Diana West

Funny thing happened recently. Or, rather, it didn't. A hunk of juicy news broke, hit the wires and fell with a thud into media oblivion. No one cared. And what did no one care about? Let me quote from the original Reuters story: "Anxious not to repeat mistakes of past Middle East peace-making, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has turned to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter for tips ahead of her own conference (in Annapolis) this year."

Wait a minute. Rice has turned to Bill Clinton, who famously told Yasser Arafat, "You have made me a failure," and whose wife, of course, is running for president as the anti-Bush? And to Jimmy "Day 444 of the Hostage Crisis" Carter, who can't stand the Bush administration almost as much as he can't stand Israel? The last time these two ex-presidents got together, they sealed a deal with Kim Jong-Il that, in exchange for a promise to eschew nuclear weapons, delivered nuclear technology to North Korea. She's turning to them for tips?

Rub your eyes in bewilderment, but there's more: "Other sources of advice have been former U.S. negotiator Dennis Ross and ex-secretaries of state James Baker, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright." The names to cause special dismay here are James "(expletive) the Jews" Baker, and Madeleine "running wild after Arafat" Albright. (Not that Dennis Ross, who never met a peace process he couldn't draw out, or Henry Kissinger, who may be regarded as the original architect of the U.S. policy that has consistently barred Israel from total victory over her enemies, exactly inspire confidence.)

So let's recap. Rice is "reaching out," as her State Department spokesman put it in New Age diplo-speak, to living legends of failed U.S. policy in the Middle East, including among them some of the most hostile critics of her own Bush administration, the war on terror, Israel or all of the above. This is at least bizarre enough to raise a few questions.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).