28 January 2008

28 January 2008 - Bush's last, and best, State of the Union Address

I've just watched President George W. Bush's SOTU Address, following along in the advance copy that was helpfully dredged up by The Drudge Report. I have to say it's one of Bush's best speeches ever, comparable to his 2003 address on the future of the Middle East.

Half the speech was devoted to Iraq. For the first time in a long time, Bush could boast real successes, including the triumph of the controversial "surge"--which only John McCain, out of all the presidential candidates, had the courage to back openly last year. It was disappointing to see most of the Democrats sitting on their hands during these stretches, I have to say. Obama seemed to be applauding a bit more than Hillary, and at more of the appropriate moments.

Bush had this to say about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

We are also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace.

There you have it: two-state solution. I defy any would-be Walts and Mearsheimers to claim that Palestinian independence isn't a serious goal of American foreign policy.


At 11:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Within the Jewish world and Israeli political culture the people who oppose the two state solution are the ideological heirs of Revisionism and HaRav Kuk. Their ability to thwart Olmert, Bush and Abbas is limited. Olmert himself comes from Betar. Abbas is remaining steadfast in his insistence that Hamas return sovereignty to him. Bush was far and away the most hawkish American President in recent memory and clearly in Israel's interest. Lastly, I have a theory about Internet and the blogosphere. It deflects real political opposition and its effectiveness more into cyberspace than into real history. I predicted a bold American peace before Bush's departure within Days of Arafat's demise and because widespread Israeli dissatisfaction has failed to dislodge Olmert to date leaves every reason to believe that the current government or even a rump without Shas will go forward for lack of any more compelling alternatives. Never underestimate incumbency.


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