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Stunning Departure

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As Secretary of State Powell continues in efforts to promote the so-called Middle East “Road Map,” the Bush administration’s apparent departure from the firm, uncompromising anti-terror American resolve President Bush articulated on June 24th last year and re-enforced by
Operation Iraqi Freedom, is nothing short of stunning.

As things now appear, in order “to get things going,” a pathetic, powerless Abu Mazen is accepted as heading up a Palestinian Arab “regime change.” The insistence on an end to the killing as a precondition for renewed talks and a demand for the dismantlement of the Palestinian-Arab terrorist infrastructure are now to be satisfied by begging for a cease fire in place from Hamas and the other thugs.

According to the “Road Map,” even before anyone sits down at a negotiating table, Israel must agree to abandon its anti-terrorist efforts, it must acknowledge a future Palestinian Arab state, and the “settlements” must be uprooted. On the other hand, whether the Palestinians will, through the so-called “right of return,” be able to erase the “Jewish” state which the President said on June 24th is supposed to exist side by side with a Palestinian Arab one, is something to be negotiated.

Although the President is rightfully resisting the involvement of the UN, the European Union, France and the other opponents of Operation Iraqi Freedom out of a reasonable fear that they will act as an anti-American “fifth column” on the ground, they will be playing a key role in the
implementation of the “Road Map with America’s blessing, despite their collective, shameful anti-Israel record.

What exactly are the incentives for the Palestinian Arabs to negotiate in good faith? What exactly are the concessions they think they will have to make?

With all respect, the President has to kick back and think this “Road Map” thing through very carefully.

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