Democrats & Liberals Archives

Bush's Bash

Some call it a peace conference. Others call it a Middle East Summit. Still others claim it’s a conference to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. There are others who think it is a party called by President George W. Bush to show the world who is boss.

Here's what Zev Chafets declares in todays L.A. Times:

This is Bush's bash. His name is on the invitation. The party is at his place. The guests are strictly A-list. Every country that matters, and a lot that don't, will be represented. The European Union, the United Nations and the Arab League will be there too. They are all coming for the same reason: They have been summoned by the one man in the world to whom no one wants to say no.

And you thought the conference was for the discussion of peace. How silly can you get? Chafets does not think it will produce any results. However, the gathering does show how great and glorious is our leader. Listen to this:

It turns out that Bush, far from wrecking America's prestige and influence, has compounded it. Every government in the world knows that attending the Annapolis conference under the aegis of the president of the United States is an unmistakable acknowledgment that America remains the world's indispensable state.

Chafets is spouting nonsense, of course. Fifty world leaders were invited for two days. So obviously this was a party. How could 50 voluble politicians get to even speak in two days time? And why do we need 50 world leaders? For instance, why were Russia, China and Japan invited? And why was not Iran invited? Why was not Hamas, in many ways the essence of the problem, invited?

And why did Bush say it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to negotiate between themselves and come to a solution? He knows, or he should know, that no solution is possible without the very active engagement of the U.S.

If Bush were interested in achieving peace he would invite all of those involved in the controversy: Israel, the Palestinians - including Hamas - and the antagonistic Arab countries. Since Iran is an antagonist it should be invited. No others are needed. All they would do is muddy the waters.

Chafets calls it "Bush's bash." I call it another of Bush's farces.

Posted by Paul Siegel at November 27, 2007 3:46 PM
Comments
Comment #239404

Paul, on numerous occassions many writing on this blog have been critical of our government for not working more with the rest of the world. Then, when a small step is made, they are critized. I am sure you could have found a newspaper editorial that blasted the President, I am curious why you choose what appears to be a supportive editorial. No one expects any break-throughs in this meeting and niether do I. There will be no middle east peace regardless of who is the U.S. President or who is in congress. The billigerent parties don’t want peace, they want the destruction of Israel. The Arab nations supporting the Palestinians don’t want peace as the continuing conflict with Israel keeps the spotlight off of them and their anti-democratic regimes. Israel represents the focus of hate that they don’t want turned inward towards the injustices in their own countries. Bashing President Bush for hosting this meeting is contrary to all the wisdom of the leading Democrat Presidential wanna-be’s who all advocate talking rather than fighting.

Posted by: Jim at November 27, 2007 4:19 PM
Comment #239408

Uh, Jim?
Bush is a Republican, not a liberal.
There is an election coming up.
Winning that election is more important than everything else.
Anything with even a remote chance of showing a positive, has to be belittled or totally condemned, at the very beginning.

Posted by: kctim at November 27, 2007 5:06 PM
Comment #239417

Too little too late…why did Bush wait 7 years before holding these talks???

Posted by: Rachel at November 27, 2007 5:25 PM
Comment #239428

I could be wrong on this, but isn’t this the administration that touted Palestinian democratic elections up to the moment the party that won wasn’t to their liking?

Posted by: Rocky at November 27, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #239440

kctim-
Desperate last-minute covering of the hindquarters does not compensate for years of incompetence and lost opportunities. We’re going to call these things what they are: window-dressing born of political desperation.

Jim-
I think you’re underestimating how sick some people are of the violence and conflict. If we took on a different policy, we might have been able to take advantage of their sentiments, rather than vindicating those of the hardliners and belligerents.

Consider this: the warmongers are always waiting to hear somebody talk tough about their country, because nothing justifies being belligerent with others like them being belligerent with you. When the moderates say “Yes, but they don’t really want that”, the hardliners can say, “But here’s what their leaders say!” and undermine the moderate’s credibility.

Being a peacemaker has its advantages. If some jackass picks a fight with you, you have much more of a moral position to kick their ass from. If you spent a lot of time provoking somebody, the best you’ll often get is a resigned “pox on both your houses” and the worst can be them joining with the other folks.

At the end of the day, you don’t want to validate belligerence. You want to undermine it, make the people who engage in it look like the fools and the blowhards. Think Judo. Think Aikido. Make your opponent’s aggression a liability.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 27, 2007 8:05 PM
Comment #239445

This post is confusing. And flat out wrong.

Are you actually claiming that Bush, the first sitting US President to openly call for a Palestinian state and who in cooperation with Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations actually developed and presented to the Palestinian authority and the Israelis a roadmap to peace has done absolutely nothing in this area up until now?

