Monday, October 20, 2003
Clinton as Middle East envoy http://www.boston.com/news/politics/president/dean/articles/2003/10/19/dean_sees_clinton_as_mideast_envoy/
Speaking to a crowd of Arab-American activists, Howard Dean said yesterday that if he won the White House he would ask Bill Clinton to be his Middle East envoy, in an attempt to forge peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
The former Vermont governor echoed his Democratic rivals for the presidency in saying President Bush has not engaged in enough peace-brokering in the Middle East. But he took a step further with his proposal to enlist the former two-term president.
Despite the escalating tensions in the region, Dean said he was "optimistic" that Israel and the Palestinians were closer than ever to an agreement and that a figure of Clinton's international stature could help bridge the gap.
"Of all the Arab people, the Palestinians probably have the best opportunity to have a democracy," Dean said.
Messages left at Clinton's New York office were not returned yesterday.
It's a great idea - and we can be sure Clinton won't shake hands with tyrants, either. But of course Clinton alone is not going to be any more effectove than Anthony Zinni was. What is required is some original thinking - like this idea by Jonathan Edelstein which uses a wall, not for apartheid, but to stop the "bomber's veto". The idea is brilliant and potentially groundbreaking - but would require someone of Clinton's stature indeed to make palatable to both sides.
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