Reflections on Bush's Knesset speech

This speech was a tremendous insult to the Saudis, in that it celebrated the anniversary of Israel’s birth as though it were a great American holiday.  As well, the reference to the great Pilgrim forefather’s remarks as he set foot in the New World was especially telling: “When William Bradford stepped off the Mayflower in 1620, he quoted the words of Jeremiah: ‘Come let us declare in Zion the word of God’."

Just as grievous to the Saudis were the almost complete absence of reference to the Palestinian “tragedy,” and the renewed emphasis on the evils of Islamic terrorism and lack of democracy everywhere in the Middle East except Israel.

In effect, Bush was giving an American version of the speech given by Ariel Sharon after the 9/11 attack on the U.S., when it seemed that America might veer toward the Arabist argument blaming al Qaeda terrorism on the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the way so many cowardly Europeans now do. Sharon stated then that while the West might opt for a second Munich appeasement strategy, they would find in the State of Israel no new Czechoslovakia to play their patsy. The reverberations of that now-forgotten speech were clearly heard in the White House and used to crush the State Department’s furious behind-the-scenes battle to sell the Arabist position to the American people.

Why would President Bush give a second Sharon speech? For the simple reason that he faces a second 9/11 attack on America -- this one economic rather than military. The skyrocketing price of oil is aimed at crashing the Western economies and inflicting a second 9/11 injury on America and American leadership. Having clearly staked out his political position in Jerusalem, he now heads to Riyahd, to tell the Saudi degenerates that either the price of oil must be brought down, or they will.

This is the true message of what history will record as a great American speech, not the narcissistic whinings of an ego-wounded opposition candidate.

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