Thursday, January 1, 2009

Deconstructing diplomacy

The Bush administration continues to struggle with definitions when it comes to its statements on the crisis in Gaza

Simon Tisdall, Thursday 1 January 2009

"To most people the word "immediate" means right away, instantly or without delay. But like a second grade English class dunce, the Bush administration continues to struggle with the definition. Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to the UN, told a new year's eve security council session that Washington was working hard for an "immediate ceasefire" in Gaza. Then he blocked a ceasefire resolution, calling it "unbalanced"......

For the curiously silent Obama, only 19 days away from the Oval Office frontline, Gaza is a political and security nightmare he cannot ultimately dodge, even if a ceasefire is pieced together before he takes the oath. His options are limited, as is his opportunity to make a difference and signal a fresh start. He may only get one chance. If he fluffs the pass, he will be written off in the Muslim world as more of the same.

Immediate action is required. But perhaps Obama has a problem with immediate, too."

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