Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Does This Make Me A Neo-Con?

A few hours ago I thought that Bush's European visit was nothing more than a chance to try business-class threats and lies for a change. I can't say that that impression has left me entirely, but, there I was with
Channel 4 News on, dashing off a post to that effect, when he utters the following words:
"Israel must freeze settlement activity, help Palestinians build a thriving economy, and ensure that a new Palestinian state is truly viable, with contiguous territory on the West Bank. A state of scattered territories will not work."

I used to be pretty proud of the cynicism I've been packing these past few years, but I now realise that my shits was weak. What? How? By what mechanism have these words travelled from so many ignored, fragmented sources—the mouths of all Palestinians, everywhere, the pages of Chomksy and Finkelstein, the bitter reminiscences of former Foreign Office officials, fractious debates on campus, the letters page of The Guardian, the online chat of young people willing to put on high-visibility jackets and face death at the hands of an Israeli conscript—all the way into the brain of a Bush speechwriter? Do they come from Tony Blair???? I'm quite startled, and will be even more so if they turn out to mean something. Does this amount to a recognition that Oslo was always intended to mean a Palestinian state along the lines that Bush describes? Will he say sorry for supporting settlements for decades in the face of overwhelming international opposition?

Just how out of the loop am I? Have I been playing too much Gypsy jazz and, like, missed something here? May I propose a wait-and-see approach?

Otto Swing Beat

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Pleased to see this - actually tried to phone you about it last night to suggest it as a subject (jazz again?).

I really think you have to give Bush credit.

His view of the Israel-Palestine is NOT "oh this hideous cycle of violence/ why can't these Islamists stop killing people". He has actually worked out that it is a war over land.

His comments about Russia also indicate the same more-than-welcome tendency: a genuine belief in Democracy. Previously, US leaders have professed a belief in Democracy that was hardly even skin deep. It would be too easy for Bush to support Russian power, and its exercise in Chechnya etc..

He is also correct regarding France's disgraceful attempt to sell arms to China, whilst China is still threatening Taiwanese democracy (in contrast to Powell's disgraceful statements quoted on this site).

Although the old tendency - to in fact support despotism when that suits - is still evident in eg Saudi (still) and Usbekistan, his State of the Union promise to be the friend of those fighting tyranny might have been more than a sermon. It think Bush has really impressed this visit - even me!
Yes, it was jazz last night.

It feels odd and a little liberating not to be able to resort to cynicism as a trusty defence so readily, but there we are! It's since occurred to me that the less visible, more realist people at the top of the Administration have decided that the strategic utility of the US alliance with Israel is not without limits, but haven't checked the Israeli press on this.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?