Friday, January 11, 2008

The Legacy

Here we go again. Dubya is trying to "secure his legacy" again, this time by making peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. By the end of his term. In one year. An article this morning from the Cox News Service quoted him as saying he will "be a pain if I need to be a pain." Believe me, Mr. President - you are a pain.

First his legacy was going to be Iraq: depose the dictator, create a free democracy in the Middle East. (All planned by a staff with no Arabic speakers and no Middle East experience.) Then, when Iraq turned into a swamp, his legacy was going to be privatizing Social Security. Well, that went over with the voters like a solid gold parachute, despite what I have to admit was real work on his part - he stumped for that disaster all over the country. Now he's tackling a festering feud that's been going on for either 40 or 60 years, depending on whether you count from the founding of Israel in '48 or the Six Days War in '67; and he thinks he can mop it up in just under 12 months.

Have we got a president with ADHD? Or is he merely delusional?

There's an old mis-quote of Rudyard Kipling that I think applies here: "If you can keep your head when those about you / Are losing theirs and blaming it on you - / You haven't really grasped the situation yet."

Hey, if he can pull this off, and produce an agreement between Israel and Palestine that actually works and stops the shooting, his legacy will be written in gold - and I won't even argue. I just don't think much of his chances.

9 comments:

  1. Stephen9:37 PM

    Considering he can't pronounce the main players names, I don't think he has much of a chance either.

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  2. He's delusional, as so many others have been. The differences between the Palestinians and the Israeli's are too deep to reconcile.

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  3. Anonymous4:32 PM

    Another vote for delusional.

    Anonymous David

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  4. Anonymous7:42 PM

    I don't think a peace deal between Israel and Palestine is the real issue here, and I don't think that anything that emerges will actually tilt toward justice for both sides.

    I do think this is mostly about the government of Israel convincing Bush that the United States needs to join in with bombing Iran, including an absolute shield of protection for Israel from Iranian retaliation, no matter the magnitude of the conflagration. I think we are watching the hands of Cheney and the American and Israeli neocons pulling Bush's strings, which are actually pretty easy to pull. Accounts of his visit to the holocaust museum under Israeli tutelage suggest the reaction of a historic knowledge challenged child.

    He should cry over that horror. Everyone should, and over every human horror, no matter by whom it has been inflicted. But he also really ought to be able to do a little better than to ask Condi why FDR didn't bomb Auschwitz. The visit to the holocaust museum was to get Bush in the right emotional state for the Likud appeal for a partnership military attack on Iran. Cheney has been a busy beaver while out of the news.

    Anonymous David

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  5. Anonymous David, I was so appalled by your account of Dubya's reaction to the Holocaust Museum that I went and looked up the AP article, hoping you were wrong. I should have known better. George W. Bush second guessing FDR and Winston Churchill on the conduct of the Second World War is sort of like - I can't think of a comparison awful enough. Maybe Mickey Mouse conducting the orchestra instead of Stokowski, in Fantasia??

    I hope to God you're wrong about the rest of your speculations but I have an awful feeling you aren't. Can't we impeach that bastard?

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  6. Anonymous9:01 PM

    hedera,

    I've signed every impeachment petition I can find.

    Anonymous David

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  7. Anonymous9:36 PM

    hedera,
    In case you missed this little gem:

    Bush's Own Counter-Intelligence Ops
    Fred Kaplan, on Newsweek's report that President Bush disowned the Iran NIE in meetings last week with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert:

    This remark has three baleful consequences. First, it can't help but demoralize the intelligence community. NIEs are meant, ultimately, for only one reader, the president; and here's the president telling another world leader that he doesn't believe it because, well, he doesn't agree with it.
    Second, it reinforces the widespread view that the president views intelligence strictly as a political tool: When it backs up his policies, it's as good as gold; when it doesn't, it's "just guessing." This result is that all intelligence is degraded and devalued, at home and abroad. Let's say that six months from now Bush publicizes an NIE concluding that Iran has resumed its nuclear-weapons program or that, say, North Korea is reprocessing more plutonium. Given that he pooh-poohed an NIE that rubbed against his own views, why should anyone take him seriously for embracing an NIE that confirms them?

    Third, by telling Olmert that it's all right to ignore the NIE, Bush is in effect telling him that Israel should go ahead and behave as if its findings had never been published. Hirsh reports that, when Olmert was asked whether he felt reassured by Bush's words, he replied, "I am very happy."


    --David Kurtz

    Anonymous David

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  8. If you read the history of the "longing" of the Jews for an Israeli state, and an unbiased account of Palestine prior to Israeli statehood, AND an unbiased account of the behavior of both sides after that date (1948?), it's pretty clear that neither "side" has any desire to compromise and "live in peace" with the other. Arabs feel Israel was imposed upon them as a homeland for refugee Jews, and they'll never be happy until what they had is restored to them. The behavior of Israel has been thoroughly reprehensible. If I were an Arab with historical roots in Palestine, and/or had had land and business and power stolen from me, I'm sure I would feel the same way. I don't think there is ANY way that Israel can be peacefully "accommodated"--they're just going to have to accept the fact that conflict is a permanent condition. How long America continues to support Israel is anyone's guess. But let's be frank: Peace isn't going to happen as long as Israel exists.

    My surmise is that at some point, in 20 or 50 or 100 years, Israel is going to cease to exist. It's a total anomaly: Surrounded by hostile Arab lands.

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  9. During the build-up to the Iraq invasion, Cheney went over to Defense and CIA and read them the riot act: "Either you're with us or against us. If you're for us, you prepare a phony report showing that Iraq has nuclear weapons, and that they're planning to use them." Then, when the sham "intelligence" was proven to have been fabricated, Cheney and company "blamed" Defence and the CIA for their "failure" to produce valid data. This is an old Reagan trick: You force someone else to act in a corrupt way, then you set them up to take the fall if it comes out. It's extraordinarily cynical: Careers are wrecked, and the public is duped, and our resources are squandered to serve the narrow interests of war profiteers and petroleum companies. You see these career CIA operatives who've given 35 years of their lives, honorably and decently, crying on camera because they were forced to compromise themselves, resigning in disgust.

    I believe Bush is right up there with Stalin and Mussolini on the podium. Smirk the Jerk. And Cheney is Goebbels and Goering and Himmler all rolled into one. I'm embarrassed and ashamed for my country. And of my fellow citizens for electing this crook. Twice!

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