Friday, July 31, 2009

Worst Idea Ever

This came from Newsweek, which I'm pretty sure used to be a legitimate publication.

Stand In

Why Obama should make George W. Bush his Mideast envoy.

Wow! I don't think I could come with a stupider proposition on a bet. Why would someone think that this was a sane idea?

Peace Partners: Bush and Obama could play good-cop, bad-cop with Israel
By Gregory Levey | Newsweek Web Exclusive


They want Israel to stop expanding settlements; to stop building Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem; and for hawks in the government to chill out while the U.S. is negotiating with Iran. And yet, odds are, they'll come back to Washington empty-handed, for reasons having to do as much with atmospherics as policy: Team Obama just doesn't have Israel's full trust.

But there is someone who does—someone who could use a job, someone who argued straightforwardly for a Palestinian state, and yet someone who has the implicit admiration and regard of Israel. President Obama needs a new envoy to the region who can get results—and George W. Bush is his man.

Of course, while Bush was in office, Isreal did all those things, but if he were a special Middle-east envoy, well sure, he could get them to stop.

Obama has ruffled feathers in Israel by calling for a halt to settlement growth and talking openly about an equitable fate for East Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital. He has elicited deeply felt unease about how much the American president can be trusted to safeguard Israel's basic security.

Why is it the American president's responsibility to safeguard Israel? Israel is 50 years old, shouldn't they be able to stand on their own two feet now? And maybe they wouldn't need so much protection from Uncle Sam if they weren't constantly building new settlements on other people's land, just saying.

But, as odd as it sounds, channeling Bush wouldn't be such a bad thing. To help get Israelis behind the new American president, it would behoove the White House to show more urgency on the Iranian threat—and to openly press Arab countries for their own concessions, such as more diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. Having collected political capital, it's time Obama began spending it.

Right, no need to spend political capital on health care, or fixing the economy, or repairing the nation's infrastructure. No, the top priority has to be getting Isrealis to like him. And this could be accomplished by sending the bumbling chimp as an envoy? Hey, Gregory Levey, stop writing. You've lost your having-your-viewpoint-heard privileges. Seriously, this is the stupidest idea I've heard since New Coke.