The Corner

More Geneva

Rich: Let’s get back to basics. I don’t much like it when Ramsey Clark, a former attorney general, runs off to North Korea and Iraq to hold high-level meetings with despots. I don’t much like it when Bill Clinton, a recent president, goes to Canada to denounce George Bush’s treatment of that government. And I don’t much like it when Jimmy Carter, an ex-president, travels to all these places and more, including Geneva, where he pontificates on a “final solution.” All of this sends confusing signals to regimes that need very direct signals. Nothing has changed since Oslo. In fact, nothing has changed since 1948. Ariel Sharon gets plenty of pressure from the left. Shimon Peres repeatedly negotiates behind his back, and undermines Sharon’s government. I suppose that’s the nature of Israel’s system. But the United States, in the person of Colin Powell, and to a lesser extent George Bush, lest they give their imprimatur to all such efforts, should not give credence to these extra-curricular, leftwing confabs. Last time I checked, neither Bush nor Powell appreciated such help when it interfered with their policies. I’m speaking of Jimmy Carter and his trip to Cuba a few months back, for instance. We have one official voice on matters of foreign policy. We, as a government, ought not participate in undermining Israel’s prime minister.


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