Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Opinion Journal

Quick highlight from's Best of the Web column by James Taranto, which is especially interesting today.

Most notably, a comment on the stupidity of Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations (Mead in green; Taranto in red):

Writing in the New York Times, Walter Russell Mead of the Council on Foreign Relations reports that he's been rambling around the Middle East and has discovered the real reason "why they hate us":

It is a widespread belief that the United States simply does not care about the rights or needs of the Palestinian people.

"The Palestinian issue is really what discredits the United States throughout the region," a senior Western diplomat with years of experience in the Middle East told me. Or, as one student after another put it after the university lectures I conducted across the region: "Why do Americans have to be so biased?"

In Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and other countries, the large majority of people I spoke with are ready to tolerate the Jewish state--most even understand that the final boundaries of Israel will include some of the heavily settled areas beyond the pre-1967 borders. They also understand that few if any Palestinians will return to the homes they lost after the war that erupted when Israel declared its independence in 1948. And they are prepared to accept, though not to relish, America's close relations with Israel. Beyond that, they want increased American support for their domestic political reforms and for initiatives to enhance regional cooperation for economic growth and fighting terrorism.

But one thing sticks in their craw: Why doesn't America care more about the Palestinians' future?

Darn it, now our craw is stuck too. Why don't their fellow Arabs care more about the Palestinians' future? With the exception of Jordan, Arab countries by and large do not allow Palestinians to become citizens, settle permanently or own land. What some of them are willing to do, notably Saudi Arabia and preliberation Iraq, is send money to support suicide bombers.

Then there's this Reuters headline: "Mubarak: Arabs Hate U.S. More Than Ever." Imagine the outcry if this were ever to appear in reverse. Bush: U.S. Hates Arabs More Than Ever.

Taranto's right.

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