In a quite remarkable* piece for CiF, the Henry Jackson Society's Global Security and Terrorism Director** turns a baleful eye to the Middle East peace negotiations, and observes the following, entirely accurate facts...
- That Fatah is incapable of controlling the various mental Palestinian factions and thus can't sign any deal that is based upon guarantees of Israeli security;
-That the Israelis are aware of this, and are insisting on guarantees of security as a prerequisite to any deal nonetheless, and
- That any deal based upon Fatah security guarantees will thus be worthless.
I'd suggest that if both I, a smartmouth office monkey with no expertise in counterinsurgency and the HJS's GS&TD, can reach these conclusions independently of each other, then the Americans have probably spotted them as well.
Predictably, the HJS's GS&TD uses this as a launchpad to pre-emptively exonerate the Israelis of any culpability should the talks fail, which I'm taking as a bad sign. If partisan observers - even clueless ones - are getting their excuses in this early, I fully expect to hear bangs and the soft flutter of falling white feathers sooner rather than later.
Me, I'd rather see these chinwags drag on for decades until everyone forgets what they were arguing about. Since that's not going to happen, I'll note that the talks themselves make no sense at all unless they're an ultra-cynical attempt to shore up Fatah's authority and to provide cover for whatever the Israelis already intended to do. What the Americans get out of it, beyond the hilarious pretence that they're neutral arbiters, is anyone's guess.
*Remarkable in that, although the conclusions are horrendous, it does actually contain some facts.
**I wonder what kind of office the Global Security and Terrorism Director at a two-bit thinktank gets? If there isn't a door that opens into a futuristic ninja-training gym, I'll be disappointed.
Plus, must get out of the habit of using all these footnotes for smartarsed remarks.