James Forsyth’s view of the prospects for the Annapolis peace conference make a good deal more sense than making comparisons to Munich. The Economist also thinks it will probably lead to very little. Bret Stephens is pretty clearly vehemently opposed to the idea, but at least grants that the gathering, or meeting, or whatever it is, is “pointless.” That is why the crazed reaction of Melanie Phillips (linked above) that talks of the “betrayal of the Jewish people” is particularly bizarre. You can’t betray an entire people with a photo-op, no matter how freighted with significance it is supposed to be. Granted, Ms. Phillips has been getting awfully agitated of late about Annapolis and Israel, but what puzzles me is why she is so bothered by a conference that will almost certainly change nothing at all. Cal Thomas joins the chorus that the conference represents the “selling out” of Israel, which is absurd. Andy McCarthy’s objections to the participation of the Syrians may be misguided, but at least it has a certain coherence by comparison.
McCarthy and Phillips seem to agree that Syria’s participation renders the Bush Doctrine void, which would have to be a relief for sane people everywhere. A foreign policy doctrine that insists that Syria is our mortal foe makes no sense. To the extent that this conference helps weaken this idea about Syria, it may have done some good after all. If it finally drives home the obvious–Secretary Rice really doesn’t know what she’s doing–we might be grateful for the clarification.