Burying the Bush Doctrine in Annapolis.


Andrew C. McCarthy

The thug Assad regime of Syria will apparently take a couple of days off from murdering Lebanese democrats and enabling the anti-American jihad in Iraq to attend this week’s Annapolis summit … or “conference,” or “meeting.” It’s difficult to say how we should describe Condoleezza Rice’s pie-in-the-sky confab. After all, the main principals — an Israeli prime minister hanging on by a thread and a Palestinian “president” whose only constituency seems to be the U.S. State Department — cannot even agree on what to call it, much less on an agenda.

I’m going with “farce.”

Buried in Annapolis will be the last shards of the Bush Doctrine, the blunt marker the president once put down to signal a do-or-die choice for jihadist nations. Are you with us, he asked, or with the terrorists?

The Assads’ answer has always been plain: They are with the terrorists. Any terrorists. Saddam Hussein, Hamas, Hezbollah and, behind it all, Iran. Shiite or Sunni, national, sub-national, or transnational — it matters not, so long as the terrorizers in question oppose the United States while working toward Israel’s demise.

For our secretary of State, that somehow makes them part of the solution. Syria was beseeched to attend the farce even as it was working to throw into chaos the selection of a new Lebanese president to replace Emile Lahoud, the Syrian plant whose term was due to expire last week. Other candidates issue statements from bunkers because Syrian operatives tend to kill them if they appear in public. It has been nearly three years since Bashar al-Assad’s henchmen murdered Rafik Hariri for protesting against Lahoud’s grip on power. It has been over two years since President Bush and Secretary Rice made a show of demanding action on the U.N. investigation that has implicated top Syrian officials, including Assad’s brother and brother-in-law. The result … is nothing. Meanwhile, Hezbollah, with Syrian backing, continues to threaten a renewal of the war it started against Israel in the summer of 2006.

Of course, the portrayal of Syria as a legitimate participant in a peace initiative is no more absurd than the participation of the Palestinians themselves.

Seduced by the fantasy of peace-loving Palestinians, the president and his top diplomats have made creation of a sovereign state for these blood-soaked jihadists the bedrock of our Middle East policy — thus undercutting any credibility the Bush Doctrine may have had. Remarkably, the State Department tells the New York Times that its game-plan for the farce is to commit both Israel and the Palestinians “to carry out long-postponed obligations included in the first stage of the 2003 peace plan known as the road map.” On the Palestinian side, the primary obligation was to end terrorism. That’s precisely the same promise the terror master and Palestinian founder Yasser Arafat gave to President Clinton after the first and before the second Intifada.

The promise is never meant and never kept because it cannot be. At the existential core of Palestinian identity is the belief that Israel — the “Zionist entity” — is an illegitimate interloper which must be purged from Muslim land. So ingrained is this conceit that, in reality, the Palestinians are not even attending the farce. The terrorist organization they knowingly and willfully elected to represent them, Hamas, is boycotting Annapolis as a waste of time, a diversion from the jihad.