Thursday, July 27, 2006

Republican Senator Takes On Bolton--McDermott Take Note, Please

"Must have had spinach and Wheaties this morning. Chafee was dogged in questioning John Bolton on his views about Israel-Palestine, about the root causes of the crisis in the Middle East, about Bolton's simple-minded use of the term "terrorism", and about Bolton's views of "shaping the Middle East" as one of the greatest challenges America faces.

"Senator Chafee started off reading a Bolton statement that he made in the past where Bolton essentially blamed terrorism as the fundamental problem in the Middle East. Chafee said to Bolton: "You are a brilliant man. Terrorism is a device. Your statement makes no sense. Explain it."

"Bolton gave a long and convoluted response but also stated: "There is no basis for peace in the Middle East now." He suggested that one of the reasons why the U.S. has resisted calls for immediate cease fire in the region is that it wants to generate a "comprehensive solution". He said "we need to use current circumstances as a fulcrum to move towards a more stable, longer term solution."

"Chafee jumped back: "Can't you go any deeper? This isn't just terrorism. What about the history of terrorism in the region? What are the root causes?"

Then, later:

"Chafee asked John Bolton if he thought that one of the root causes of our problems in the Middle East is our failure to make progress on a viable, contiguous Palestinian state existing peacefully, side-by-side next to Israel."


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