Has it worked, the various timetables and the linking of financial assistance (including a huge amount of cash, military, and civil service training to support to the Palestinian authority)? No. Has Bush solved the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? No. But has anyone?

Instead of Bush’s Bash, maybe this post should be called Bash Bush. Why is it that until a bunch of people get together in black ties and hold a talkathon (which is all this is) do liberals think that nothing being done?

Posted by: Liam at November 27, 2007 8:19 PM
Comment #239453

Liam, maintaining the status quo is not progress. Calling for a Palestinian state is like Kucinich calling for a one world government of peace. Talk is cheap, and worthless unless action is taken to manifest the talk into a reality.

This is Bush’s last year to salvage some piece of legacy in history as having at least started something in a positive direction, while leaving to others the heavy lifting to accomplish it. That is the best Bush has to offer, now. Better than nothing, to his credit. And adding something positive to his credit is precisely why the move is being made this late in the game.

To have begun this process earlier would have ended like Iraq, botched or interminably quagmired. Hence, wait until the last year and appear as prime mover for a process that will take many years after leaving office. That’s the ticket. Brilliantly compensatory and Rovian.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 27, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #239456

David, and I thought I was cynical!

A President of the United States being the first to openly call for a Palestinian state, setting out a roadmap, and then delivering large amounts of money in response to meeting defined benchmarks is absolutely nothing like a third-tier presidential candidate pointlessly calling for a one world government of peace on the campaign trail. That is just an unbelievable statement.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I think Bush’s black tie summit is doomed to failure, just as all previous US President’s initiatives have failed. And that’s simply because high-flown speeches from leaders are worthless when the actual people on the street still want to cut each other’s throats and relish doing so every chance they get.

The leaders of the opposing groups will only participate in such a charade anyway to maintain the pretense of “working for peace” in order to keep the money flowing from America and European capitals. That’s how it’s always been for decades now.

Now, I may be pretty cynical, but my cynicism isn’t only directed to those with an R after their names. If Bush wants to do good only because he thinks it will improve his legacy, I don’t really care. His inner motivations are of no interest to me. I certainly don’t assume that such thoughts played no part in the actions of previous American politicians, or for that matter, that our leaders down the road will be acting out of nothing but selfless altruism without any thought or care for political calculations or how they will be personally be judged by history.

Posted by: Liam at November 27, 2007 9:56 PM
Comment #239475

It is signicifant that Iran was not invited. Another attempt to isolate the next”they have our oil under their country” target. Their absence alone insures failure.

All any US president needs to do to push peace is to tell Isreal it has to move back to its 1967 bordors or have aid cut off.Every president since Kennedy has opposed Isreali settlements in occupied land.None has had the political courage to enforce it. Bush could. He has nothing to lose.He won’t. That would interfere with the neo-con agenda of global domination of energy supplies.

Posted by: BillS at November 28, 2007 1:21 AM
Comment #239485

Liam said: “The leaders of the opposing groups will only participate in such a charade anyway to maintain the pretense of “working for peace” in order to keep the money flowing from America and European capitals.”

BINGO! Give that man a cigar. And Bush’s aid went to both sides, fueling the capacity for attacks by both sides. Bush says Palestinian state if you show yourselves worthy of democracy. They conduct democratic elections, and Bush refuses to accept the results. I don’t call this progress, Liam.

After 15 years of critically predicting the outcomes of GW Bush’s actions first as Governor of my state, and then as President, and being right nearly every time; yeah, I have grown pretty cynical about anything GW Bush tries to do. The man’s adult history reads as the quintessential example of the Peter Principle, save for staying married to Laura.

I never believed Bush was a bad man, just incredibly incompetent without the will to face his own limitations, and living within his abilities. He has excelled at the Peter Principle as no other, though. That is his legacy. But like the Emperor with New Clothes, he won’t allow himself to recognize it. That is understandable.

And what does GW Bush say about the GOP and its constituents? A lot more than they would wish to acknowledge, as well. Kind of like the Democratic Party and Jimmy Carter. Though Carter went on to distinguish himself immensely after his presidency. So, not really a direct correlation there.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 28, 2007 3:53 AM
Comment #239503

“All any US president needs to do to push peace is to tell Isreal it has to move back to its 1967 bordors or have aid cut off.Every president since Kennedy has opposed Isreali settlements in occupied land.None has had the political courage to enforce it. Bush could. He has nothing to lose.He won’t. That would interfere with the neo-con agenda of global domination of energy supplies.”

