In the June 26 Los Angeles Times' Art Notes, Don Shirley reported that this speech draws the most intense reactions -- applause and boos -- of any scene in "Stuff Happens," David Hare's play at the Mark Taper Forum about President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair's path to war in Iraq. (The title comes from Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's explanation of why looting occurred after the conquest of Baghdad.)
The post-Arafat era has begun with high hopes in Washington, London, Jerusalem and even Ramallah -- but many of the obstacles that prevented peace in Arafat's day remain, and it's not clear whether any of the major players has the single-minded determination to make peace happen.
The United States is not as actively involved as it may have to be; the Europeans, who would like to be intimately involved, don't have the necessary political clout; the Israeli leadership, insulated by strong American backing and facing a recalcitrant right wing, sees no need to hurry, and the new Palestinian leaders, hamstrung by radical, violent opponents, may not be able to make concessions beyond what the late Palestinian Authority president countenanced.
President Bush gave an inkling of the ambivalence inherent in American policy after a meeting last week in Washington with British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Dear Mr. Prime Minister;
By now you have certainly received thousands of congratulatory messages celebrating the good news that you and your wife, Cherie, are expecting a baby next summer.