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Elections, The Middle East, and Sweet, Sweet Oil
2000-10-27 00:11:47

The chance that anyone has a bomb on a plane is very, very small. The chance that TWO people are carrying bombs is infinitessimally small. That's why I always carry a bomb with me when I fly. It improves my odds of surviving the flight without getting blown to bits.
-- enigma


The Rev lays it down on leading the Free World and spreading, uh, oil on the waters and shit.

To a lot of people, politics is a major turn-off. However, that's because they take it way too seriously. There are plenty of occasions where politics provides us with surrealistic comedies. One may be coming in November.

Put aside your initial terror at George W. Bush being elected as your leader and see the lighter side. Comedy sketch number one: Curious George does Foreign Policy. For a guy who's so Texocentric and whose idea of brave foreign outings is limited to Club Med excursions, the prospect of wading into the Middle East Peace process must be singularly terrifying. Not to mention that thorny Afghan affair or Kashmir conflict.

Ahh, the Peace Process. It's been Bill Clinton's obsession for eight years. A lot of people ride him for being hands-on with the ladies, but his lust for women is nothing compared to his groping of Arafat, Barak, Netanyahu, Mubarak, et al. during the same period. A humanitarian who absolutely abhors killing even roaches like the pre-Viagra Bob Dole, Clinton has frequently put the world on "hold" to guide the eons-warring sides into the good life where "it's all about the bitches and the E". Granted, his own inflated ego and shot at the Nobel Peace prize may help power his humanitarian drive on this issue, but at least it's ego put to good use. Clinton's intelligence and grasp of the core issues in the process also give him the respect of the interested parties there.

Now for the Bush angle. The sieve that passes for Bush's gray matter might just be able to grasp the fact that there are two religions at war there. Of course, Daddy will recommend the prudent thing: "Get yourself a foreign policy genius who will make you look great." Paging Baker, James A., party of one. But the installation of an able foreign policy tsar won't protect Bush from the inevitable face-to-face meeting with the major players. What will the pampered poodle have to say to Barak, who barely survived one "no confidence" vote by the Knesset, and whose current situation is so desperate that he's suicidally wooing Ariel Sharon into a ruling coalition? Or to Arafat, the man who once gave the orders to bomb planeloads of badly-dressed German tourists out of the sky? Given Bush's pathetic use of platitudes during all three presidential debates, one can easily imagine him giggling, ala Butthead, as he "Aw shucks" his way through whatever formalities are required of him.

As for the hands-on finesse of Clinton-forget it. The demise of the Middle East Peace Process means only one thing to Bush: higher oil prices. Oil prices on international markets have been skyrocketing on the instability of the Peace Process, and American oil companies certainly are not immune to this increase. Bush's clear conflict of interest on this issue will restrain him from taking any action that could hurt those vital corporate interests. However, as his debate stance indicates, he'll couch his inaction in terms of the U.S. not being the world's "nation-builder". Thus, if we're really lucky, he may not even have to meet with any of the players.

On the first day of Pantygate, the front page of a Tel Aviv daily read: "The Future of the Peace Process Rests Squarely on the Shoulders of a Woman Who Spent the Best Summer of Her Life in Washington". Should Bush be elected, the same daily will probably herald, "The Future of the Peace Process Rests Squarely on the Shoulders of an Idiot Who Spent the Best Years of His Life Doing Blow in the Air National Guard".

Not laughing yet? Well, just remember, kiddies, there is such a thing as "black humor".

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.


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