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The State of The Union

I wonder if the annual speech would be any better–more inspirational, or whatever–if it was titled The State of America. Do you grasp the distinction?

Anyway, I don’t know if I can bear to listen to it. Of course, my only reason for doing so would be to yell at the TV a few times. I don’t know if I can even count on 5 or 10 minutes of decent inspirational stuff (in so many words: kill many terrorists). Of course, the rest of the speech will be the standard drivel about how you are now going to be able to live at even more of the expense of your neighbors, and everyone else.

You are also likely to hear reference to this particular bit of presidential lunacy, as described by Jeff Jacoby:

Some of that delusion was on display at the White House on Thursday,
when President George Bush painted the Palestinian election as a
"healthy" and "interesting" exercise in civic reform:

"Obviously, people were not happy with the status quo," Bush explained.
"The people are demanding honest government. The people want services.
They want to be able to raise their children in an environment in which
they can get a decent education and they can find healthcare. And so
the elections should open the eyes of the old guard there in the
Palestinian territories…. There’s something healthy about a system
that does that. And so the elections yesterday were very interesting."

Please, Mr. President. If a slate of neo-Nazi skinheads swept to power
in a European election, would you say that the voters were seeking
"honest government" and "services"? Palestinians are not stupid, and it
insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization with a platform straight out of Mein Kampf, what they’re really after is better healthcare. Islamist extremism isn’t needed to fix Palestinian hospitals any more than Fascism was needed to make Italian trains run on time
in the 1920s. If Palestinians turned out en masse to elect a party that
unapologetically stands for hatred and mass murder, it’s a safe bet
that the hatred and mass murder had something to do with the turnout.

By the same token, Hamas’s new duties are not going to turn it into a
moderate group of diligent civil servants. When violent Islamists win
political power, their brutality and zealotry do not diminish. (See
"Khomeini, Ayatollah" and "Taliban, Afghan"). The notion that Hamas now
has "a choice to make" is just another example of the delusional
thinking that is so pervasive when it comes to the Palestinian

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Kyle Bennett on January 31, 2006 at 17:26

    I have a different take on this. To me it seems like the old Bush/Rove strategerie.

    First, this is obviously not aimed at us, it is aimed at the Palestinians, and to some extent the other power players in the region.

    Jacoby writes: "it insults their intelligence to pretend that when they vote to empower a genocidal organization… what they're really after is better healthcare."

    Of course it insults their intelligence. I think that's intentional. What's there to lose? That they might hate America for it? Might as well leave that barn door open at this point.

    There's two kinds of Palestinians, in this context, those who want better healthcare, and those who want better healthcare and the destruction of Israel at all costs. Last weeks threats of a funding withdrawal, threats that are taken seriously precisely because of the renegade cowboy reputation everyone loves to hate Bush for, set up the "choice" that he speaks of.

    Jacoby incorrectly thinks the choice is placed on Hamas, but despite the actual words, the choice implied is one for all of Palestine to consider: healthcare (and all the other unearned goodies) or Hamas's fanaticism.

    What Bush wants is Hamas as we know them gone. Either their fanaticism gets castrated, or they get eliminated entirely, I doubt that he cares which, even if it means fomenting a revolution. The withdrawal of funding could accomplish that very nicely.

    Either way, the Palestinians as a country unified in it's opposition to Israel's existence and it's dedication to terrorism gets broken. The hatred remains, but so what.

    At best, this is diplomispeak, at worst, lying doubletalk. But it sounds to me like it has a pupose, and not capitulation or appeasement, but nearly the opposite. We'll see.

  2. Anna on January 31, 2006 at 20:49

    I did yell at the T.V. a couple of times.

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