Well, with the coming end of another presidential term comes that old standby, the peculiar mental defect that convinces presidents and diplomats that they can solve all the problems of the "Middle East" (i.e., the Palestinian issue). (That this is indeed a mishegas I had confirmed for me by an old college buddy in, shall we say, a position to know.)
With the Annapolis Conference- we must already speak about it in near-mythical tones, I suppose- fast approaching, I've read about Shas and Lieberman possibly dropping out based on what comes back from there, thus dooming the government and process. This is but one of a number of possibilities- Olmert somehow not surviving his scandals is another- but seems the most likely. My sister and brother-in-law attended a lecture which concluded this as well, and you can read Michael's letter here.
But I have one sickening feeling- these things tend to become self-fulfilling. It's happened before- the Prime Minister comes back waving some paper, the United States and all the usual suspects have already gone into fits of joy over "peace finally breaking out" that it's almost as if the Knesset (or Cabinet) doesn't matter- who wants to be a "bad guy"? Was there ever any doubt that they would pass all the nonsense from the past?
I remember thinking this when watching, in his museum, footage of Begin coming back from Camp David. Oh, huge Knesset debates. Yelling, screaming. Was there any doubt it wasn't a fait accompli as soon as Jimmah "The Cat Killer" Carter was done with his strong-arming?
Of course, I must admit that it doesn't help that true Land of Israel Zionists are never really a majority, or close to it, in the Knesset. Leaving Arabs aside, one may also wonder what that says about the Israeli electorate, but that's democracy for ya.
Eh. I hope I'm not too pessimistic. Z'man l'mashiach, as Michael always says.
Oh, speaking of the Middle East, two more complaints: I overheard Ron Paul being interviewed on the radio the other day. The second time he trotted out the line, "The problem is not X [Iran, Iraq, etc.], the problem is our policy toward X," I shut it off. Aren't presidential candidates- the Republicans, at least- supposed to be patriots? The Democrats I don't expect anything of, but this was sickening. And people wonder where he gets his support.
Finally, as the not-so-bad news from Iraq continues to be ignored by the MSM, the reporters breathlessly announced "bloodshed in Afghanistan." Turns out we killed a bunch of terrorists. And that's bad news?