G8 uselessness

Let's be clear about what was decided at the G8 summit:
President Jacques Chirac of France characterized the statement issued here as a call for a cease-fire — a word the Bush administration has sidestepped at every turn over the last few days. The host of the summit meeting, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, told reporters that “we do get the impression that the aims of Israel go beyond just recovering their kidnapped soldiers.’’

Talking to reporters here on Sunday evening, R. Nicholas Burns, the under secretary of state for political affairs, acknowledged that the statement does not present any specific order for steps to solve the crisis; rather, he said, it presumes that Israel will stand down only after Hezbollah and Hamas stop shelling Israeli towns and release captured soldiers.
That's right -- absolutely nothing.

Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.