April 7, 2002


U.S. Eases Demand for Israel Pullout (Barry Schwied, April 5, 2002, Associated Press)
Secretary of State Colin Powell will leave for the region Sunday night and has no plans to meet with Yasser Arafat, Fleischer said without elaboration.

Powell's short-term goal is a cease-fire to stop the bloodletting.

His long-term goal is to start Israel and the Palestinians on a peacemaking track.

Both goals are elusive. Powell is on the spot...

It only took the AP a day or two to realize that Colin Powell lost by winning. As the head of the State Department, he's the de facto head of the pro-Arab and pro-peace forces in the government. Now he has to get Arafat and the rest of the Arabs to act like responsible heads of state who actually care about peace, their people, and coexistence with Israel. If he fails, as how can he not, their side fails and the hawks (led by Bush himself) gain the upper hand.

You have to wonder if the major media aren't making a mistake in having their political reporters cover the Bush administration. Perhaps they, and we, would be better served if they had their business writers cover him. The politicos seem oblivious to the bureaucratic infighting that is particularly important in this our most corporatist presidency. They see Powell at the press conference and headed to the Middle East and think he's in control. They fail to look a little deeper and understand the futile task he's been given.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 7, 2002 2:58 PM
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