2008 May 21 Wednesday
Diana West: Israel Not Replicable Freedom Franchise

A friend of mine has a saying that comes to mind "There's no stopping the invincibly ignorant". Diana West tries to take on the latest foolish natterings of the most powerful person in the world.

Don't know why I bother. The man is leaving office in eight months; his presidency noticeably marked by the uneven tread of the lame duck. But so long as George W. Bush is commander in chief, there remains something mesmerizing about the way he seems to experience his momentous tenure virtually unscratched, even ungrazed, by his many brushes (collisions) with history.

I'm not suggesting callousness on his part regarding American casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; or regarding American civilian casualties due to Islamic terrorism. I think he feels such losses very deeply. In fact, I think he feels everything very deeply. Whether the subject is his feelings about Mexican illegal aliens, the war in Iraq or on-off Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, I think Bush's presidency, at its base, has been an emotional presidency, more gut-driven and temporal than attuned to anything like that sweep of history you hear about.

I point this out on reading the president's remarks in Israel to mark the 60th anniversary of the nation's statehood.

"I suspect," Bush said, "if you looked back 60 years ago and tried to guess where Israel would be at that time, it would be hard to be able to project such a prosperous, hopeful land. No question people would have said, well, we'd be surrounded by hostile forces -- but I doubt people would have been able to see the modern Israel, which is one reason I bring such optimism to the Middle East, because what happened here is possible everywhere."

How to even respond to this? Yes, Israel proved that the rock formations (or, if you prefer, Bedu dogs or carpets) in the Middle East didn't prevent democracy from developing there. But Israel doesn't have a lot of oil underneath it. What we need is for the Israelis to invade the oil provinces of Saudi Arabia, drive out most of the Saudi Arabians (if only Menachem Begin were still around to help), and then establish a democracy there too. Then we could find out whether oil reserves do not prevent formation of a democracy either.

It is really hard to know how to react to such blatant foolishness spoken by the most powerful guy on the planet. Maybe Dubya wants us to come up with ways to translate his vision into reality. After all, he's a big picture man. Well, okay, I think I have an idea: Raise Ashkenazi Jewish fertility rate so that the number of smart Ashkenazi Jews becomes so large that they can colonize the entire Middle East. They will bring their optimistic support for democracy into every country they conquer. Already today Israeli Arabs live in a democracy with a free press because they live under the rule of Israeli Jews. Mind you, those Israeli Arabs deeply resent being ruled by Jews. But they have democracy in spite of those resentments. Of course, it is a democracy that doesn't respect their wishes and they are pretty powerless in the Israeli political process. But to big picture man Bush that democracy is all that matters.

Diana West says Bush wants to believe that Israel has created an easily replicable democracy franchise.

To President Bush, though, the un-Islamic conditions culminating in an anti-Islamic event -- 60 years of infidel liberty -- constitute a pre-fab democracy franchise that might just as easily have opened up in Riyadh or Baghdad as in Tel Aviv. I think he sees it this way because, emotionally, he wants to see it this way.

This nonsense from a sitting President of the United States is one of the consequences of the big American taboo on realistic discussion about human genetic differences in cognitive function. That taboo has gradually stretched out to quash rational discussion of genetic, cultural, and religious differences between the peoples of the world. So we are left with a US President mouthing delusions about how democracy in Israel represents a model for the rest of the world.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2008 May 21 01:47 PM  Elites Betrayal And Incompetence

c.o. jones said at May 21, 2008 5:09 PM:

To put a different spin on it, as we all know Bush has a soft spot in his heart for Mexican illegal aliens. While he makes brain-dead remarks suggesting that Arabs too are capable of parliamentary democracy (or a representative republic), he probably sits around at night wondering why Americans can't be more like Mexicans. I am sure that it leaves Bush embittered and angry to think that 50 years from now there will still be a distinct American culture, albeit quite possibly a minority culture within a larger Mexicanized nation-state. I still cannot for the life of me understand what he finds so impressive about Mexico that he wants to turn us into them.

Ned said at May 22, 2008 10:20 AM:

How depressing. I guess the fact that there are not now and have never been any real Arab democracies (and precious few Muslim ones) is lost on the Prez. Also the fact that democracy is almost never successful in countries with low per capita GDP (and oil money doesn't count).

GWB is far from the first president to engage in these wishful fantasies. LBJ thought that enough US financial and military aid to the corrupt, ineffective South Vietnamese regime could turn that government into something that could withstand the communist/nationalist onslaught, even when it was obvious to almost everyone else that this would never occur. FDR, who correctly foresaw the threat that Hitler posed, put on his rose-colored glasses so that he ignored the crimes and deadly menace of Stalin and the USSR. Woodrow Wilson foolishly believed he could "make the world safe for democracy" but instead made it safe for the rise of expansionist, totalitarian regimes in Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan and elsewhere.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said something to the effect that, in studying history, one does not need to dig too deeply for profound causes - much of history consists of ordinary men just getting in over their heads. How depressing.

c.o. jones said at May 22, 2008 2:27 PM:

Yup Ned, and in the case of GWB we have a less-than-ordinary guy that stumbled into the White House through sheer dumb luck. To be in over one's head suggests the capability of getting one's head above water to start with, which clearly Bush can't. We would have been better off with someone truly "ordinary" - at least most of them have some modicum of common sense.

Stephen said at May 22, 2008 7:53 PM:

George was elected a second time after his incompetence was plain for all to see. As they say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Ned said at May 23, 2008 5:09 AM:

"George was elected a second time after his incompetence was plain for all to see. As they say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me."

Well, yeah, true enough, but the alternative was John "Swift Boat" Kerry - a liberal elitist snob if there ever was one. Now it looks like the 2008 election will be a repeat of 2004 - a Bush clone for the Republicans and another liberal elitist snob for the Democrats. What is wrong with this country?

Robert Hume said at May 23, 2008 2:39 PM:

And of course the other terrible result of ignoring IQ is the default conclusion that the failure of the average of blacks and hispanics is due to white racism. This prevents actually helping blacks and hispanics; and results in a vast waste of money. As well as unnecessary conflict between the races.

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