Friday, November 14, 2008

Israel's blockade of Gaza

Israel has effectively blockaded Gaza, preventing the entry of humanitarian aid including food, and aid agencies are predicting a catastrophe if the blockade continues. On Nov. 5, Israeli forces entered Gaza to destroy a tunnel, and Hamas responded with rocket attacks, which have continued intermittently. Israel says its sealing of the borders to humanitarian convoys and other transfers of goods is a response to the attacks; if so, it seems a somewhat disproportionate response.

By the way, remember when the Bush administration was saying it hoped to have the basic framework of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement in place before it left office? This seems pretty much out of the question now, although something might conceivably happen on that front between now and January. Assuming nothing does, the Bush administration will leave office with a list of foreign-policy accomplishments that can be counted on the fingers of one hand: 1) its global initiative on HIV and other epidemic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa, which has had some success; 2) increased development assistance to Africa and Latin America; 3) improved U.S.-Indian relations; and 4) some halting progress on the North Korean nuclear front. And that's just about it. (The other side of the ledger is too obvious to need enumeration.)

2 comments:

Nick said...

The Bush administration actually scored a success in bringing Libya back into mainstream international society. But it is difficult to think of any other successes, a pretty poor tally after 8 years.

LFC said...

You're right, I'd forgotten about Libya.
I guess defenders of the Bush admin. would say that preventing another 9/11-type attack on the US also should go in the accomplishments column. But some of the credit for that, to the extent one can attribute it, belongs to forces and actions outside the administration.