The George Bush 1.0 of 9/11 had moral clarity, patriotism. and steadfastness. Annapolis shows him morphing into Bush 2.0, who equates killers and their victims, hands concessions to America’s enemies, and betrays its friends.
The “Palestinian Problem” is actually the determination of the nations surrounding Israel to destroy it – here’s the leading MidEast expert Bernard Lewis, via EU Referendum:
If the issue is about the size of Israel, then we have a straightforward border problem, like Alsace-Lorraine or Texas. That is to say, not easy, but possible to solve in the long run, and to live with in the meantime.
If, on the other hand, the issue is the existence of Israel, then clearly it is insoluble by negotiation. There is no compromise position between existing and not existing, and no conceivable government of Israel is going to negotiate on whether that country should or should not exist.
Lewis goes on to explain that two of the three mass population movements after WW2 (India/Pakistan and Poland/USSR) were quickly settled, and that only the Palestinian/Jew movement (in which Palestinians were displaced from Israel and a larger number of Jews were displaced from Arab countries) has continued to fester.
That’s because the Arabs want Israel destroyed, and Bush 1.0 recognized this.
But at Annapolis, Bush 2.0 rewrote the script.
Israel and Palestinians now are morally equivalent – here’s part of the joint statement the president extracted from their respective leaders and quoted approvingly:
We express our determination to bring an end to bloodshed, suffering and decades of conflict between our peoples; to usher in a new era of peace, based on freedom, security, justice, dignity, respect and mutual recognition; to propagate a culture of peace and nonviolence; to confront terrorism and incitement, whether committed by Palestinians or Israelis. In furtherance of the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security, we agree to immediately launch good-faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty, resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues, without exception, as specified in previous agreements.
Bush 2.0 concludes:
The Israelis must do their part. They must show the world that they are ready to begin — to bring an end to the occupation that began in 1967 through a negotiated settlement. This settlement will establish Palestine as a Palestinian homeland, just as Israel is a homeland for the Jewish people. Israel must demonstrate its support for the creation of a prosperous and successful Palestinian state by removing unauthorized outposts, ending settlement expansion, and finding other ways for the Palestinian Authority to exercise its responsibilities without compromising Israel’s security.
This is nuts: the Israelis have fought 5 defensive wars since the UN gave them their nation, have successively pulled out of the Lebanon and Gaza strip, and received nothing but more terror for their pains.
Every tyrant in the world will be encouraged to see the US president dump on his allies. Indeed, merely by inviting killer state Syria to Annapolis, he put a bullet through Lebanese democracy – as Lee Smith explains (hat tip Powerline):
WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, Saad al-Hariri’s Mostaqbal party agreed to a constitutional amendment that would allow Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Michel Suleiman to be elected president. Up until now, Hariri and his March 14 allies (the date of the 2005 Cedar Revolution) had resisted Suleiman’s candidacy; Lebanese democrats are generally loath to have military men serve as President of the Republic, especially after the last nine years of former commander Emile Lahoud’s presidency. But more importantly, Suleiman is Damascus’s number one choice to fill the now vacant spot.
So why have Hariri and his colleagues…made an about face? It is because of Annapolis. They feared Washington was going to cut a deal with Syria over Lebanon, so they made their own bargain to protect themselves since it is now obvious Washington will not.
So Syria gets Lebanon as a reward for sending suicide bombers to kill Iraqis, Americans, and Brits.
Israel will survive – it’s been here before with Jimmy Carter. No matter how aggressively the administration threatens and bribes the Israeli leadership (and it will), it won’t force that state to commit suicide. It will however get more Israelis killed.
Bush 2.0 will look lousy in the history books, and that’s a shame because the earlier version was almost great.