Here is the Secretary of State talking about a transition to a "new Middle East". Bet you can't wait for it?
TIME: YOUR CRITICS SAY U.S. POLICY IS FAILING IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES, IRAN, LEBANON, IRAQ. WHAT EVIDENCE IS THERE THAT THE MIDDLE EAST IS BECOMING LESS DANGEROUS AS A RESULT OF THIS ADMINISTRATION'S POLICIES?
RICE: Well, I would not say that it's become less dangerous. I would say that it was never stable. And the sense that things were going along just fine when this Administration began a new set of policies in the Middle East is shortsighted and ahistorical ... A failure in Lebanon? Compared to what? The false stability of Syrian troops occupying the country for 30 years?
I find it a very odd way of looking at things that because it's hard and turbulent, that we should wish for the good old days of the false stability of Saddam Hussein and his 300,000 people in mass graves and his chemical-weapons use and his two wars started in a period of 20 years. Or Yasser Arafat stealing the Palestinian people blind, watching the second intifadeh, the Passover Massacre. What Middle East are we talking about?
We are in transition to a different kind of Middle East. And it is very turbulent. It is even violent. But it has a chance, at least, of being a Middle East in which there is a democratic, multiethnic Iraq where people solve their differences by politics, not by repression. It has a chance of having Israel and Palestine live side by side in peace. It has a chance of having a Lebanon that can control its own territory without Syrian forces.