..much of the diplomatic steps taken by the various Middle Eastern players in recent weeks should not be confused with a search for peace. After all, the Middle East is an area of the world where nothing is what it seems to be, where yesterdays enemy is tomorrows ally, where commitments are made to be broken, and where peace is nothing more than a long cease-fire. Its not a pretty picture, but its reality, and outsiders should not impose their wishful thinking on it.
In a way, much of what is happening in the Middle East should be regarded as efforts made by regional players to fill the diplomatic vacuum resulting from the erosion in the U.S. influence in the region, as they wait for the U.S. presidential election and the subsequent policy decisions of the new White House. Its part of a game of wait and seewaiting, in part, to see if Bush will attack Iranand not a sign that peace is imminent.