Monday night, Turki continued to criticize Hezbollah, dismissing their "reckless adventure under the guise of resistance," but the criticism was not the sign of a new worldview. It was almost a rhetorical device, an obligatory sentence that prepared the way for his larger, full-throated condemnation of Israel and, by proxy, its American ally. He placed the blame for the recent violence not on the extremists but on Israel, which he claimed was engaged in a "war on Lebanon" and a "siege of Palestine." The Israeli "occupation of Palestine and Shebaa is the causus belli of all that is happening today in Lebanon and Palestine," he began. He then went on to belittle Israel's military: "Hezbollah and Hamas have captured three soldiers of the vaunted Israeli army, whose incompetence was clearly displayed by these captures. The same vaunted Israeli army has struck back with surgical accuracy in killing innocent civilians and U.N. observers in Lebanon and Palestine, further demonstrating their ineptness and brutality."This anti Israel rhetoric is not surprising but this very public condemnation of George W. Bush by old Bush family friends is.
Turki urged a return to the peace plan proposed by Abdullah in 2002 as offering Israel the most comprehensive solution, including an end of hostilities and normalized relations in return for total Israeli withdrawal from Arab occupied territories, including Jerusalem. "The United States must play the role of pacifier and lead the world to peace and not be led by Israel's ambitions," he said, characterizing the Bush administration not just as inactive, but as such a supine thing that it can be led around by Israel.I'm not convinced he got this right: '"The United States must play the role of pacifier and lead the world to peace and not be led by Israel's ambitions," he said, characterizing the Bush administration not just as inactive, but as such a supine thing that it can be led around by Israel.' Now I'm really not convinced that it's Israel doing the leading here, instead I see the evil hand of Dr Strangelove re-incarnate, Dick Cheney, leading both Bush and Israel over a cliff. This entire situation could only have been dreamed up by a madman and Dick Cheney is the first madman who comes to mind. It also has Donald Rumsfeld written all over it. After over two weeks the vastly superior Israeli military has been unable to make a significant dent in Hezbollah while displacing thousands and killing hundreds of Lebanese civilians while destroying Lebanon's infrastructure. Sounds a lot like Rummy's wonderful adventure in Iraq don't you think?
And remember, Saudi Arabia is our ally.
President Bush continues to portray the violence in Lebanon and Israel as an inevitable result of his push to spread democracy across the Middle East. "The current crisis is part of a larger struggle between the forces of freedom and the forces of terror," he said yesterday. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the fighting was part of the "birth pangs of a new Middle East." Saudi officials don't know what to make of this rhetoric. They tend to find it almost amusingly detached from the realities on the ground. They also say while the president talks about his goals for democratizing the region in his big speeches, he doesn't mention it when he talks privately to them.
When you're George W. Bush and you have lost your friends, the Saudis..........?