Friday, September 17, 2004

the road map, balled up and stuffed in the trunk

At some point in the war on terror, serious leadership will emerge in the US that’s ready to deal with the metaphorical diseases and wounds inflicting the global corporeal, rather than the symptoms. That administration will commit itself to healing conflicts and risk its political capital, leveraging world support and sympathy for the fight against terrorism. They may not begin in Palestine, but they will not be finished until that festering, infected sore on the geopolitical body is repaired.

Ariel Sharon has essentially dismissed the ‘road map’ as he pursues his gaza withdrawal plan. Fine. The road map, to the follow an already strained metaphor, is like a desperately ill patient explaining ‘don’t worry, I’m taking a multivitamin every day.’ It is nothing more than a placeholder for all parties; an empty answer to global questions about the future. President bush has no commitment to moving parties down the road; Sharon and Arafat have been equally happy to bind themselves to the road map in lieu of actual progress on peace.

sharon will move forward with his withdrawal plan; political and demographic pressures in gaza make that phase of it entirely sensible. the west bank is a different story, but the gaza activity is buying time for more and more of the border wall to be constructed. the left finds itself conflicted - the gaza policy is a dream come true; but consolidation in the west bank, with the support of president bush, portends a future of continued disease and sickness in the holy land.

- LH


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