At one level last week's "appeasers" speech was a direct intervention into the presidential election, but at another level it is part of a debate about what a post-Bush world will look like. And that's what Bush is trying to influence. His arrow is pointed well beyond the 2008 election. But as someone suggested the Republican need to win Florida in the Fall wasn't far from his mind as he chose the Knesset as the venue in which to make his pronouncement.
With regard to the post-Bush world Mark Engler has this to say:
If pressure from the base of the [Democratic] party lets up after the elections, it would hardly be surprising to see a victorious candidate revert to Bill Clinton's corporate model for how to rule the world. However, a return to a pre-Bush-style of international politics may be easier dreamed [by the corporate elite] than done.The accompanying videos, which layout the debate Bush's Knesset speech provoked, also demonstrate the limitations of corporate-owned media to talk about a post-Bush world (which obviously can't come too soon).
The Neocon Paradox
To the chagrin of the "free trade" elite, the market fundamentalist ideas that have dominated international development thinking for at least the last 25 years are now under attack globally. This is largely because the economic prescriptions of deregulation, privatization, open markets, and cuts to social services so often made (and enforced) by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have proven catastrophic.
May 19, 2:30PM: Yesterday I watched the Tim Russert Show (MSNBC) with JFK's closest advisor Ted Sorensen and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. One of the main topics of their conversation was the Cuban missile crisis. I couldn't help thinking that if Bush/McSame (or even Sen. Clinton) had been president during that moment in time it's very unlikely that any of us would be sitting here today. Only talking, even to people we don't like, can resolve international problems. Bullets and bombs can't change the situation it can only (as in Iraq) make things worse. Communication requires people who are not afraid to talk, so presumably that excludes Bush/McSame and even Clinton. The truth is that even the possibility of a post-Bush world depends on what we do between now and November.
May 19, 11:15PM: I feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but things keep coming to my attention regarding the Bush "appeasement" speech.
I wonder if the Knesset members knew the history of the man they were applauding because he said things they liked. The irony of a member of the Bush family talking about appeasing the Nazis boggles the mind. While many radicals, progressives and Communists (labelled by some as "premature anti-fascists" but really known as the "Abraham Lincoln Brigade") flocked to Spain to fight Franco's Fascist government, Bush's family collaborated with the Nazis in order enhance their wealth. Robert Parry writes:
The archival evidence is now clear that Prescott Bush, the president’s grandfather, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from and collaborated with key financial backers of Nazi Germany.And he has the nerve to lecture us about appeasement.It should come as no surprise that the corporate-owned media has made any reference to this shameful Bush family history.
That business relationship continued after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and even after Germany declared war on the United States following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in December 1941. It stopped only when the U.S. government seized assets of Bush-connected companies in late 1942 under the “Trading with the Enemy Act.”