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Leap of Faith

Reader comment on item: In the MidEast, Bush Dared to Be Different

Submitted by diane (United States), Oct 25, 2004 at 14:01

Daniel Pipes is right in calling attention to Bush's breaks with failed appeasement policies of the past half-century. But the jury is still out on whether Bush's bold approach will be an improvement over what came before. Iraq certainly isn't looking like an improvement. If that country avoids a bloody and sustained civil war, I will be very surprised.

With regard to Israel, I think Ariel Sharon is the real radical who gets credit for any improvement there. Bush simply knew to get out of the way. The new Sharon reminds me of Gorbachev (re: the Berlin Wall), or Nixon (re: diplomacy with China). The architect of the settlement movement unilaterally withdrawing from Gaza. Now that's courageous! That's thinking outside the box! I'm pretty sure that even if Kerry wins, the Palestinian conflict can't return to the status quo. Arafat is finished; even the EU isn't interested in him anymore. The Gaza pullout is in the hands of the Israelis (where it belongs).

Lastly, let me call attention to an area where Bush has turned a shameless blind eye to the status-quo. I refer to Saudi Arabia. We have seen so little pressure for change there as to be truly disheartening. We have seen no accountability in the Kingdom for the 9/11 attacks that were a direct result of a longstanding policy of terrorist/Islamist appeasement, scapegoating and corruption.

That Kerry isn't talking about these issues shouldn't surprise anyone. He has a coalition to build before he can be elected. That coalition of necessity must include moderates and Naderites, American Jews and leftist Palestinian sympathizers. On the hot-button issues of foreign affairs, he dare not talk freely until after the polls close. But at the end of the day, I don't believe that Kerry to be the Frenchified wimp conservatives paint him to be. He's a man of great thoughtfulness and analytical powers. Bush is the exact opposite. If you gotta gamble, I'd rather gamble on the guy with the brains.
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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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