THE GAZA PULLOUT….Is Ariel Sharon going to succeed in unilaterally withdrawing from the Gaza Strip? Jim Henley thinks not:

Like the Road Map, Taba and Oslo before it, the Gaza disengagement is heading for the wastebasket of big mideast plans. If I had any doubts that the whole thing was a show, the Someday Someway timetable (requiring further cabinet approval to actually implement!) confirms it. We can’t say what precise combination of timely suicide attacks on one side and targetted killings on the other will scuttle the putative disengagement, but we’ve been here before.

Sadly, this is probably accurate. Extremists on both sides know perfectly well how to stage outrages designed to scuttle any forward progress in the Middle East, and neither side has shown the backbone to stand up to its own extremists for the past two decades.

Someday that may change, but probably not soon. Ariel Sharon, Yasser Arafat, and George Bush just aren’t the right cast of characters to do it.

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