SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
In an interview with the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, President Bush compared himself with Washington and Lincoln–as he has done dozens of times before–discusses his foreign policy aspirations and expectations on the eve of a visit to Israel and the West Bank. Bush believes future generations will understand the brilliance of his foreign policy, and that a final peace between Israelis and Palestinians is now immediately within grasp. Even discounting for the fact that the interview is about objectives rather than reality, Bush’s detachment from reality is striking. Here are a couple of key graphs:
Question by Yediot: Do you mean that your administration will win retroactive fame, like the administration of president Truman, for example?
Bush replies: ‘Every president contends with different circumstances. I hope that when people will look back to my administration, they will say that president Bush and his administration worked diligently in order to defend the American people from evil; that president Bush identified the threats of the 21st Century; that when he was required to act forcefully he acted with strength, and when he was required to present vision he understood the strength of freedom to bring change’…
Bush says in regard to Olmert: ‘I reached the conclusion that he
is a man of vision. He understands the importance of creating hope
for the Palestinians in the framework of the state they will
establish. And of course, he understands that this is a hope not
only for the Palestinians but rather also for the Israelis. After
all, he ran in the elections on the basis of a certain platform.
The support for two states is a substantive change in the Israeli
concept, a change which began already with Ariel Sharon. This
concept is built on the assumption that freedom brings peace’.
Bush continues: ‘Olmert, of course, wouldn’t want that the state
will be established without certain conditions first being
guaranteed. Because of this I say, a state subordinate to the road
map. And the US recognizes the fact that a state cannot be
established which will preserve the aspiration to destroy its
neighbor. No government can accept this, and I understand it’.
Bush says: ‘The US can assist the two sides. I intend in my
journey on strengthening the confidence of the two sides in the
vision. My trip is more than a visit to Israel and to the
Palestinian territories. I am traveling to the Arab states for
three reasons. The first, to persuade these states that Israel is a
partner and it must be a partner for peace. This is an interest not
only of Israel and the Palestinians but rather of the entire Arab
‘Second, we had a breakthrough in Annapolis and now we must go in
the path of the success which was achieved. The US president can
advance the process by reminding allies and friends of America in
the Middle East of the importance of a solution of two states and
what they can do in order to assist in achieving it’.
‘The third objective of my trip is to discuss with the leaders
of the region the strategic ramifications of the American presence, how it strengthens regimes and creates a barrier to Iranian aggression’.
The entire interview can be viewed here.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”