Posted by: BillS at November 28, 2007 01:21 AM

BillS, that was a very shallow assessment. Israel is a democratic country who has faced enemies on all sides since their inception. Israel has conceeded conquered territory numerous times in an attempt to find peace with its neighbors, and each time a consession was made it only emboldened their sworn enemies. Returning to pre ‘67 borders would be a suicide move for Israel and it’s not going to happen. Arabs living legally in Israel have many of the same rights as Jews including the right to vote. And, they are free to leave anytime they wish. However, you don’t see folks fleeing Israel. As in ancient times, the Holy Land has been the focus of hatred by many nations playing out their national ambitions on that stage. Don’t expect peace in your lifetime or mine. A change of heart must accompany any change in that region of the world.

Posted by: Jim at November 28, 2007 1:19 PM
Comment #239527

Just a note for all of you who still claim that Clinton was a great president: He got a Nobel prize for holding these same useless talks where everyone smiled and smiled and talked and talked and did nothing. This one event cannot be seen as some great benchmark in the peace process. If anything, some politicians will have a good time and get to take a couple days off. That’s all I see coming of this.

Posted by: Right Now...please at November 28, 2007 5:01 PM
Comment #239532

Great news for our country, bad news for Democrats

Public Sees Progress in War Effort

Released: November 27, 2007

Navigate this report
Summary of Findings
About the Survey
Topline Questionnaire

Summary of Findings


For the first time in a long time, nearly half of Americans express positive opinions about the situation in Iraq. A growing number says the U.S. war effort is going well, while greater percentages also believe the United States is making progress in reducing the number of Iraqi casualties, defeating the insurgents and preventing a civil war in Iraq.

Roughly half of the public (48%) believes the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going very or fairly well. Judgments about the overall situation in Iraq have been improving steadily since the summer. As recently as June, only about a third of Americans (34%) said things were going well in Iraq.

The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Nov. 20-26 among 1,399 adults, finds that improved public impressions of Iraq are particularly evident when it comes to security-related issues. The number of Americans who say that the United States is making progress in reducing the number of civilian casualties in Iraq has doubled from 21% to 43% since June. The proportion saying that progress has been achieved in preventing terrorists from establishing bases in Iraq is also up substantially, as is the number saying the U.S. is making progress in defeating the insurgents militarily.

Posted by: Maxcroft Squire Muhldoon at November 28, 2007 5:42 PM
Comment #239537

Stephen
“Desperate last-minute covering…”

You assume it is last minute covering. Why? Because Bush is not a Dem.
You assume he is attempting to compensate. Why? Because he is not a Dem.
You are going to call these things what you think they are. Why? Because Bush is not a Dem.
You knowingly and willingly disregard the whole issue and its complexity simply to try and score political points.

Publicity stunt? Maybe, but why care. Two enemies are meeting and talking a little and that is more than they were doing last month and that alone makes it a good thing.
Nothing to give credit for, but nothing to devalue either.

Posted by: kctim at November 28, 2007 6:05 PM
Comment #239542

Jim
So it would be suicide for Isreal to live within its legal borders?They are pressing a 2000 year old land claim and useing brute force to do it. It should come as no surprise there is a reaction. If they want to behave that way fine but why should we pay for it?FYI The Isreali government does not recognize a marriage between an Arab and Jew. Nor can an Arab become prime minister.It is just one more theocracy in a region plaged by them.

Posted by: BillS at November 28, 2007 7:02 PM
Comment #239555

Bills, it’s false that the Israeli government does not recognize a marriage between an Arab and a Jew. It most certainly does.

As I understand it, there is a law which prevents Palestinians specifically (and not all Arabs) from gaining automatic Israeli citizenship when they marry an Israeli citizen. That is, unless they’re willing to make some kind of sworn statement of their loyalty to the state of Israel. It’s a discriminatory policy, but frankly, I don’t have that have much of a problem with a country setting their own arbitrary rules for citizenship. Wish that we’d set and follow some rules about immigration here actually. Arabs in Israel still get a much, much better deal than Jews living in any Arab country.

Personally, I don’t agree with carving out a country for only one ethnic group as happened with Israel. But the the fact is that it did happen, and the UN and the international were the ones to create it. It’s unfair now to blame the Jews who took the world up on its offer and moved to Israel for trying to defend themselves against those who have launched a number of wars against them and still want to destroy them. I don’t always agree with the actions of the Israelis, but those actions are not always the result of their own actions alone.

The territory that Israel now holds beyond their original borders were taken in wars which were not launched by Israel. The United States cannot even say that about Texas, Nevada, and California. Why should Israel surrender the lands they conquered when they were attacked if we’re not even willing to surrender the land we took when we attacked others? Also, if Israel should give these places back, why shouldn’t France, Russia, and Poland return to Germany all of the real estate that used to be part of Germany before WWII? Why does the world expect Israel to give back these fairly small areas of desert and hold Israel to rules that they don’t follow themselves? Why one standard for Jews and another standard for everybody else?

