Bush's speech has Powell signature all over. What a tremendous missed opportunity.
Showing once again a complete misunderstanding of the psyche of the parties involved in the Middle East, Bush has de facto rewarded the Palestinians for 2 years of murders, violence, incitement and hatred. Good job Colin. Let's look closer. 2 years ago, when Arafat started the intifada, the Palestinians had broken every single provision of the Oslo accord and were looking for a way to get yet more out of Israel: its forces, rather than being involved in security, were involved in terrorism, children were being taught hatred for Jews in school, the PA was getting about $5B of aid from the EU with no strings attached and in spite of all this, Palestinians were getting free health care and social services from Israel. But this wasn't enough of course. In comes Arafat, whose relevance is proportional to the level of violence in the area. He unleashes an army of mass murderers on Israel, sacrificing thousands of his own people to boost his own stature and to sink Oslo once and for all. 2 years later, he has succeeded brilliantly. Against all historical evidence, Arafat has managed to convince the world that a Palestinian state is inevitable. Against all odds, he retains absolute power over the Palestinian people, having overstayed his mandate by 3 years and by having mobs execute any dissenter. In spite of 70 mass murders of Israelis resulting in over 550 deaths and 4000 injured, there are massive demonstrations in the world equating Israel to Nazi Germany and screaming for yet more murders. His own cronies get top billing on all news organizations spouting lies and hatred towards Israel at every opportunity they get. Anti-semitism, whipped into a frenzy in Europe and North American university campuses is at its highest level in over half a century.
And yet, Bush, I mean Powell, in his wisdom is now equating the suffering of Israelis who are burying their women and children daily with the plight of Palestinians who have been kept by Arafat and Arab countries in camps in spite of aid on a scale unequalled anywhere, any time in history. He is now asking Israel to withdraw to indefensible borders and return land it captured after being attacked 4 times by savage hordes. And he called for rewarding the Palestinians with a state where they can now plot for the ultimate destruction of Israel and the slaughter of its inhabitants under the cover of sovereignty and secrecy. And he is too coward to even name Arafat by name when asking for his removal from power once and for all.
And this is the man who has declared war on terrorism? Please. Osama and Yasser must be laughing so hard over the naivety, stupidity and lack of understanding from this administration. I suggest Bush go back to his ranch in Texas. He can even invite Yasser to come and spend some quality time with him. Sure beats Ramallah. John McCain for President!