Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Is that any way to run an empire?

What happens when the Great Satan and the Little Satan leave town?

You'd think the residents would be singing, "Ding dong, the witch is dead." Instead it's, "Whatcha gonna do about me?"
Germans clogged the phone lines of radio talk shows Tuesday, worrying that payback time had finally arrived after the nation's decision to oppose last year's U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. President Bush is retaliating, they said, by announcing that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will be withdrawn from their country over the next seven years.

Meanwhile in Gaza: "The Erez Industrial Zone, a once-vital source of jobs for 4,000 Palestinian workers, is a virtual ghost town."

The situation in Gaza is quite devastating; the people who suffer, as always, are the ones least guilty for the problem. Nevertheless, they don't get it. "I don't think the Israeli government can go away and say, 'You are closed in now and we don't care what happens to you.' There is a responsibility here," says Assaf Adiv, director of Ma'an, a Nazareth-based advocacy center for Arab-Israeli workers. The Palestinians have given their political lives over to leaders who want to drive Israel into the sea; you'd think they would realize that if they're successful, there won't be any Israelis to take care of them.

Ramallah Online at least approaches reality:
Thanks to the Palestinian Authority, corruption and nepotism are now ingrained in the occupied territories. The PA, the bare bones of a governing body that rules with no political legitimacy but that granted by Israel, only safeguards its own interests, the interests of its VIP cardholders and business contractors.

Even this writer, a Palestinian-American journalist and head of research at English, can't escape the lens of victimhood:
Concurrently, Israel, whose killings throughout the occupied territories never came to a halt, is already using the crisis in Gaza to retroactively justify its construction of the Apartheid Wall of the West Bank.

As if after the many attempts at peace, to which Arafat responded with the Intifada, Israel needs to "retroactively" justify the wall by the crisis in Gaza. The crisis in Gaza is what the Palestinians, led by Arafat, have been building for decades.

In Korea, despite mass demonstrations against the Americans, "The Korean government is scrambling to buy time and will request the United States to delay its plan to withdraw a large portion of the troops now stationed here."

Kerry and the New York Times, naturally, think it's a bad idea. If George W. Bush announced that he wore socks, Kerry and the New York Times would say it's a bad idea (and Kerry would have a secret policy for avoiding socks, which he would reveal when he has the power to impose it).

If only Hitler (the original Hitler, not the one that's in the White House now) had known how easy it was to make countries miserable--by pulling troops out--World War II would have been entirely different.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn has a great piece on the "self-congratulatory holier-than-thou moral poseurdom" of (most of) Western Europe.

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