Posted by: Liam at November 28, 2007 9:59 PM
Comment #239572

Maxcroft said “while greater percentages also believe the United States is making progress in reducing the number of Iraqi casualties, defeating the insurgents and preventing a civil war in Iraq.”

Absolutely right. But, what has this to do with the Iraq government and people getting their act together so we can leave? Our martial law surge is working to some degree in the fashion that the Iraqi government should be doing for itself. It moves America not a step closer to leaving and ending our enormous costs. 1.2 Trillion already and another trillion to rebuild and equip our military losses there. Reduced violence does not mean an end to violence. We are still losing around 40 soldiers a month and several times that in serious wounds and injuries. When will it end?

That is what the majority of the American people want in all polls measuring the question.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 29, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #239646

Ever hear the rant threatening to sue George? I gave it to CNN and I think they hosted it awhile ago. Check the url to download. Long but worth a listen. Here it is.

Posted by: Jim at November 29, 2007 8:57 PM
Comment #239680


I find it ironic, more and more people choose their
representatives by ‘looks and appeal’ rather than viewing their public service records. I blame the media for this. Now, for the dems, it’s OPRAH/Obama verses BILL/Hillary.

Let’s get down to facts. I need these questions
answered before I would vote for Hillary.

1. Why did Bill Clinton install a computer database
in the White House known as “WHODB”?
(If you, as a voter, do not know what this is…
find out) Next time THEY speak of violating
your privacy…..you’ll think twice.

2. It is a well known fact that Bill and Hillary
STOLE from the White House. (Check out what they
were forced to RETURN and their excuses) Is this
the MORAL CODE you truly want representing you?

3. Why has Hillary been taking donations from China?

4. Do people remember who SANDY BERGER is? Why is he
in the background of Hillary’s campain? Could it
be PAYBACK for destroying documents proving Bill’s
LACK OF CONCERN about Osama? Busy with something
else BILL?

5. With our economy falling, why would Hillary PROMISE
$5,000 to each new baby born in the USA? Could it
be for the ILLEGAL VOTES (illegals that have a child
here stay, because the child is now a USA citizen)
Where is that money coming from?
Shall we close “Military Bases” AGAIN as Bill did in his reign?

So far, it’s not looking good for HILLARY if you truly
acknowledge the FACTS.

I agree with others, our choices are not great….but
at least choose on WHAT your candidate stands for.
Republican or Democrat …does not matter anymore. It’s about US

Posted by: PAT at November 30, 2007 11:17 AM
Comment #239681

I find it remarkable Democrats can bash President Bush.

Bash this…

President Bush kept the White House THEFT a secret.
‘Ole Hillary and Bill were forced to return the STOLEN property.

President Bush had the backing of the following Dems in Sadams downfall:

BILL CLINTON:”If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.” - President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

MADELINE ALBRIGHT: “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.” - Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

SANDY BERGER:”He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983.” - Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST… NANCY PELOSI:”Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.” - Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

HAD PRESIDENT BUSH NOT LISTENED TO THEM….WHERE WOULD WE BE?

Posted by: PAT at November 30, 2007 11:18 AM
Comment #239683

Oh come on PAT!
The clintons are liberal Democrats, so WHODB was not abuse of taxpayer money or an invasion of privacy. VAAPCOM was not a list kept on conservative groups or an invasion of privacy either.

Republicans are the only one’s who are wrong when they do something of the like. When Dems do it, we should excuse it as no big deal or just ignore it.

It was all about sex. Nothing else.

Posted by: kctim at November 30, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #239711

“Too little too late…why did Bush wait 7 years before holding these talks???”

Rachel - It’s called political capital. If you haven’t noticed, Bush and the most popular of presidents, and he chose to spend what little political capital he had on the broader war on terrorism. Now that he is in his final stages of his lame duck presidency, he might as well throw his hat in the ring as many other presidents have done on this topic. Legacy perhaps? Nothing to lose… Who knows, but if you really want the answer to your question (which I have a feeling was more of a statement aimed at bashing phrased as a question) - then there you have it…

Posted by: b0mbay at November 30, 2007 5:16 PM
Comment #239840

PAT, Clinton sought verification of WMD, Bush said to hell with that, he’s got them.

A Grand Canyon of a difference. And Bush was wrong. History doesn’t get any clearer than that for those with unjaundiced eyes wide open.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 2, 2007 1:01 PM
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