By Denis Schulz
Ex-president William Jefferson Clinton has been out of the loop for about five years now. Thatâ€™s a long time for a politician but he still gets around quite well for a gentleman of his advanced years. He was in Jerusalem last week to honor the late Yitzhak Rabin on the 10th anniversary of Rabinâ€™s assassination. On Saturday (Nov. 12) Slick Willie spoke to an admiring throng at the King David Hotel. These are not his exact words but they are close and may well reflect his inner thoughts.
Clinton started off with some friendly advice for the Israelis. Donâ€™t worry about Iran he said. Their new President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is no boogerman. Heâ€™s neurasthenic. Heâ€™s easily irritated. He wasnâ€™t elected because of his hatred for Israel or the West. Sure, he has said some nasty things we all do. Israel was a disgraceful blot on the Middle East said Ahmadinejad and it should be wiped off the map. Now if he had said those things at a European Union meeting it would be cause for alarm, but at a World Without Zionism conference? Really? Remember Ahmadinejad is from the land where the Mad Mullahs roam and the suicide bombers and the Intifada play, where people utter many a discouraging word. It isnâ€™t like he has nuclear weapons to play with and he never will have if the United Nations and the European Union have anything to say about it. Shouldnâ€™t that make everyone in Israel feel a lot safer? But Clinton wasnâ€™t finished.
He (Ahmadinejad) was elected because of the economic distress of ordinary Iranians. Itâ€™s the economy, stupid! Remember? It was the economy in 1992 and itâ€™s the economy now. Ask James Carville.
How long has Slick Willie been out of the loop? Only five years? It must be a lot longer than that. Didnâ€™t he learn anything from Kosovo and 9/11? Gosh! Ahmadinejad wasnâ€™t elected! The Ayatollah Ali Khamenei made him president! They donâ€™t have real elections in Iran, Mr. Clinton. Iran is a brutal theocratic dictatorship you should know that! Where did you go to school? Harvard? Yale? Berkeley? Slippery Rock? Gosh!
Slick Willie urged the Israelis not to give up on negotiations. Yasser Arafat made a colossal historic blunder five years ago when he refused to accept Israelâ€™s surrender at Camp David he said. Of course, the ex-pres didnâ€™t use the word surrender nor did he mention the lost Nobel Peace Prize. Arafat, to give him credit, was a more devious and tenacious negotiator than Paula Jones. And he was ugly if it werenâ€™t for that kaffiyeh the Pres would have tossed his cookies a half-dozen times. Thank goodness, Stinkyâ€™s in the ground. Audie Murphy never faced anything like Arafat.
But this new guy, this Mahmoud Abbas, he looks like a man you can trust, a man you can make a deal with. He looks like the guy who ran the delicatessen for The Bowery Boys. He could pass for Spanky or Alfalfaâ€™s uncle. Look at him. Hi, uncle, howâ€™s it going? Gosh!
Slick Willie praised Israelâ€™s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. It was a gutsy act he said. The next step will be even harder Israel will have to let bygones be bygones; they will have to aid in the economic development of Palestine. Yes, Israel has a special responsibility to give financial, moral and technical support to the Palestinian people to help the Gaza gamble succeed.
Hold on there, Mr. President! Did you say gamble? This isnâ€™t Las Vegas! You donâ€™t gamble the lives of millions of Israelis on a long shot! Gosh! What are the odds? A hundred-to-one? What would Jethro and Granny have thought of George W. Bush if he had said after 9/11 that he was going to gamble on sending money, Iâ€™m sorries, and cell phones to Osama bin Laden and the Taliban on the slim chance they might moderate their behavior? Gosh! Jethro would be out in the woods cutting hickory switches!
While Slick Willie was doing his Neville Chamberlain impression Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) was at a Jerusalem fire station addressing a group of Israeli firefighters. This is a war we have to wage together, she said. We share a deep and abiding commitment to Israel and understand that we have so much to learn from each other.The Clintons were in Jerusalem spanning the political spectrum from Chamberlain to Churchill.
In the meantime, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had worked out a deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority to open the border crossing between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. The European Union (EU) is to help monitor the crossing. Oh sure, with Inspector Clouseau and the Baron Munchausen on the job no smuggler or gunrunner or suicide bomber in his right mind would attempt a border crossing. Gosh! Donâ€™t they ever learn? And doesnâ€™t the EU support the inalienable right of Palestinians to return to their homeland? This sounds like the time Al Capone hired Greasy Thumb Guzik to keep the riffraff out of his whorehouses.
As if that isnâ€™t bad enough, itâ€™s election time in the Gaza Strip and the campaign rhetoric is heating up. Mahmoud Abbasâ€™ Fatah Party is tired of playing the nice guy. It hasnâ€™t worked. (You have to give it more than five minutes, guys) They are reverting to their roots suicide bombers, missile attacks, their stock in trade. They will persist in these activities until Israel gives up the West Bank and Jerusalem after that the real war will begin.
Slick Willie has moved on. He stopped in Qatar where a college student asked what he would say if he should ever come face-to-face with Osama bin Laden. Slick Willie went into his Doctor Laura mode. If I meet him (Osama), he said carefully, I will tell him that what he is doing is not right killing the innocent, I will try to convince him that I am not representing the devil and the whole truth is not with him.
Yes, Slick Willie would talk to Osama as if Osama were five years old! You donâ€™t talk to people like Osama, Mr. President they donâ€™t listen! You put bullets in their heads! Gosh! And he was President of the United States for 8 years!
Hillary, on the other hand, kept her cool. She didnâ€™t say anything stupid and she didnâ€™t meet with anybody from the Palestinian Authority. She might be another Maggie Thatcher while Slick Willie seems to be on his way to Cartersville. Anybody got a hammer and nails?
Denis Schulz writes at www.maxflackreport.com