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Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Surprising Quote of the Day

Most of George Bush's speech today at the U.N. was comprised of low-hanging fruit, and I'll pass on the chance to pick it. But one passage was worth noting:
"The Palestinian people have suffered from decades of corruption and violence and the daily humiliation of occupation."

- George Bush at the U.N.
Has George Bush every used the "O" word before in this context? I'll leave the answer to readers (I don't know).

The mention of the "daily humiliation" of occupation is rather striking. Unless you're a regular consumer of progressive news sources like Flashpoints Radio, Amira Haas's reporting in Ha'aretz, etc., or a regular attendee at left-wing forums, you're highly unlikely to have ever heard a word about the reality of that "daily humiliation." I highly doubt George Bush or Condoleezza Rice ever has, and I'm doubtful about their speechwriters as well.

The phrase which precedes that is more typical. Placing "corruption" before and on an equal plane with "violence" is both absurd and deeply offensive, made worse by the fact that the parallelism makes it seem like (and I believe this is the case) that the "violence" Bush is referring to is intra-Palestinian violence, not the daily violence being visited upon the Palestinians by Israeli tanks, bombs, and bulldozers. That's made even more likely by the very next phrase in the talk:

"Israeli citizens have endured brutal acts of terrorism and constant fear of attack since the birth of their nation."
The "violence" being visited on the Palestinians wasn't "brutal" like that visiting the Israelis, and, of course, rather than the constant "fear" of attack, the Palestinians have been under actual and daily attack by the Israelis, and they didn't even get the "birth of their nation" as a counterweight.

OK, one piece of low-hanging fruit:

"Freedom, by its nature, cannot be imposed -- it must be chosen. From Beirut to Baghdad, people are making the choice for freedom."
This would be funny, except for the 100,000+ Iraqis who not only didn't "choose" freedom, they also didn't "choose" death. They just got the latter, courtesy of George Bush and the U.S. government.

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