Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Bush and Olmert Endorse Abbas Government: Today's Cartoon

With the United States' standing in the world arguably at its lowest point in history, it's understandable that whenever President Bush appears "pleased" in the press, the international community tends to get a little nervous. Perhaps this is an unjust reaction to the Bush Administration's "good fortune"; but after six years of digging holes in the Middle East, one thing that appears certain is that "success" in that region does not just occur on its own, but is rather the "reward" of a lot of planning, determination and hard work, by those carrying the shovels.

During their strategy meeting at the White House, President Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tried their best to legitimize Mahmoud Abbas' new government, by promising to lift an embargo placed on Palestinians (but only in the West Bank) and improve diplomatic relations with Israel; but only on the condition that ties with Hamas remain severed. Now while this may improve some on the hardships endured by the Palestinian people, this strong-armed tactic does little to ease the suspicion that this was the goal of Israel and the United States all along.

The way I see it, if President Bush and Ehud Olmert really wanted to show their support for Mahmoud Abbas, then the last thing they should have done was express it publicly, so that Palestinians could know just how much they "approve" 0f him. Instead, what they should have done was keep their endorsement silent, or lament over the lost opportunity to forgive Hamas, by accepting their "forthcoming" apology. At least that way, the Palestinian people might not feel cheated out of anything and may be more willing to give this new government a chance to work instead.

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