President Bush must be smoking something. Hell, he’s only got a few weeks left in office so why not, right? I can’t think of any other explanation for him to make this statement: “People must recognize that we have made a good deal of progress.” That might be true if he was talking about his work regarding AIDS awareness in Africa. But no, he was talking about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process during his final meeting with Palestinian President Abbas. Good progress? What progress is he talking about? There’s definitely been no progress as far as Palestinians are concerned.
If that wasn’t enough, Abbas did his usual ass-kissing at the meeting. He told Bush that “There is no doubt that we will continue these efforts and the peace negotiations, but everything will be based on the foundation, and that foundation was laid by you during your time in office.” Really? Wow, I had no idea Bush had laid such a strong foundation for a just peace. This was a bit low, even for Abbas, and that’s saying something. I mean, come on! Why not leave the White House with at least some dignity for once? Is it necessary to suck up to a president who clearly couldn’t give a crap about the plight of Palestinians?
And before people start throwing shoes my way, let me say that the Annapolis Conference, the “initiative” that President Bush took on a year ago, was a half-assed effort and a little (way) too late. Nothing good came of it. If anything, as hopefully some of you know, the only thing that has happened since the Annapolis Conference is the increase in the amount of Israeli checkpoints and illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank. So yeah, let’s give a hip-hip-hooray for the effort towards a just peace from President Bush!
And just to add further insult to injury, when chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat was asked if Bush would put pressure on Israel to ease the blockade in Gaza, which has been a total catastrophe and an obliteration of basic human rights, he said no commitment was made. Surprise, surprise. I didn’t see that one coming.
The time can’t come soon enough when Bush and Abbas are out of office.