Once you’ve got the wasps riled up, why not smack the nest with a stick a few more times? Especially if it means that you’ve bolstered the Jewish and Conservative vote.
I swear, it seems that Bush — despite his rhetoric — has done nothing to defeat terrorism, he’s just made it worse. He’s created a huge vacuum in Iraq which made it the perfect staging ground for terrorists. And now he’s swatted that wasp’s nest again by back Ariel Sharon’s plan to keep occupied territory and prevent Palestinian refugees from settling in Israel. He’s shifted US policy with a lurch, and just made things worse.
Terrorism in the name of the Palestinians cannot stand, and can’t be allowed to have an effect on the peace process. But at the same time, you can’t do things to make it worse. The Bush administration has done almost nothing at all toward peace in the middle east, although he will be the first to tell you that somehow, war will bring peace. How Iraq figured into the whole Israel-Palestine think, I’ll never figure out.
Looks like his plan is to make the people there play nice by violence and oppression. Yeah, that’s always worked, hasn’t it?
Oh, and then there’s this:
Republican officials in Washington said that while they are confident Bush made his decision for sincere policy reasons, they believe the potential impact on the politics of 2004 could be substantial. “This will make it that much harder for John Kerry to win Florida,” said a Republican aide on Capitol Hill who refused to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue. Associates said Bush’s strategists believe that even small inroads into the Jewish vote could mean the difference between winning and losing Florida, and several Republicans believe the announcement could further inhibit Kerry’s fundraising in the Jewish community.
David Winston, a pollster who advises GOP lawmakers, said that the policy change “is clearly going to generate some favorable reaction from people who have not been traditional Republican voters.”