Why is it that, no matter how hard I try, I cannot seem to be able to share the euphoria at the Blair-Peres-Bush makeover of recent weeks?
Perhaps it is because appointing ex-British prime minister Tony Blair as the Quartet's Middle East envoy is one way of making that foursome even more irrelevant than it already is. How can a man reviled as a warmonger in the Middle East and other parts of the world (even in his own country), whose handiwork in Iraq is still visible for all to see, become a credible peacemaker in the region he played a big role in destabilising?
One wit likened his appointment to making Harold Shipman minister for women and health.
Some will say that Blair played little more than a supporting role in Iraq and it was US President George W Bush who cried havoc and let slip this poodle of war. But would Blair perform any more effectively as a poodle of peace, especially since he only has a mandate to help Palestinians reform their institutions and economy?
Some draw solace from the fact that Bush is showing more interest in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has called for an international conference at the end of this year. But this keener interest is only keener in Bushite terms. Besides, how can a president who can only see the Israeli side and whose answer to every international issue is war, war, war, be able to resolve one of the world's most intractable conflicts in the few months remaining to him?
Besides, as previous experience shows ,few US presidents are brave enough to address the tough issues related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with an election looming. It might be Bush's final term, but he would not want to put into peril the Republican candidate's chances, particularly if that candidate turns out to be Jeb Bush, or something!
Those clutching for straws point to the appointment of Shimon Peres as president. Some might think of him as Israel's 'elder statesman' but he is little more than its most dogged political survivor and comeback kid. Besides, he's new position carries no political weight and he has little political credit to push effectively for peace.
"I know that the president is not a governor, is not a judge, is not a lawmaker. But he is permitted to dream," Peres admitted in his inauguration.
And we're all dreaming if we think these three developments will make a shred of difference to the depressing situation on the ground. If I'm wrong, please pinch me!