January 12, 2009

Bush's farewell interview

It was aired yesterday on Fox News Sunday, and it was what we might call a “farewell interview” (here is the transcript) with the outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush, perhaps something like a moral testament. “We’ve got to be compassionate conservatives,” he said using the same phrase he used during his 2000 campaign.

It’s very important for our party not to narrow its focus, not to become so inward-looking that we drive people away from a philosophy that is compassionate and decent, […]. We should be open-minded about different people’s opinions.
We shouldn't have litmus tests as to whether or not you can be a Republican. And we should be open-minded about big issues like immigration reform, because if we're viewed as anti-somebody — in other words, if the party is viewed as anti-immigrant — then another fellow may say, well, if they're against the immigrant, they may be against me. We've got to be a party for a better future, and for hope.

“We’ve got to be open-minded, compassionate conservatives,” that’s what some of the Bush administration’s efforts, such as expanding the federal government’s role in education through the No Child Left Behind Act and proposing an easier path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, were all about. But that’s also what have come under fire right from some of Bush’s fellow Republicans, though evidently of different school of thought.

Was that internal confrontation only a prelude to the “final battle” which could be fought in the months and years ahead within the GOP?



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Who is to blame for Gaza?

“Israel hasn’t killed a single civilian in the Gaza Strip. Over a hundred civilians have died, and Israeli bombs or shells may have ended their lives. But Israel didn't kill them.
Hamas did.”


This is a must read, in my view: Ralph Peters, a retired U.S. Army officer and the author of Looking For Trouble, in the New York Post: (thanks: Sandra)

There is no moral equivalence between Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers. There is no gray area. There is no point in negotiations.

Hamas is a Jew-killing machine. It exists to destroy Israel. What is there to negotiate?

When Hamas can't kill Jews, it's perfectly willing to drive Palestinian civilians into the line of fire - old men, women and children. Hamas herds the innocent into "shelters," then draws Israeli fire on them. And the headline-greedy media cheer them on.

Hamas isn't fighting for political goals. "Brokered agreements" are purely means to an end. And the envisioned end is the complete destruction of Israel in the name of a terrorist god. Safe in hidden bunkers or in Damascus, the Hamas leadership is willing to watch an unlimited number of civilians and even street-level terrorists die.

[...]

All Israel can do is to fight for time and buy intervals of relative calm with the blood of its sons and daughters. By demanding premature cease-fires and insisting that we can find a diplomatic solution, we strengthen monsters and undercut our defenders.

And don't believe the propaganda about this conflict rallying Gaza's Palestinians behind Hamas. That's more little-brown-brother condescension, assuming all Arabs are so stupid they don't know who started this and who's dragging it out at their expense.

Gaza's people may not care much for Israelis, but they rue the day they cast their votes for Hamas. Hamas is killing them.


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