Homeland Security chief, Michael Chertoff told a conference in Jerusalem the United States was making progress in the fight to win the hearts of Muslims but the effort was being underminded by “sources of cynicism in our society that cannot distinguish between our actions and the actions of terrorists, that treat everything as equivalent, that view appeasement as the best course of dealing with the enemy.” He believes Muslim communities “have seen their religion highjacked by a group of ideologues,” but hopefully Muslims are finally understanding the Bush policies are on the right track and that Israel does not make mistakes. Israel Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni complained the international community must stop making moral equivalences between civilians killed by suicide bombers and civilians killed during operations against terrorists.
There have been few suicide bombers killing Israelis during the past several months but there has been the killing of dozens of Gaza civilians by Israel armed forces during their operations against militants. A Gaza mother or father whose child has been killed obtains scant comfort from knowledge the “good guys” had to kill them to avoid being killed by the “bad guys.” There have been numerous opportunities offered by Hamas and Egyptian mediators to implement a cease fire in Gaza but the Olmert government has refused to take the first step. Of course, a first step offers risks, but doing nothing can be equally as dangerous.
The new book by Scott McClellan offers ample evidence the Bush administration has lied to the American people and to the world. The Bush administration currently is negotiating with terrorist North Korea, has backed Israel negotiation with terrorist Syria, is negotiating with the terrorist regime of President Mugabe in Zimbabwe, and certainly has relations with Communist China, but Chertoff insists anyone who seeks to negotiate with terrorism is guilt of appeasement. Does this include the Bush administration?