Not Even Hinting

NOT EVEN HINTING….Philip Zelikow, one of Condoleezza Rice’s aides, made a speech the other day. Glenn Kessler reports on the reaction:

“For the Arab moderates and for the Europeans, some sense of progress and momentum on the Arab-Israeli dispute is just a sine qua non for their ability to cooperate actively with the United States on a lot of other things that we care about,” Zelikow said. “We can rail against that belief; we can find it completely justifiable, but it’s fact. That means an active policy on the Arab-Israeli dispute is an essential ingredient to forging a coalition that deals with the most dangerous problems.”

Zelikow’s comments alarmed Israelis, who fear becoming a pawn in American diplomatic calculations, and U.S. officials said they were misinterpreted. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack even posted a statement on Power Line, a right-wing blog, saying there is no change in policy.

Should we laugh or cry? Zelikow makes the entirely unremarkable observation that the United States should be engaged in trying to resolve the Arab-Israeli dispute, if for no other reason than that a lot of other people think it’s important, and the wingosphere is so livid that the State Department feels it necessary to assure Power Line ? Power Line! ? that “Nothing in Philip’s remarks should be interpreted as laying out or even hinting at a change in policy.”

Whew. We sure wouldn’t want any changes in policy out of this crew. Their current ones are working so well, after all.

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