Friday, December 01, 2006

Bush vs. Carter

It would be almost funny to hear Bush carry on about staying the course in Iraq, if people were not dying by the thousands as we dither.

Yesterday Bush said the US would not make a graceful exit from Iraq. This has been clear to anyone paying attention for years now. The US would stay until the job is done (pause) or the Iraq government asks the US to leave. Furthermore he said Maliki was the right man for the job (obviously in response to the leaked Hadley memo). Recall that Bush fancies himself the Decider! I'd be worried about Bush's deliberate and persistent undermining of all options mooted by the Iraq Study Group (which has not a single Iraq expert on it--of course) except that Bush strongly supported Brownie in New Orleans and was proclaiming that Rummy would never go right up until the Dems won both houses of Congress.

I think this is another moment of clear disconnect from Bush and all sensible advisers (I'm sure he has a couple sensible ones somewhere). Hopefully the fact that the Iraq Study Group (and the wider American public) is looking to disengage will penetrate Bush's thick skull. As long as Bush and Maliki refuse to make difficult choices, we can only achieve a (very very) costly stalemate in Iraq.

On to more uplifting topics, I've seen Carter doing his book circuit (on the topic of Palestine) on CNN. I've ordered a copy of the book and hope it proves as lucid as last year's "Our Endangered Values". In any case, you have to hand it to Carter, he takes on a seriously contentious issue and makes a lot of sense. What Israel has done for the last 40 years has not worked. What it is doing today continues to not work. And yet the American government supports (in every way) without reservation, every action (no matter how outrageous) that Israel takes against Palestine. Arabs no longer see a difference between America and Israel--this is what gave rise to Al Queda. Until the Palestinian question is resolved in an equitable fashion, there will be no peace for Israel or America.


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