Yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day, Bush. I'm ashamed to say I did not register that fact until I watched the BBC news last night. But I would not wish it to pass without a mention in these pages, especially with the current situation in the Middle East. The US and the rest of the world are demanding--rightly, as I see it--that Hamas reverse its pledge to wipe Israel from the face of the map or risk the loss of the foreign financial support that has been the Palestinians' lifeline. Should that happen, I have heard, there's a strong possibility that they'll turn to Iran for the cash instead. Perfect. Your policies will have helped create a powerful trifecta of Islamic radicals--the Iraqi Shiites, a newly radicalized and nuclear-ambitious Iran, and now Hamas. So much for the democracy you're selling, Bush.
The trouble with simple-minded, black or white concepts is that they don't readily fit with the realities of the world and all too often leave you with your integrity compromised. I know you wish to be seen as a man of firm principles, but when you're heard constantly shouting those principles from the rooftops and then seen to be breaking them yourself, you end up looking like either an opportunistic con man or a bloody hypocrite. You've been loudly preaching the gospel of democracy, but practicing your support of it quite selectively. Understandably, I guess. How about Pakistan, for instance? You can imagine, can't you, what the result might be if they had democratic elections there? Instead, you find youself in very public support of a military dictator whose help you desperately need in your war on terror. So what are people to think about your principles?
I don't know about you, Bush, but it all leaves me feeling quite nostalgic for the days of Kissinger's somewhat cynical realpolitik, and I never thought to hear myself say such a thing!
I do need to compliment you, though, on a good showing in your interview last night with CBS's Bob Schieffer. The network made much of it on their national news, a teaser for more on their Sunday morning program. I can't say I actually agreed with too many of the points you made, but you did put in a strong performance. I'm a bit sad to find myself so reluctant to give you credit after finding so much fault with everything you do or say. But last night I have to say you seemed remarkably at ease. You seemed to be actually listening with every appearance of interest to your interviewer and responding to his questions. You even expressed yourself with more than passing familiarity with the English language. I was, frankly, surprised.
There, that was like pulling teeth, to put in a good word for you, Bush. But I did it, didn't I?