Tom Friedman did something today that I thought was amazing, and I simply must tell you about it.
In his Times Select column, he decried the fact that there is a vacuum in the Middle East peace process (does such a "process" even exist at this point?). He said that "a new math seems to have taken over...subtraction by addition."
He wondered what the point was of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice flying all over the place in that region trying to work something out when it seems that the Saudis are the only ones trying to broker anything (and between Hamas and Fatah, with barely even an acknowledgment of Israel).
Also, Friedman said that maybe the framework from that bad old Clinton era wasn't so horrible after all (You remember back that far, right? When all we had to worry about was what to do with our budget surplus, what new revelations Ken Starr was going to inflict on us from thoroughly examining Bill and Hillary's dirty laundry, and whether or not the entire planet would explode just in time for Y2K). Under Clinton, as Friedman recalls today, the framework called for a mix of land givebacks by the Israelis along with other regions of Israel remaining intact, as well as refugee status recognition and land swap compensation to the Palestinians.
I have to admit that Friedman is partly right to chastise Bushco for its relative inaction on this, but gee, there's something else in play here that our esteemed New York Times columnist appears to have forgotten. Now what could it possibly be? Let me think...
Oh, I remember now - it's the Iraq War! And Friedman once said "I think I get this war" as I recall.
Well, since he needs to jog his memory a bit, this link from Think Progress that I used earlier may do the trick.