Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Dangers of my growing gut

I have been neglecting the blog. There is simply no excuse. However, don't think I am at a loss to manufacture one. The reelection of George Bush, the death of Arafat and the uncertainty of the future PA, the continuing violence in Iraq. Well its hard to stay focused and positive, it is difficult to continue to spend time engaged in the details of despair, the stories of death, and the myriad unknowns that surround the world of war and peace. Ultimately, I had to retreat a bit, and, as they say, relax and enjoy myself a bit.

Ok, I am done enjoying myself.

Mr. Blair has just finished a visit to Israel and Palestine. He seems pretty well bent on strengthening the position of Mahmoud Abbas and the ostensibly new PA. For Blair, this is an opportunity to gain some credibility both at home and in Europe. The sense is that Blair, by aggressively pursuing a return to the roadmap, can make up ground that he has lost in Iraq. It has long been the ambition of American Presidents to find a solution to the Mid-East conflict, and now it seems to be the ambition of an English Prime Minister. Yet Blair's initiative seems a bit premature, inasmuch as the leadership of the PA has yet to be established, though it seems unlikely that anyone will emerge other than Abbas. For Blair, this is less a strong possibility than a foregone conclusion. Perhaps a concession to his his American counterpart?

THe new Year will bring the eventuality of Iraqi elections. I haven't yet assessed the range of possibilities at this point, and they will follow in a future post. However, what seems apparent now is that Afghanistan will prove the exception, rather than the rule. I think the ultimate goal of the occupation will not be to see that elections take place safely, as much as that they do not descend uncontrollably into the proverbial civil war that has become the elephant in the room.

More later.

Happy holidays.

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