Takeover by Hamas Illustrates Failure of Bush's Mideast Vision
Five years ago this month, President Bush stood in the Rose Garden and laid out a vision for the Middle East that included Israel and a state called Palestine living together in peace. "I call on the Palestinian people to elect new leaders, leaders not compromised by terror," the president declared.Sure, the United States urged Israel to depart Gaza, but at the same time, who didn't? It's not as if that was an idea unique to this administration.
The takeover this week of the Gaza Strip by the Hamas militant group dedicated to the elimination of Israel demonstrates how much that vision has failed to materialize, in part because of actions taken by the administration. The United States championed Israel's departure from the Gaza Strip as a first step toward peace and then pressed both Israelis and Palestinians to schedule legislative elections, which Hamas unexpectedly won. Now Hamas is the unchallenged power in Gaza.
After his reelection in 2004, Bush said he would use his "political capital" to help create a Palestinian state by the end of his second term. In his final 18 months as president, he faces the prospect of a shattered Palestinian Authority, a radical Islamic state on Israel's border and increasingly dwindling options to turn the tide against Hamas and create a functioning Palestinian state.
Now was Bush to blame for the Paleostinians electing Hamas?
Is Bush to blame for the civil war that has now led to the creation of Hamastan?
The sun came up today. Should I credit Bush or blame him for the lack of darkness?