Apparently the speech got a number of favorable reviews in the blogosphere. Instapundit, for one writes about
Bush giving a really first-rate speech on foreign policy and the war to the National Endowment for Democracy. Notable features -- besides its overall clarity -- are the naming of Iran and Syria, and his willingness to talk about a war against Islamic terror, not just generic "terror."
In his speech, Bush mentioned Israel twice in passing. Here is the second reference:
Over the years these extremists have used a litany of excuses for violence -- the Israeli presence on the West Bank, or the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, or the defeat of the Taliban, or the Crusades of a thousand years ago. In fact, we're not facing a set of grievances that can be soothed and addressed. We're facing a radical ideology with inalterable objectives: to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world. No act of ours invited the rage of the killers -- and no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder.
So according to Bush, the West Bank is an "excuse for violence" and "no concession, bribe, or act of appeasement would change or limit their plans for murder."
That's all well and good as far as it goes, but Bush is not talking about Palestinian terrorism--he's talking about Islamist terrorism--and since Bush does not connect Palestinian terrorism with Islamist terrorism, he will still be putting pressure on Israel.
Actually, Bush is taking the claim of the Palestinian terrorists ('return the West Bank') and applying it to the Islamist terrorists who in fact proclaim outright that their goal is to destroy Israel. Bush does not mention Palestinian terrorism in his speech.
At the White House web site, if you do a search for "palestinian terrorism" you get 3 hits, none of which include Bush, Cheney, or any White House representative using the term--just the term being used by the the questioner. That's not a scientific survey and may not indicate anything, but I think it may be part of the distinction being made between Palestinian terrorism versus Islamist terrorism as opposed to the equating of Abbas & Company with Iraq's democractic government (which I've mentioned before)--an equation that is patently absurd.
Bottom line, Bush is still buying into the politically correct version of terrorism shared by the world--he may refer to Iran and Syria by name and talk about Islamic terror instead of just terror, but he uses the world "militant" 11 times while using the world "terrorist" 7 times.
In a prepared speech that is supposed to clarify who the enemies of the US are, I think that is odd.
And there is nothing to indicate that Bush is recognizing the mess that is the PA.
Bush is not clarifying, just repackaging.
And putting the same old wine into new bottles isn't making it taste any better.
Technorati Tag: Israel.