Friday, May 29, 2009

Assume the best

SCOTUSblog notes that the Obama admin has filed a brief before the Supreme Court arguing against allowing the 17 Chinese Uighurs to be released from Guantanamo into the United States. According to the government, they’re not really in custody any more, what they are experiencing at Gitmo is “harborage”: “They are no longer detained as enemy combatants, they are free to leave Guantanamo Bay to any country that is willing to accept them... [their] continued presence at Guantanamo Bay is not unlawful detention, but rather the consequence of their lawful exclusion from the United States”. So that’s okay, then.

George Bush gave a speech in Michigan. Asked what he wants his legacy to be, he said, “Well, I hope it is this: The man showed up with a set of principles, and he was unwilling to compromise his soul for the sake of popularity.” Hey, George has finally figured out that he’s not popular!

Yesterday, Obama had a press conference with Mahmoud Abbas.

I was hoping someone would ask Obama what he thought about the Israeli Knesset’s moves to make it illegal to advocate that Israel be anything but a “Jewish state.” They didn’t, but he did express himself on the importance of free speech in Palestine, that is, the importance of curtailing it: “And I also mentioned to President Abbas in a frank exchange that it was very important to continue to make progress in reducing the incitement and anti-Israel sentiments that are sometimes expressed in schools and mosques and in the public square, because all those things are impediments to peace.”

Asked how he’ll respond if Israel continues its settlement-building and refusal of the two-state solution, Obama announced that by god he had a plan: “We’ll, I think it’s important not to assume the worst, but to assume the best.”

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