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Monthly Archives: May 2008
By measure of each man’s negligible influence over events in the Middle East — despite florid denunciations of all compromise and accomodation with those each brands as evil — President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden appear to have more in common than either would care to admit. In Lebanon, Israel, Syria and the Palestinian territories, protagonists in key conflicts are ignoring both Bush and Bin Laden to forge a new pragmatic politics of coexistence. Continue reading
When it comes to Iran, the President and the Qaeda leader appear to be on the same page Continue reading
When Chelsea and Man. United contest the Champion’s League final this week, gunmen from Mogadishu to Gaza will be glued to their TV sets… Continue reading
Violence against immigrants in South Africa may be a product of poverty, but my friend Ray Hartley argues, the only answer is to make them full and equal citizens Continue reading
By insisting that he never advocated talking to Hamas, Obama digs himself a hole — anyone who seeks peace in the Middle East will have to talk to Hamas Continue reading
Daniel Levy explains why the farcical negotiations between Olmert and Abbas actually undermine the prospects for Mideast peace Continue reading
Sobriety remains elusive in Bush’s Middle East policy as he tells the Knesset, “Masada will never fall again!” — as in, “Remember the Alamo!” Having visited the iconic site at which Jewish Jihadists of yore are said to have committed mass suicide rather than surrender to the Romans, Bush was plainly moved to substitute war cries for serious policy. Long on the vacuous militancy that has characterized his entire tenure, Bush reprised the infantile posturing that compared talking to Hamas with appeasing the Nazis (uh, is that what Olmert is doing by negotiating a cease-fire with it via Egypt?), branding Iran the fount of global terrorism and warning that “Permitting the world’s leading sponsor of terror to possess the world’s deadliest weapon would be an unforgivable betrayal of future generations,” Bush told the Israeli parliament to mark its 60th birthday. “For the sake of peace, the world must not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon.”
Don’t talk to Hamas or Iran, don’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, etc. etc. But what exactly is he offering? Is he going to bomb Iran? And then what? There’s no policy here, just testoterone. Continue reading
Could there be a more perfect image of the catastrophic self-inflicted rout suffered by U.S. Middle East policy under President George W. Bush? This week, the President will party with Israel’s leaders celebrating their country’s 60th anniversary — and champion a phony peace process whose explicit aim is to produce an agreement to go on the shelf — with Bush curiously choosing the moment to honor the legend of the mass infanticide and suicide of the Jewish Jihadists at Masada. Meanwhile, across the border in Lebanon, Hizballah are riding high on the tectonic shifts in the Middle East’s political substructure, making clear that the “new Middle East” memorably (if grotesquely) inaugurated by Condi Rice in Beirut in 2006 is nothing like that imagined or pursued by the Bush Administration. On the contrary, the Bush Administration has managed to weaken its friends and allies and empower its enemies to an almost unprecedented degree. Having failed on every front, the question is, will the Bush Administration resort to war to try and roll back the gains of its enemies over the past five years? Continue reading
First, he couldn’t be President because he’s Muslim. Now, we’re told, he can’t be President because he’s not Muslim enough! Continue reading