Over the weekend Sherrod Brown, a Democratic Senator from Ohio, appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and appeared to blame President Bush for being partly responsible for the conflict that is taking place between Israel and Hamas right now.
Brown: “But I’m hopeful that with a new president — you know, you look at President Bush is now in a pretty weakened state, and countries around the world know that. I’m hopeful that as this transition comes, as we look to January, that strong presidential leadership can make a difference here.”
Does Senator Brown actually think that the inauguration of Senator Obama on January 20th will lead to a more peaceful and stable situation in the Middle East? Certainly the period surrounding a presidential transition can give rise to a more unrest in certain regions of the world. But I think the world knows by now that President Bush, for whatever other flaws he may have, is not someone who tolerates terrorism by radical Islamic groups.
If anyone is being tested during this transition period it is probably Senator Obama. The incoming Vice President, Joe Biden, declared during the campaign that shortly after taking office a crisis will occur somewhere in the world to test the resolve and strength and skills of the new president. Of course, the current conflict between Israel and Hamas does not have as its focal point the US Presidential transition, there are other political and historical factors far more important than the recent U.S. election at play here. But if the transition has anything to do with the conflict, it seems that Senator Biden, and not Senator Brown, has a more likely explanation.
One wonders what liberals will be able to complain about after January 20th. There will be no more President Bush to blame for the problems of the moment. I’m sure they will think of something, but the “Bush’s fault” line was a nice line for them when they wanted to short-circuit a careful explanation of their opinion.
As for the ongoing developments in the Middle East, I strongly support Israel’s decision to take decisive action against Hamas. Hamas is a terrorist organization that has not chosen to adopt peaceful and diplomatic means to resolve the problems that it is facing. It is simply unacceptable for any organization, group, or country to continually assault a neighboring country day after day while violating basic standards of morality and international laws of warfare.
Benjamin Netanyahu makes the case for Israel’s actions much more eloquently here: