Promises

PEACE SYMBOLBush predicts Mideast peace treaty by end of term.

I’m sure this will raise the President’s job rating by a percentage point or two, maybe into the low 30’s.  I did find it odd that someone as hawkish as the President has been, that he would suddenly make peace talks in Palestine a priority.  And given his not-so-diplomatic remarks about some Arabs, some Muslims and some Middle East countries, making such a prediction seems outright ludicrous.  The thought of a Bible-thumping Jesus believer who embroiled his country into two wars, trying to be a central figure in an Arab-Jewish peace negotiation is satire at best.

The current Administration has not had a good track record on predicting future history, and I would have thought that by now the President would stop trying to give himself yet another black eye.  This type of rhetoric seems to be meant only to deflect media attention away from more pressing issues, like the Iraq War and our current economic situation.

Ronald Reagan (The Great Communicator) was very good at being a calming influence on the country;  GWB just does not have that knack.

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5 Responses to Promises

  1. Quotes Not Misquotes says:

    Isn’t it true that Jimmy Carter is much more of a Bible thumper than President Bush, and yet he had some success in Arab-Jewish peace negotiation? Bible thumping or lack thereof is irrelevant.

    President Bush has praised Islam in many ways dozens or even hundreds of times, and has repeatedly stated he considers Islam a religion of peace. You refuse to admit that apparently, but facts show it is true.

    The title of this post is “Promises”, but what you wrote doesn’t discuss promises. To what promises does your title refer?

    Furthermore, the AP article to which you link is titled “Bush predicts Mideast peace treaty” but its content includes no quotes of him predicting that. Closest it comes is:

    Speaking at his hotel in Jerusalem, he said again that he thinks that is possible. “I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it,” Bush said.

    So he said he’s committed to trying. Headline writers turn that into prediction. Then you criticize him for making a prediction he never made, and in your title you even turn it into a promise.

    Does the following sound like either a prediction or a promise?

    The question is whether or not hard issues can be resolved and the vision emerges, so that the choice is clear amongst the Palestinians,” Bush said at Abbas’ side at his government’s headquarters in Ramallah. “The choice being, `Do you want this state? Or do you want the status quo? Do you want a future based upon a democratic state? Or do you want the same old stuff?”‘

    “We want a state, of course,” Abbas said in English.

    In the AP article, Abbas and his top economic advisor both spoke in complimentary terms of the President’s visit and recent actions.

    The President’s formal statement as reported on whitehouse.gov concludes with:

    The establishment of the state of Palestine is long overdue. The Palestinian people deserve it. And it will enhance the stability of the region, and it will contribute to the security of the people of Israel. The peace agreement should happen, and can happen, by the end of this year. I know each leader shares that important goal, and I am committed to doing all I can to achieve it.

    Does that sound like a promise or a prediction? No and no.

    Finally, not that polls matter much but your reference to them is quite inaccurate:

    I’m sure this will raise the President’s job rating by a percentage point or two, maybe into the low 30’s.

    Even the site to which you link shows his recent approval ratings in the low or mid 30s, yet your statement characterizes them as being below the low 30s. Very sloppy or deliberately misleading?

    Rassmussen a few days ago reported his approval at 39%, which is ten points higher than your characterization:
    http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/political_updates/president_bush_job_approval

    Average of most recent five national polls puts his approval at 35.6%, also substantially above the 29% you implied (third table here): http://www.realclearpolitics.com/polls

  2. Paul says:

    Without getting too long-winded:

    I was being really, really sarcastic in this post so yeah, my statements of bible-thumping Jesus-loving poll-bottoming misstepping George were meant to be full of sarcasm and innuendo. My point was that this post, full of stretches, are just like the President’s remarks.

    I have nothing against Arabs, Jews, Muslims or anyone else and as a church-going God-fearing Christian I AM impressed that President Bush is actually trying to do something constructive (rather than destructive) in the Middle East. I just wish it wasn’t so little, so late by someone so hypocritical in his actions versus his words. It also comes with strings attached: No discussions with Hamas – you know, that DEMOCRATICALLY-ELECTED government in Palestine that refuses to recognize Israel. That’ll go far to help legitimize peace talks with what? Half of Palestine? Tell me, do you think that the President is really genuine in his attempts at a Mideast peace? Or do you think that he’s just trying to deflect America’s attention from the War and the economy? Or WORSE, that he’s trying to get brownie points from future historians? I hate to say this, but I believe he’s doing this solely for the brownie points, solely for the future ego boost.

    It might be different if so much American shrapnel didn’t litter the Middle East, that the Palestinians might feel that the U.S was being even a bit sincere. But all those bombs got dropped on a nearby country because of all those WMDs that were never found. And then there’s the Bush Doctrine of preemptive strikes because of possible threats to U.S. interests. Betcha that makes all them Palestine Arab Muslims hopeful that this President will take a non-biased attitude toward peace with, um, their close ally, friend and interest, Israel, being one of the two sides at the table.

