I never thought it would happen, but yesterday I heard Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice talking sense about peace in the Middle East. I was listening to the radio when a news program aired an excerpt from her remarks in London on May 2, 2008:
And at the end, in phase three, they were going to begin a process of negotiating for a political settlement and an end to the occupation and an end to the conflict.... [T]hese must move in parallel. Because it is precisely the point that you need to have a political settlement, an end to the occupation, and an end to the conflict in order to fully realize the potential for both Sunnis and Shi'ites.You go, girl! It's about time a Bush administration official recognized that U.S. occupation forces must be withdrawn as a concomitant of peace in Iraq. Peace will never be achieved without an explicit plan to withdraw the occupation forces.
Oh, oh. Wait a minute. Silly me. I made a terrible mistake while transcribing Condi's remarks from the radio broadcast. Where I wrote down “Sunnis” and “Shi'ites,” Secretary Rice actually said “Israelis” and “Palestinians.” My mistake. I withdraw my foolish remarks. Certainly the correction changes everything. I am sure we will pull our troops out of Iraq as soon as peace arrives. Peace is a prerequisite for withdrawal. Or one hundred years.
Whichever comes first.