As I've written before, President Bush uses Powell and Rumsfeld to good-cop/bad-cop the world into doing what he wants. Rumsfeld plays the bad cop hawk and gets everyone all in a tizzy, and then Powell comes in and makes nice. In the end, Bush takes a position somewhere between the two and everyone thinks it's a compromise, but in actuality they're all working together and Bush ends up with the exact result he wanted from the very beginning.

So, when the Palestinian Authority hears Powell call Hamas an 'Enemy of Peace' they'd better take notice.

Powell met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in Jerusalem and then pressed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas not just to reach a cease-fire with Hamas and other militant groups but to eliminate their capacity to attack Israelis.

"The enemy of peace has been Hamas, especially over the last two weeks," Powell told a joint news conference with Sharon. "As long as they have ... a commitment to terror and violence and a desire to destroy the state of Israel, I think this is a problem we have to deal with in its entirety."

It's significant that Powell said this during a joint news conference with Ariel Sharon. Some conservatives in the US have recently begun to question Bush's committment to Israel, but this statement should remove their doubts.

The "roadmap to peace" is just a ruse, folks, aimed solely at revealing the fact that the Palestinians really have no desire for peace. Don't believe me? President Bush pulled the exact same trick with the UN earlier this year. All the posturing at the UN wasn't meant to get the French et al on board with us, it was meant to prove once and for all that they have positioned themselves as our enemies.

It's very fashionable to decry President Bush as a moron, but I think he's shown time and time again that he plays a very subtle game, and holds his cards close to his chest.

This post by Meryl Yourish illustrates my point. She recognizes the evil of the Palestinians, but she doesn't realize that the "road map" is a red herring and isn't meant to succeed in the way most people expect. It's not meant to lead the Palestinians and the Israelis into peaceful co-existance, it's meant to highlight who the real bad guys are.



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