Saturday, July 29, 2006

Finding a Path to Failure...unerringly

Returning to Old Approach, U.S. Faces Risky Path Ahead: "The Bush administration is now entangled in a risky new diplomatic venture in the Middle East -- and one with huge potential pitfalls even if Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice succeeds in negotiating a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah in the days ahead, according to several former diplomats and specialists with long experience in the region.

The controversial U.S. position -- which has pitted Washington against most European and Arab allies that pressed unsuccessfully for an immediate cease-fire -- also reflects a shift back to the Bush administration's first-term strategy, foreign policy specialists said. With Rice at the helm of foreign policy, the second Bush term had been characterized by a more realistic and collegial approach to foreign policy, a shift from the hard-charging go-it-alone push epitomized by the Iraq war during the first term.

But now, analysts said, the administration is effectively back endorsing all-out force again, in defiance of allies, as part of its policy of trying to rid the Middle East of militants and radicals, or the 'drain the swamp' policy."

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