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Peace de Resistance

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The missing link in the reporting of Bush’s Middle East dog-and-pony show

It’s understandable if you suddenly feel a bit of warmth about George W. Bush. After all, the New York Times headlines its report this morning on the regime’s widely publicized peace talks with Israeli and Palestinians with this:

Bush Promotes Middle East Peace Dialogue

Please. Nowhere in the story, by Steven Lee Myers and Steven Erlanger, is there any mention of the huge credibility problems Bush has in promoting peace in the Middle East. Our actions speak louder than words, of course, but just blindly stab at any past statements about Bush on Israel, and you’ll find context that’s missing from the Times story. More importantly, Bush has no credibility with Arabs when it comes to promoting peace.

For example, here was Bush speaking at the Naval War College on June 28:

Our success in Iraq must not be measured by the enemy’s ability to get a car bombing into the evening news. No matter how good the security, terrorists will always be able to explode a bomb on a crowded street. In places like Israel, terrorists have taken innocent human life for years in similar attacks. The difference is that Israel is a functioning democracy that is not prevented from carrying out its responsibilities. And that’s a good indicator of success that we’re looking for in Iraq: the rise of a government that can protect its people, deliver basic services for all its citizens, and function as a democracy even amid violence.

Just put yourself in the shoes of a Palestinian living in and around Israel. The last thing Arabs want to hear from Bush is the incessant refrain that Israel is a functioning democracy while Israel is continually building new settlements in the West Bank and is exchanging terrorist attacks with Arabs — not to mention Israel’s seemingly permanent economic blockade against the Palestinian Authority.

Or, if you’re not a Palestinian, think about how Bush made the aforementioned foolish statement at a Navy school while he and Pentagon have continued to foolishly disregard the analyses of another Navy educational institution, the Naval Postgraduate School, whose Strategic Insights essays predicted before our invasion of Iraq just what is happening now.

Go back to my May 2005 item “Shattered Illusions: Iraq’s developing civil war couldn’t have surprised the Pentagon” for more on that.

It doesn’t help matters that the U.S. press’s most unjustifiably prestigious paper continues to leave out important context from its reporting on Bush’s latest “peace initiative.”

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