The Lame Duck Period Officially Starts
You can often tell the exact point at which the President of the United States has accepted that his term is coming to an end…when he suddenly starts focusing on foreign policy red herrings like the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’ve always found it a rather amusing time when our presidents have gone down that road and started lecturing both sides about how they must come to an agreement, considering that a) the President of the U.S. doesn’t have any legitimate authority to be dictating terms to another country on their internal affairs, b) our government’s continued involvement in Israel’s internal affairs and financial support of the Israeli government gives us few tangible positives, ample tangible negatives, and isn’t necessary to the survival of the Israeli state, c) foreign intervention had a large role in starting the conflict, d) our attempts at mediating the dispute have usually been doomed to failure because one or both sides are either incapable of or unwilling to meet the terms of any compromises we broker, and e) our continued involvement there tends to bite us in the ass everywhere else in the Middle East.
But I suppose that presidents with questionable foreign policy legacies feel compelled to do something, kind of like how poor people with bad financial planning skills feel compelled to buy 30 lottery tickets a week in hopes of digging out from under. All things considered, though, I guess I’d rather Dubya spent the rest of his term wasting time in the Israeli-Palestinian morass instead of threatening Iran.