President Bush feted Israel on Thursday in honor of the 60th anniversary of its founding and predicted that its 120th birthday would find it alongside a Palestinian state and in an all-democratic neighborhood free of today’s oppression, restrictions on freedom and extremist Muslim movements.
Bush made no acknowledgment of the hardship Palestinians suffered when hundreds of thousands were displaced or otherwise left following the creation of the Jewish state in 1948, a counterpoint to Israel’s two weeks of jubilant celebrations. Though Bush has set a goal of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian deal before the end of his term in January, he did not mention the ongoing negotiations or how to resolve the thorniest disputes.
The president also offered no detail on how the broader Mideast would move from today’s realities to his vision.
“From Cairo and Riyadh to Baghdad and Beirut, people will live in free and independent societies, where a desire for peace is reinforced by ties of diplomacy, tourism and trade,” he said. “Iran and Syria will be peaceful nations, where today’s oppression is a distant memory and people are free to speak their minds and develop their talents. And al-Qaida, Hezbollah and Hamas will be defeated, as Muslims across the region recognize the emptiness of the terrorists’ vision and the injustice of their cause.”
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Bush made such a brief mention of the Palestinians because his purpose was to sketch “broad themes and not the specifics of the process.”
Hey, who needs pesky specifics when you have cheap stock applause lines and Godwin-baiting partisan digs?
Related: Eric Martin, Man of a Thousand Blogs, on McSame’s recent contributions to the OMG-PONIES! school of U.S. foreign policy initiatives.