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Vision Problems

Tuesday, Aug. 01, 2006 12:06 PM

"The current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror in the Middle East," said President Bush, slapping a fresh bandage on the suppurating wound that substitutes for foreign policy in his administration.

Bush spoke at the Coast Guard Command in Miami, Florida, and went on to blame the concept of status quo for the world's ills. "For decades, the status quo in the Middle East permitted tyranny and terror to thrive. And as we saw on September 11, the status quo in the Middle East led to death and destruction in the United States, and it had to change."

Naturally, that change includes a healthy snort of magic democracy dust. Wheeeeeee! Happy, free people!

Except it hasn't worked in Afghanistan, where the courts still follow strict Islamic law. It hasn't worked in Iraq, which is torn by civil war. Why do we presume that we can beat the snot out of terrorists and their blood will water the tree of liberty?

Has it escaped Bush's notice that terrorism can thrive under democratic rule as well? Unless, of course, we want to link Irish Catholics and Protestants to Syria and Iran.

"The hard work of helping people realize the benefits of liberty is laying the foundation of peace for generations to come," Bush opines.

When you're blowing up apartment buildings and killing children, parents and families are not going to say, "Oh, but it's an important part of a foundation of peace for generations to come!" when some of that future generation is lying dead at their feet.

Condoleeza Rice thinks there could be a cease-fire sometime this week.

Ehud Olmert, the Israeli Prime Minister says otherwise. "The fighting continues. There is no ceasefire and there will not be any ceasefire in the coming days."

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz has commented that, "If an immediate ceasefire is declared, the extremists will rear their heads anew."

No, sir, we wouldn't want to embolden the terrorists, would we?

The problem with having a foreign policy shored up by snappy phrases and tautology is that it doesn't support much of anything. In fact, Israel has pretty much taken Bush's cowboy tough-talk and turned it on its head, using it to excuse their own actions. And now, we cannot contradict Israel without contradicting ourselves.

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