Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The International Press Service offers an excellent analysis:
As Bush Policy Crumbles, Allies Pick Up the Pieces
Khody Akhavi and Jim Lobe
WASHINGTON, May 21 (IPS) – "Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold."
As the White House agenda for the Middle East continues to unravel, events over the past 24 hours seem to suggest that U.S. allies in the region are determined to construct a new edifice based on diplomacy, with or without Washington’s help.
In spite of the President George W. Bush administration’s efforts to isolate and defeat "terrorists and radicals" — as Bush himself put it in a controversial speech to the Israeli Knesset last week — U.S.-backed local actors are engaging precisely with those "forces of evil".
Indeed, engagement — known as "appeasement" in the neo-conservative lexicon — is bursting out all over the Middle East; in Lebanon, the Gaza Strip, Iraq, and between two nations that have existed in a state of "no war, no peace" for more than 40 years — Israel and Syria.
For the first time since President Bush took office, some of the pieces for peace may finally be falling into place.
"It’s not the case that anti-U.S. forces are ‘taking over’ the Middle East," according to Helena Cobban, a Middle East analyst at the Washington-based Friends Committee on National Legislation. "But it is the case that Washington, which has long succeeded in exercising complete control over all the region’s ‘peace diplomacy’, has now lost the ability to do that."
One former Bush administration official agreed. "Most of this is happening essentially because of people’s fear of our lack of leadership and our fecklessness in dealing with a hornet’s nest that we stirred up in the first place," said retired Col. Lawrence B. Wilkerson, who served as chief of staff to former Secretary of State Colin Powell.
For the full report: POLITICS-US: As Bush Policy Crumbles, Allies Pick Up the Pieces