Middle East


For some time I had been predicting a Shiite victory in the Iraq elections and that the new government and Iran will support each other, possibly leaving the US in a worse position than before the war. There is no indication that the US government foresaw this before it invaded Iraq.  Now it is vigorously rejecting such a possibility.  We shall see.  At the Sharm El Sheik meeting, Sharon said the Palestinians must give up their impossible dreams- That could have referred to the destruction of Israel, but a journalist later asked Sharon's spokesman if he was referring to East Jerusalem.  The spokesman said yes. If  so, peace is not likely.  We shall see. In these situations of doubtful outcome, Secretary of State Rice travels around displaying an extraordinary self-confidence and waving to the crowds like a performer. This illustrates the difference between politicians and intellectuals. The former have to exude total self-confidence and assurance, otherwise the crowds will not follow them. Intellectuals are full of doubts and view all their statements as tentative.  For this reason they seldom achieve star roles in politics. Such a person is Dennis Ross, who may well appear in a supporting role.


Ronald Hilton 2004

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last updated: February 28, 2005