Rich, I agree with the passage of Andrew’s post that you quoted. But he goes on to say that “it is in America’s interests to bring this conflict”–that is, the Arab-Israeli or Palestinian-Arab conflict–”to a close.” The relevant question is whether it is in the national interest to try to “bring this conflict to a close” given the likelihood of failure, the costs of trying, etc. I have never been convinced that the answer to that question is yes. I suspect that it might be better for U.S. interests to back off a bit from the conflict and let the Israelis and the Arabs fight it out. Give war a chance, in other words.