President Bush thinks that history will vindicate him. He thinks that in 20 years historians will look back on his presidency and proclaim that in retrospect he was right and his critics wrong. If he is right then the Middle East is doomed. An editorial in the New York Times this morning points out that Bush turns out to be much more militant than the hardline government of Israel.
Everybody knew President Bush was aiming at Senator Barack Obama last week when he likened those who endorse talks with "terrorists and radicals" to appeasers of the Nazis. But now we know what Mr. Bush knew then — that Israel is in indirect peace talks with Syria, a prominent member of Mr. Bush's list of shunned nations — and it seems as if the president was going for a two-for-one in his crack about appeasement.
If so, it was breathtakingly cynical to compare the leadership of the Jewish state with those who stood aside in the face of the Nazi onslaught, and irresponsible to try to restrain this American ally from pursuing a settlement that it judges as possibly being in its best interests.
Think about what would have to happen in the Middle East in the next few months and years for the situation to be such that historians would later conclude that President Bush had been right and the government of Israel wrong about trying to negotiate with Syria. I would think that all Americans, except perhaps those desiring a world-wide conflagration for religious reasons, would be fervently hoping their president and vice-president are in fact the misguided fools who don't know what they are doing that so many Americans have been saying they are.