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A Roadmap & A Compass

Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2007 4:04 AM

President Bush's Mideast Peace Conference kicks off today without a plan and without the presence of two major players in the region: Iran and Hamas.

One of the key issues is Hamas' control of the Gaza Strip, from which they launched rockets into Israel. Israel's response has been to cordon off the region, preventing people from leaving, and all traffic.

Bush acknowledges he has low expectations for the conference, but hopes the talks will be a starting point, while pundits are describing them as a last-ditch attempt at a legacy for both Bush and Condoleezza Rice.

If they wanted a legacy, perhaps they should have been actually working on the so-called 'roadmap to peace' sometime before now. The last face-to-face meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders was seven years ago.

On one hand, there are mutterings about how a change in Iraq's leadership will be necessary for progress (so much for General Petraeus' much-lauded 'grass roots' reconciliation).

On the other hand, there's a tentative agreement between President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki to maintain an American troop presence for the next ten years.

Someone should tell al-Maliki the adage about lying down with dogs.

Apparently, there's a fuss brewing over the upcoming film, The Golden Compass, because author Phillip Pullman's books feature 'anti-religious' themes.

Such is the complaint by the Catholic League's William Donohue, warning families that the film has been 'dumbed down' and that Christians need to protect their children from Pullman's books.

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