As USA Today noted about summer movies, the hot trend in heroines "is not the damsel in distress. It's the damsel who causes distress."
Uma, Oprah. Oprah, Condi.
The more W. and his tough, by-any-means-necessary superbabe have tried to tame the Middle East, the more inflamed the Middle East has become. Now the secretary of state is leaving, reluctantly and belatedly, to do some shuttle diplomacy that entails little diplomacy and no shuttling. It's more like air-guitar diplomacy.
Like Davy Jones, the octopus-headed creature who had to keep sailing Flying Dutchman-like without getting to land in the new "Pirates of the Caribbean," Condi had a hard time finding an Arab port in which to dock.
The Arab allies, who agreed to meet her and European envoys in Rome, clearly did not want to be used as a stalling tactic on Arab turf, with Condi miming diplomacy to buy time for Israel. Maybe, like Jack Sparrow, they can at least bring a jar of Arab turf with them.
In a twist that illustrated the growing power of Shiites and Iranians, even the Shiite Iraqi prime minister broke with the Bush stance and denounced Israeli attacks on Lebanon. Is there no honor among puppets?
W. continues to present simplicity as clarity. When will he ever learn that clarity is the last thing you're going to find in the Middle East, and that trying to superimpose it with force usually makes things worse? That's what both the Israelis and Ronald Reagan learned in the early 1980's when they tried disastrously to remake Lebanon.
The cowboy president bet the ranch on Iraq, and that war has made almost any other American action in the Arab world, and any Pax Americana that might have been created there, impossible. It's fitting that Condi is the Flying Dutchman, since Lebanon represents the shipwreck of our Middle East policy.
Bush bet the ranch all right, like a drunk cowboy tryin' to draw to an inside straight against a stacked deck. Trouble is, it was our ranch he bet, not his. While he's back at his ranch chousin' a milk cow and pretending it's a mighty herd for another month to save up another $30 so he can go back to town and get drunk and swindled out of it again, the rest of the world is paying for his idiocy.