    George Bush’s very first remarks immediately following 9/11 spoke of
    — The war on terrorism as A CRUSADE
    — Arab terrorists
    — Muslim terrorists
    — COWARDLY terrorist attacks
    They were knee-jerk reactions to the tragedy of 9/11, spoken to millions if not billions of people. They are words of alienation, not alliance. They are as insulting to an Arab as nigger is to an African American. They were spoken by the most powerful man in the world and set the tone for what was to be a full-scale assault for reasons that, oh yeah, the President keeps changing as the need arises.

    His handlers have had their hands full trying to reshape the President since then. But I remember those first impressions and in the discussions that I have had with foreign students from the Middle East, they remember them too, not in a kind way. Do you think he really meant those words? Or does he really mean all those kind things he says today about Islam and peace?

    In this post I was just railing against even more rhetoric, about saying something but not really meaning it. Words without action or worse, contradictory action. Just like the Road Map. And No Child Left Behind. And Homeland Security. And Katrina. And Torture. And especially Mission Accomplished.

    I just can no longer believe anything our President says, because of all the crap that’s come down these past 7 years.

    I should have made that point very clear in a closing sentence, but couldn’t come up with the words.

    BBD

  3. […] Buffalo Blood Donor thinks that Bush’s last-minute, legacy-conscious attempt at mideast peace is unlikely to succeed. […]

  4. No to political correctness says:

    You really think it’s a problem when anyone refers to terrorist acts as “cowardly”?

    If that’s your standard, then you’re way out on the fringe about this and nobody currently running for high office in the U.S. could possibly satisfy you. Can you name even one U.S. leader of any party or philosophy who says terrorist acts are not cowardly?

    About the “Arab terrorist” wording, a quick search of his public speeches and statements shows President Bush has used the phrase “Arab terrorists” exactly once . It was during a press conference 9/26/01 (15 days after 9/11, not “immediately following” it as you claimed) and in a context only an extreme political correctness fanactic would find a problem with.

    The press conference was after a meeting with U.S. Islamic leaders, one of many such meetings he’s held. Here’s his opening statement and the reporters question for which the answer included his only use of “Arab terrorists”:

    President Meets with Muslim Leaders
    Remarks by the President in Meeting with Muslim Community Leaders
    The Roosevelt Room

    THE PRESIDENT: It’s my honor to welcome to the White House my fellow Americans, Arab Americans, Americans who are Muslim by faith, to discuss about the current issues that took place, the aftermath of the incident, and what our country is going to do to make sure that everybody who is an American is respected. I have told the nation more than once that ours is a war against evil, against extremists, that the teachings of Islam are the teachings of peace and good, and the al Qaeda organization is not an organization of good, an organization of peace. It’s an organization based upon hate and evil.

    I also want to assure my fellow Americans that when you pledge allegiance to the flag, with your hand on your heart, you pledge just as hard to the flag as I do; that the outpouring of support for our country has come from all corners of the country, including many members of the Muslim faith. And for that I am grateful.

    I appreciate the contributions of time, the contributions of blood to help our fellow Americans who have been injured. And I’m proud of the Muslim leaders across America who have risen up and who have not only insisted that America be strong, but that America keep the values intact that have made us so unique and different — the values of respect, the values of freedom to worship the way we see fit. And I also appreciate the prayers to the universal God.

    And so, thank you all for coming. I don’t know if you all remember the Imam led the service at the National Cathedral — he did a heck of a good job, and we were proud to have him there. And I want to thank you very much for the gift you gave me, Imam, the Koran. It’s a very thoughtful gift. I said thank you very much for the gift. He said, it’s the best gift I could give you, Mr. President. I appreciate that very much.

    Q Mr. President, have you changed your thinking on Chechnya, in light of what’s happened since September 11th?

    THE PRESIDENT: Well, first of all, to the extent that there are terrorists in Chechnya, Arab terrorists associated with the al Qaeda organization, I believe they ought to be brought to justice. As you heard me say, that our initial phase of the war on terrorism is against the al Qaeda organization. And we do believe there are some al Qaeda folks in Chechnya. However, I do believe it’s very important for President Putin to deal with the Chechen minority in this country with respect, respect of human rights and respect of difference of opinion about religion, for example. And so I would hope that the Russian President, while dealing with the al Qaeda organization, also respects minority rights within his country.

    Hearing him say the phrase “Arab terrorists” in the context of all of the other pro-Muslim things he said above seriously offended you?

    Really?

  5. No to political correctness says:

    Saying phrases such as “Muslim terrorist”, “Muslim extremist”, “Islamic terrorist”, “Islamic extremist” is very common place among mainstream discourse.

    Even Barack Obama used that type of wording in his carefully planned book:

    “The struggle against Islamic-based terrorism will be not simply a military campaign but a battle for public opinion in the Islamic world, among our allies & in the US.” – The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama, p.307 Oct 1, 2006

    Are you seriously going to say the word “-based” makes it okay, and that if President Bush had used the word “-based” then you wouldn’t complain?

    FYI, there’s yet another reason to add Barack Obama to your enemies list. He also strongly favors religious discourse in public policy discussions – at least as much as President Bush if not more.

    “Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King – indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history – were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their “personal morality” into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.” – Barack Obama, Jun. 28, 2006

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