White House officials put out the word this week that the United States would love to make outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair its point man on Middle East peace. Blair would represent the "Quartet" of key Middle East players: the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations.
At first glance, this has a lot of appeal. Blair has the confidence of the U.S. administration. He's been an eloquent voice on the need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. And he's the British leader who finally solved The Troubles in Northern Ireland.
And yet, he's not the right man for this job (not that anyone is the right man at this point, frankly. As prominent Middle East scholar Nathan Brown has noted, the peace process is a diplomatic charade.) Here are some reasons why Blair should not get this job:
For his own sake, Blair shouldn't take this job, at which he is extremely likely to fail. Can you name one concrete Quartet accomplishment? He'd be better off taking up a lucrative and cushy job at Georgetown University or one of Washington's many think tanks. And the ex-PM, a dazzling speaker, would surely command tens of thousands of dollars on the international lecture circuit. Don't do it, Tony!
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