George Bush's Suburban Superpower Shrugs off Israel's Crisis; President Bush's Standoffish Approach to the Current Turmoil in the Middle East Typifies His Glaring Indifference to Foreign Policy, Says Christopher Hitchens

By Hitchens, Christopher | The Evening Standard (London, England), May 21, 2001 | Go to article overview

George Bush's Suburban Superpower Shrugs off Israel's Crisis; President Bush's Standoffish Approach to the Current Turmoil in the Middle East Typifies His Glaring Indifference to Foreign Policy, Says Christopher Hitchens


Hitchens, Christopher, The Evening Standard (London, England)


Byline: CHRISTOPHER HITCHENS

AS Israeli jets wheel and dive over the West Bank, and Palestinian suicide bombers grimly gird themselves, and while Arab nations withdraw one by one from the relationships established at Camp David and Oslo, the Bush administration sends Colin Powell on a five-day trip to Africa to discuss the Aids crisis, while the President himself works on fine-tuning the tax cuts that he hopes to announce, with Congressional approval, by this upcoming holiday weekend.

Clinton would by now have hurled himself into the action, either by jetting off to Jerusalem or by inviting all the contending parties to a distraught summit in Washington. And this is one of the reasons why the new administration is giving the Middle East a good leaving-alone. In the decided but unspoken view of the Republicans, Clinton was far too ready to stake American prestige on an improvised agreement, patching up the last spat or reacting to the most recent atrocity.

In the view of the hardheaded new incumbents, there is little or no percentage in trying to substitute American goodwill for the goodwill that is evidently lacking between the regional foes. Why get involved? Grief is the only reward of the mediator. Moreover, superpower "initiatives" only encourage one side or another to believe that help - for them - is on the way.

Over the past few weeks, Colin Powell has taken it upon himself to address whichever side has perpetrated the most recent breach of good form and solemnly instructed them to desist. On very bad days, he has intoned this to both parties simultaneously. Yesterday - Secretary Powell being absent - it fell to Vice President Cheney to invite the Israelis to refrain from bombing the towns in the West Bank.

MORE is i n v o l v e d , h o w e v e r , than pseudo i m p a r t i a l tough love.

This is, to an extent not seen in decades, an oilman's regime in Washington. Practically every senior figure in the Bush administration has seen the inside of an energy-corporation boardroom at one time or another.

And the daily headlines are all about the supposed "energy gap" that has put California into the grip of rolling blackouts while setting the rest of the nation complaining about ever-rising prices at the petrol pump. Not, perhaps, the ideal moment to ride to the rescue of Ariel Sharon and generally upset the "Ay-rabs".

It seems obvious to me that the President's father exerts at least some influence on the conduct of foreign policy. For example, in the recent fiasco involving the expulsion of the United States from the United Nations Human Rights Commission, there was an instant growl of rage from the Republican right wing in Congress.

To hell with 'em, they can whistle for their membership dues ... a favourite conservative theme. Bush has on the whole been very conciliatory to his right wing, but on this occasion he counselled caution and prudence.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

George Bush's Suburban Superpower Shrugs off Israel's Crisis; President Bush's Standoffish Approach to the Current Turmoil in the Middle East Typifies His Glaring Indifference to Foreign Policy, Says Christopher Hitchens
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.