Geov Parrish asks Where's Bush?
This crisis is, ultimately, Bush's responsibility to defuse, not only because he is in the best position to do so, but because his policies have in large part created it. The Bush team made a strategic choice to tackle Iraq, rather than the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, as the best way to advance U.S. interests in the Middle East. But all Muslim animus toward the U.S., in the end, stems from our unquestioning 40-year allegiance to Israel's illegal and horrific military occupation of Palestine. Even more than our decision to invade Iraq, our support of Israel inflames Islamic passions and drives recruits into the arms of organizations like Al-Qaeda.
But rather than use U.S. influence over Israel to replace the preposterous "roadmap" charade with some real initiative toward Bush's professed goal of a viable two-state solution, Dubya has been content to stand by, send money and weapons, and give diplomatic cover as first Ariel Sharon and now Ehud Olmert have brutalized Palestinians. That policy, and the free hand it has given Israel in Gaza, is a significant part of where we are now. Bush's ceaseless provocations and refusal to negotiate with Iran are another significant part. One way or another, this is Bush's mess, created with his policies and on his watch.