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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

The Root Cause

" People understand that there needs to be a cessation of hostilities in order for us to address the root causes of the problem. The intent of the resolution is to make sure that we address the root cause."
-George W. Bush, at a press conference about the Israel-Hezbollah War, Crawford, Texas, August 7, 2006


Decades of conflict aside, what really is the "root cause," Mr. President? Let's look at some facts.

You chose to believe liars like Chalabi, Cheney, Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld and engaged in a failed foreign policy that held on to a narrow-minded belief that democracy is the opiate of the people. Democracy frees neither nations nor individuals. All it does is enable the establishment of a government, and as we know, governments are beholden to no one but themselves. The arrogance of your administration has destroyed years of diplomatic activity that has kept tensions in check. Healthcare is what people want, and food and shelter and gasoline.

This isn't just a butter-or-bombs argument. CNN's Henry Schuster, in a recent cnn.com article titled "Hezbollah's Secret Weapon," talks about a young girl in Beirut named Zeinab, who, influenced by Hezbollah's community assistance projects, declares," 'I hope that when I be big and grow up, I want to be a doctor for Hezbollah. If someone is hurt, has a hurt in his hand, I will help him '." And, as Schuster points out, "That is Hezbollah's strength."

To millions of poor, hungry Arabs in the Middle East, Hamas and Hezbollah are successful as social welfare organizations, so the people put up with terrorism in their politics.

There's a lesson for you there. By cutting off relations with your so-called "axis of evil" you opened a void that, like Iraq, is being filled by the terrorist organizations. Radical ideologues that call for the destruction of Israel and the United States fill the bellies, hearts and minds of the people you forget are part of the world. A government, no matter how terrible, is still only a small group compared to the populations they govern. Governments change, but the people don't forget who fed them when they were hungry, who healed them when they were sick.

Frankly, I think Israel could do a great deal in the region if they were to provide some social help to their estranged neighbors, if the Arabs would let them.

Maybe if you took care of Americans like that your poll numbers wouldn't be in the toilet and your party wouldn't be so afraid of losing power. All this money to help heal the world, and it seems all you want to do is subdue it. And that's too bad... for all of us.

-PBG
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