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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Death of the Bush doctrine

Jeff Jacoby is spot-on in this piece in the Boston Globe:
Thus the president who once insisted that a "Palestinian state will never be created by terror" now insists that a Palestinian state be created regardless of terror. Once the Bush administration championed a "road map" whose first and foremost requirement was that the Palestinians "declare an unequivocal end to violence and terrorism" and shut down "all official . . . incitement against Israel." Now the administration says that Palestinian terrorism and incitement are nothing "to get hung up on."

Whatever happened to the moral clarity that informed the president's worldview in the wake of 9/11? Whatever happened to the conviction that was at the core of the Bush Doctrine: that terrorists must be anathematized and defeated, and the fever-swamps that breed them drained and detoxified?

Bush's support for the creation of a Palestinian state was always misguided - rarely has a society shown itself less suited for sovereignty - but at least he made it clear that American support came at a stiff price: "The United States will not support the establishment of a Palestinian state," Bush said in his landmark June 2002 speech on the Israeli-Arab conflict, "until its leaders engage in a sustained fight against the terrorists and dismantle their infrastructure." He reinforced that condition two years later, confirming in a letter to Ariel Sharon that "the Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure."

Now that policy has gone by the boards, replaced by one less focused on achieving peace than on maintaining a "peace process." No doubt it is difficult, as Rice says, to "move forward on the peace process" when the Palestinian Authority glorifies suicide bombers and encourages a murderous goal of eliminating the Jewish state. If the Bush Doctrine - "with us or with the terrorists" - were still in force, the peace process would be shelved. The administration would be treating the Palestinians as pariahs, allowing them no assistance of any kind, much less movement toward statehood, so long as their encouragement of terrorism persisted.

But it is the Bush Doctrine that has been shelved. In its hunger for Arab support against Iran - and perhaps in a quest for a historic "legacy" - the administration has dropped "with us or with the terrorists." It is hellbent instead on bestowing statehood upon a regime that stands unequivocally with the terrorists. "Frankly, it's time for the establishment of a Palestinian state," Rice says.

When George W. Bush succeeded Bill Clinton, he was determined not to replicate his predecessor's blunders in the Middle East, a determination that intensified after 9/11. Yet now he too has succumbed to the messianism that leads US presidents to imagine they can resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. Clinton's legacy in this arena was the second intifada, which drenched the region in blood. To what fresh hell will Bush's diplomacy lead?
Read it all.


At 7:12 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

It's rare that I disagree with Jacoby, but I think he is wrong:

If the Bush Doctrine - "with us or with the terrorists" - were still in force, the peace process would be shelved.

Bush always believed that the Bush Doctrine had an exception for Palestinian terrorists. It wasn't until Yasser Arafat got caught lying to Bush about the Karine A, that Bush softened his love of the Palestinians a little, and then only to Arafat. He invented the grandfatherly Abu Mazen shortly after so that he could still play the part of foolish peacemaker.

The Bush doctrine was never anythign more than empty words, he never applied it anywhere.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bush Doctrine has been replaced by the James 'F--- the Jews' Baker Doctrine.

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Chrissie said...

I think the change started with the 2006 Hezb-Allah attack on Israel. Israel was given a virtual green light to do what they had to swiftly and decisively - Israel failed. If Israel had done that, there would have been the usual moaning and whinging from the perpetually moaning and whinging, then, nothing.

As it was, Israel's handling of this battle left the area more dangerous, and less room for Bush to wiggle in.

Unfortunately, Israel needs a change of government now. One who is prepared to do what it takes.

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Karridine said...

"Unfortunately, Israel needs a change of government now. One who is prepared to do what it takes."

In Haifa, the fruit of the Judaic and Christian Dispensations sits atop Mount Carmel: The Universal House of Justice, established by God for the ordering of the affairs of mankind with Justice and compassion for all.

Do what it takes, ask the Universal House of Justice for help. Then listen carefully, and DO WHAT IT TELLS YOU, Israel!


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