Atrios gets it right once again when he says that Bush intends to be in Iraq forever. (Although his complaint that no one listens to him is absolutely beyond me)
Still, my cock-eyed optimism allows me hope that some of the ideas being pushed by the Baker commission might have an impact.
A participant in the commission's debate is reported in Today's NY Times as saying that "unless the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki believed that Mr. Bush was under pressure to pull back troops in the near future, there will be zero sense of urgency to reach the political settlement that needs to be reached.'"
This will probably have no real effect on Bush's actions in Iraq, but it might wake up a few concerned about our relations with Israel. The U.S. has put minimal pressure on Israel to reach a negotiated settlement for decades. In the last six years there has been absolutely none - "there is zero sense of urgency to reach the political settlement that needs to be reached." The benign neglect of the Bush administration is anything but benign.
Each skirmish with Hezbollah in Lebanon; each rocket exchange with Hamas, only aggravates the hatred of Israel by it's neighbors - hatred that is becoming increasingly stronger and more radical every day. Considering the West Bank, Gaza and Israel as one entity, this year is one of the first in which the number of Jews and the number of Arabs living there are roughly equal -about 4,5 million of each. * The birthrate of the Arabs of course is much higher than it is for Jews, and the tipping point is past. This does not include the tens of millions of Arabs in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, etc etc who have promised to destroy Israel.
With no pressure for peace, there will be no Israel.
*Inexact and disputed number make this unprecise analysis necessary, but the trends are not deniable.