While The Middle East Burns, Bush Bicycles

bush_bikeI won’t pretend to be an expert on the Middle East, but as someone who has studied world history and politics, I can tell you (as if you didn’t already know) that the people of that region have suffered from violence and territorial disputes for thousands of years. In modern times, leaders from around the world have stepped in to negotiate truces between warring parties in order to maintain some sense of global peace. Which is why headlines like this are shameful:

“Bush Refuses To Interrupt His Final Vacation As Middle East Crisis Escalates”

Not exactly surprising, but shameful nonetheless. As ABC News Reports:

Even an emerging crisis in the Middle East, one he pledged to resolve just 13 months ago, has not drawn President George W. Bush from his final vacation before leaving office. Despite his personal pledge at Annapolis last year to broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians before 2009, this weekend Bush sent his spokesmen to comment in his stead….

Since departing Washington for Crawford on Friday, President Bush has made no attempt to be seen in public. In fact, he has yet to leave his ranch.

gazaThe disagreements in the Gaza region will never be solved through violence. The Israelis, fed up with rockets periodically lobbed at them from Hammas in the Gaza Strip decide that they will stop them once and for all. But war does not work that way. The Israeli bombs don’t discern between civilians and soldiers. And in the end, the growing numbers of Palestinian civilians killed will do nothing more than create more anger among the Arab nations, and more animosity toward Israel. From The Washington Post:

Concerns mounted over the growing toll on civilians in the Gaza Strip as Israeli jets carried out airstrikes for the third straight day. Many of the casualties have been civilians who live around targets in the densely populated strip. The United Nations on Monday said at least 57 Palestinian civilians have been killed since the Israeli offensive began Saturday, based on visits to hospitals and medical facilities. Officials described that number as conservative.

In total, over three days, 364 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds more wounded, said Gaza medical officials, in the deadliest wave of attacks in Gaza since Israel captured control of the seaside territory from Egypt in 1967. Hamas has retaliated, firing a barrage of rockets into southern Israel that has killed four Israelis.

From ThinkProgress:

Today, in a press briefing delivered from the “Western White House” in Crawford, TX, White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe was asked what is on Bush’s schedule today. In addition to receiving “updates on the ongoing situation,” Johndroe said, “I expect he’ll probably ride his bicycle today and spend time with Mrs. Bush.”

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8 comments

  1. Bush has been in way over his head ever since day one. The fact that we even talked about whether Barack Obama was qualified or not is absurd considering the clown we’ve had in office for the past 8 years. What exactly were his qualifications again? Oh yeah, being a previous President’s son. Wow.

    It’s sad to say, but this whole Israel-Palestine pieace initiative on his part looked cynical from the outset; an effort to do something postive before he left office. Unfortunately, the Middle East is no place for insincere lightweights like him.

    The only reason he became President was to try to one-up his dad. Too bad he set us back by nearly a century in the process. I really hope he just moves ot Uruguay and is never seen or heard again. He has been a disgrace and should be forgotten.

    http://www.gonzogeek.com

  2. Sue J – Bush and his lack of appropriate actions (ever) make me too angry for words.
    Do you read Juan Cole’s blog on the Middle East? (http://www.juancole.com/ Informed Comment )
    Justin, have you thoughtfully researched why the Palestinians resent the treatment they receive from the Israelis?

    So to allay my anger at Bush et al., I will work on lowering my blood pressure. Pardon me while I breathe deeply and refocus.

  3. Justin, I guess I didn’t make my point clearly enough:

    I am outraged at killing. Period.

    The fact that civilians are being attacked by the Israeli government, as some kind of retribution for violence against Israel perpetrated by Palestinian militants is actually a violation of the Geneva Convention. As I said at the beginning of the post, violence has been a way of life in the Mid East for thousands of years. I don’t expect it to stop because I wish it so. But for a government which receives a great deal of money in aid from the U.S. — which means it is using my taxes, to do things like this today, 4 days on:

    (CNN) — An Israeli patrol boat struck a boat carrying medical volunteers and supplies to Gaza early Tuesday as it attempted to intercept the vessel in the Mediterranean Sea, witnesses and Israeli officials said….

    The incident occurred in international waters about 90 miles off Gaza. Israel controls the waters off Gaza’s coast and routinely blocks ships from coming into the Palestinian territory as part of an ongoing blockade that also applies to the Israel-Gaza border. Human rights groups have expressed concern about the blockade on Gaza, which has restricted the delivery of emergency aid and fuel supplies.

    that is outrageous.

  4. You’re right. There seems to be precious little that Bush could do now to be effective. But this is just one more example of his ineffective, inappropriate response to matters of great importance. The man has been a complete failure as a leader and a President.

  5. He really just can’t help himself, can he? Being a total f%$kup, that is.

    He had EIGHT YEARS to be effective, and he pissed them away.

    Lord…

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