Sunday, July 16, 2006

A clarifying moment


In a press conference with Tony Blair, Bush says the Middle East crisis is a “moment of clarification.” In other words, Bush is actually trying to learn lessons from events, and that is never pretty. That little analogy machine is chugging away in his head, as he chooses which existing template he can use to frame the current situation, because it would be too much like work to find out what’s actually going on. So this is a clarifying moment like 9/11, justifying anything the Israelis choose to do. But it’s also like Iraq, where violence is a sign of desperation on the part of the bad guys about how well everything is going. “It’s becoming clear for everybody to see some of the root causes of instability. ... there’s still a militant wing of Hamas that wants to stop progress.” What progress, you ask?
There’s a Prime Minister from Israel, Olmert, who is dedicated to a two-state solution. He comes to the United States and holds a press conference and says, I am dedicated; as a matter of fact, I am so dedicated, I’m campaigning on the platform that if need be, we will unilaterally make the decision that there’s a Palestinian state.
What a guy.
As progress was being made, it obviously scared those who can’t stand the thought of democracy.
Dick Cheney?


Back to that clarifying moment: “one of the interesting things about this moment is it’s now become clear to a lot of people why we don’t have peace in the Middle East.” “[T]he world is going to have to recognize that there are terrorist elements who are dedicated to stopping the advance of democracy and peace. And, therefore, we must deal with those.” The only obstacle he recognizes to peace, here as in Iraq, is a relatively small number of terrorists. Without them, everything would be fine. Oh, and since they’re supported/armed/sheltered by Iran and Syria, we may have to overthrow those countries’ governments.

He said several times that Israel as a “sovereign nation” has a right to defend itself, but of course some nations are more sovereign than others, and he displays no tenderness for the sovereignty of Palestine or of Lebanon.

I feel with all the recent violence and gloom that I must end on a positive note, at least for Americans: sometimes, just occasionally, Bush meets with other world leaders and his chimp-like face is not the one with the goofiest expression.




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