happen?

In this report on the peace talks, we learn:

The administration is frustrated, the sources said, that Abbas keeps publicly insisting on an absolute freeze and positions that may limit his own flexibility in the talks.

“I get a pretty strong sense of exasperation from the administration folks that Abbas keeps climbing up the tree himself,” one Middle East expert in close consultation with the administration said Tuesday. “This time, he is the one putting demands on a moratorium.”

Well, gosh — how in the world did we get to this point? Could it be that Obama tried for 18 months to cram a freeze down the Israelis’ throats? Could it have something to do with a building permit in Jerusalem eliciting a condemnation from the administration?

When you hear things like this, you realize that in many ways it really is amateur hour. At nearly every turn, the Obama team has misread the players, created more conflict than it resolved, and then scrambled to repair the damage. You never realized how smart the Bush Middle East diplomacy was, huh?


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