Sunday, June 07, 2009

Obama Claims To have Done More Than Bush In The Middle East--And He's Right!

From Politico:
President Barack Obama took credit Friday for improving the climate for Middle East peace negotiations, and added that “if we stick with it, having started early, … we can make some serious progress this year.”

“You've probably seen more sustained activity on this issue in the first five months than you would have seen in most previous administrations,” Obama said. “I think given what we've done so far, we've at least created the space, the atmosphere, in which talks can restart.

On a later conference call, a State Department official made the criticism more personal to President George W. Bush: "The president made clear that the United States, under his administration in the past few months, has probably done more than it had in the previous eight years.
Apparently, just as Obama repeatedly blames Bush for the continuing economic problems, he also insists that Bush did nothing during his 8 years about the Middle East. This plainly not so.

Rick Richman points out:
Far from ignoring the Arab-Israeli issue, Bush did the following: (1) became in 2002 the first U.S. president to endorse a Palestinian state as a matter of official policy; (2) translated the policy in 2003 into a Road Map approved by the UN, the EU, Russia, the Palestinian Authority and Israel; (3) negotiated with Israel in 2004 on the Gaza Disengagement Deal (and got West Bank settlements dismantled to demonstrate it would not stop with Gaza); (4) supported a Palestinian election in 2005 to endorse a new leader pledged to dismantling terrorist groups; (5) permitted all parties to participate in the 2006 elections to give Palestinians a choice between the “peace partner” party and the premier terrorist group; (6) scuttled the first two phases of the Road Map in 2007, in order to keep the process going, even after the Palestinians elected their premier terrorist group; (7) convened a worldwide conference in Annapolis in 2007 to begin a year-long period of final status negotiations; and (8) had his Secretary of State make umpteen trips in 2006-2008 to push the negotiations.
Considering the facts, why do both Obama and the State Department go out of their to misrepresent the truth?

The answer is simple--Obama has done more that the Bush administration to apply pressure on Israel both in regards to the two state solution as well as the issue of freezing the settlements. It is based purely on his having brought Israel down a notch that Obama's claim to have done more than Bush can be made.

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