But critics of the previous administration's foreign policy must understand that we can only now declare Arafat irrelevant precisely because Clinton and Albright already gave him every possible opportunity to rise to the challenge of playing Statesman and Peacemaker.
Had Albright not dragged Arafat back to the table, kicking and screaming -- so that he could later respond to Barak's "97% compromise" offer with Intifada II -- Powell would not now be in a position to give Israel carte blanche to defend its borders by any means necessary.
Methinks the writer has failed to take into account some other events that have transpired since Clinton left town. I could be going out on a limb, but do you suppose the atrocity at the Twin Towers and the subsequent thrashing of al-Qaeda might have had some influence on Powell's options with Arafat?
Bill Clinton has some responsibility for the current situation, but not in the way the writer says. His administration established the conditions under which Al-Qaeda figured they could attack us with impunity. That tempted them to overplay their hand, which made it possible for us to clean house.
It's hard to believe the writer missed this, because he goes on to say that the WTC atrocity has had some impact on his business. He makes it sound as if George Bush is responsible. He cites a Timothy Noah article that frames any refusal to shovel billions of federal tax dollars to rebuild NYC as cynical politics.
Look, there are plenty of rich liberals on Manhattan Island. And we hear endlessly about how much they "care". Why doesn't he tap them?
He goes on to presume that a President Lieberman would proceed differently. Well, let's use the kind of logic some of his liberal brethren have been using with Enron - Lieberman would have had to stiff NYC because it would have looked like a payback if he didn't.
One more whopper:
So my question to Bush is this: What -- you can break the lockbox for that phony-baloney missile defense boondoggle, but you pinch pennies when it comes to rebuilding the devastated infrastructure upon which the future of, maybe, 100,000 jobs depend?The missile defense system is to assure that we don't have any more devastated infrastructure. Does he still doubt that a creep like Saddam Hussein would strike us with a missile if he could?