Monday, November 15, 2004

The braying of Barnier

France urges creation of Palestinian state

Well, there it is; proof that France is still relevant. A Palestinian state - who ever would have thought of it, if not for France?

France's foreign minister said Saturday an independent Palestinian state should be created as soon as possible - even with "temporary" borders - and called on the United States and Europe to work urgently toward brokering Middle East peace.

"I think it is possible to create, perhaps even with temporary borders, this Palestinian state, which is one of the conditions for peace and security for all the countries in this region," Michel Barnier told Europe-1 radio. He did not elaborate.

"Hand over the carrot now, and then we'll discuss that stick." Nice try, Mike. Don't you have some other terrorists to fellate?

Barnier commented on remarks made a day earlier by US President George W. Bush, who said in Washington he hoped for the creation of a Palestinian state within four years. The timeframe referred to the length of Bush's second term.

"I think it is possible to go faster," Barnier said. "The sooner the better, even before the end of (Bush's) mandate."

Oh, my - the "m" word! That has all the hallmarks of Barnier trying to talk his way into bed. But tell me - would it be possible to sit down and shut up while this process goes forward? Or will France yet again insist on being an impediment?

Everyone is familiar with the spectacle of two boys who aren't entirely sure that they want to fight inside a circle of more enthusiastic kids. France is the kid whispering into the Palestinian boy's ear "Oh! Did you hear what he said about your mom? Are you gonna take that?" Peace gets easier when France gets called home for lunch.

Barnier echoed a call by Bush to make Middle East peace a global priority.

"To restart the peace process between Palestinians and Israelis is an urgent and priority task for the Americans and the Europeans together," Barnier said. [emphasis mine]

I'll translate the weaselese to English: "We totally screwed the pooch. We could have rode it out until January, but we cannot maintain for four more years that we did not. I will scrounge for any excuse to try to rebuild the goodwill that we squandered. If that means pretending that France's opinion regarding Israel-Palestine matters, it is not beneath me."

Sorry, weaselboy - that dream is crumbling as I type.

Colin Powell announced his decision to step down as US Secretary of State today, marking the end of a period in office dogged by in-fighting.

Washington’s top diplomat told staff he had handed in his notice to President George Bush but would delay his exit until a successor was appointed. (source)

So, dovey Colin Powell won't be your debating partner for the next administration. It can't be that bad, right? It just means that you'll spend the next four years making kissy faces at someone else, right? So, who is that successor, anyway? The odds-on favorite (and please be sure to terrorize the rest of Europe -- you know, Joschka Fisher -- with this news) is Dr. Condoleeza Rice.

Knowledgeable Republican sources described Rice as the likely successor to Powell, whose resignation was announced on Monday. A successor to Powell was not expected to be announced on Monday. (source)

Please... the one thing in the world that I now want to see is the face of any of the ABB-Europe crowd upon hearing the news that Condi Rice is our new Secretary of State.

It's good to be alive.


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