The Best Policy

Jonah Goldberg has another great column that saysPresident Bush’s new Middle East policy is based on telling the truth. I have to find myself agreeing with this: it’s time that the Bush Administration got over this idea that working with Arafat is going to bring peace. It’s clear peace isn’t something Arafat or his cronies really want. If there were peace, there’d be no need for Yassir Arafat. Goldberg also makes a good point for the moral equivalence crowd:

But my favorite example of this Mobius-strip logic: the people here in the U.S. who would justify suicide bombings because Palestinians don’t have tanks and planes while insisting that the Palestinians want peace. Well, if they are only using suicide bombers because they don’t have tanks and planes, logic suggests that if they had tanks and planes they would use them. In other words, they’re at war with Israel, they’re just poorly equipped. If a career armed robber doesn’t have a gun and uses a crowbar instead, that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a robber. If he told the judge "I don’t have guns and squad cars like the police, I have to use a crowbar," we wouldn’t nod with appreciation at the impeccable logic. But if you make this point about Palestinians, eyes roll at your simplistic view of such a complicated situation.

Goldberg is also right in pointing this big logical hole oft cited by defenders of the intifada. The Palestinians aren’t fighting a war to have their own homeland, most of them see the destruction of Israel as their primary goal. Under those conditions, it’s clear that the suicide attacks are less about driving the Israels out of the West Bank (something that they would likely do anyway in the event of an acceptable plan and the right climate for peace), but driving Israel out of the Middle East. Unfortunately, until that attitude changes, the chances of having a lasting peace are almost nil.

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