Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Hamas KO's any Palestinian peace initiative; Bloomberg may run as an indie

The Washington Times today (Tuesday June 19 2007) has an op-ed by Arnaud de Borchgrave, "Wheel of Misfortune," on p. A14.

It's a no brainer that the recent Hamas "seizure" of Gaza KO's any idea of a stable independent West Bank government. The writer points out that Saudi Arabia had designed a program in 2002 that would lead to a reasonably moderate Palestinian state (pre 1967) with normal relations with Israel. Now, Fatah is weakened, and the entire region seems ready to burn. President Bush had wanted to export democracy to Palestine from Iraq, which is also burning in religious, tribal and sectarian violence.

Now we all remember that part of Palestinian shame is that property was taken from them for Israeli settlements at various points in history (not just 1948), and this is a source of personal shame. Individualists, and particularly libertarians understand that. And the whole idea of religious interdependence, preached as a moral virtue in this country by social conservatives (however indirectly), seems to be going up in flames with tribal violence, ultimately inviting even a nuclear confrontation. The ideology gets personal in a way that the Cold War never did.

It's a good thing that Michael Bloomberg now considers running for President in 2008 as an independent -- if he can win (H. Ross Perot of Dallas (at one time, founded or EDS) had thrown a temper tantrum and dropped out for a while in 1992 when he might have won). Bloomberg separated himself from the Republican Party, no doubt in part because of its loss of integrity in handling Iraq. We could have three presidential candidates from New York. He could bring back the idealism that Jesse Ventura ("no time to bleed") tried to bring to Minnesota in 1998 when I lived there.

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