Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Vision imposition

By Michael J.W. Stickings

This is where we need Jon Stewart. (Could the entertainment industry please accept the writers' demands and get on with it?)

Commenting on the Israeli-Palestinian situation on CNN today, in an interview with the Blitzman, President Bush said that he would "facilitate negotiations" between the two sides and that he supported the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state: "Ultimately, if this can be done, if the state can be laid out -- what the state should look like -- then it gives people like President Abbas the chance to go to the Palestinians and say, 'You can have their vision of violence or this vision of peace, take your pick.'"

So far so good, pretty much, although I'm not sure how much his facilitation will help, if at all.

But then -- cue the unintended irony, cue the laughter -- he said this:

America can't impose our vision on the two parties. If that happens, then there's not going to be a deal that will last.

This is a president for whom diplomacy has been, form the start, a dirty word. His entire presidency has involved imposing his vision -- on America, on the world -- without regard for those who do not share that vision. He is arrogant and self-righteous -- and, of course, it is the Iraq War and Occupation, disaster that it continues to be, that best reflects what he is all about. He has spewed the high-falutin' rhetoric about democracy and freedom, but everything about America's involvement in Iraq suggests that the rhetoric is meaningless drivel, a scam.

Where's that Mess O' Potamia graphic?

And now he wants to be taken seriously as he intervenes in a conflict in which he has thus far shown appallingly little interest, so wrapped up has he been in Iraq and his so-called war on terror? And, in so doing, he wants us to believe that the imposition of vision is... wrong?

About that, of course, he is right. The U.S. should be taking a lead in trying to resolve the situation, but not by imposing itself on the two sides and trying to force them to agree to American terms. The problem is, Bush has destroyed America's credibility around the world. Who now takes Bush seriously? Who likes and respects him as a world leader? Who will listen to the U.S. with Bush at the helm? (Put down your hand, Sarkozy. You've got your own problems at the moment. Harper? We'll deal with you at the next election. Howard? Sorry, you lost. Go away. And you Central Asian thugs, well, yes, point taken, you get along fine with Bush, I know, he's your sort of guy.)

Listen carefully, Mr. Bush. That's the sound of us laughing at you. Even if you don't quite get the joke.

Unfortunately, what you've done as president is hardly anything to laugh about.

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