There is chaos in the Palestinian territories today. Law and order are virtually non-existent as the two rival political parties, Fatah and Hamas, have yet again resorted to solving their differences at gun point. More than 80 people have been killed in the past few weeks. According to Israeli radio, Hamas has launched a full scale attack on Fatah security positions today after a suspected assassination attempt involving a rocket-propelled grenade fired at the home of the Palestinian prime minister, a Hamas leader, failed to kill him. That attack was likely launched in retaliation for the barrage of mortar shells fired at the compound of President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah. Yesterday, a senior Fatah leader was dragged out of his house and shot 45 times. Hospitals have been turned into war zones. In one grisly incident, a doctor was taken hostage and shot six times in the legs. Bear in mind, friends, that these are the same people that Israel is supposed to negotiate with for peace. These factions signed a peace treaty in Mecca just a few months ago, but they can’t even live with each other. When they stop shooting at one another, they only do so long enough to target Israelis. And our foreign policy elites think it would be a good idea to give these thugs their own state? Israel withdrew from Gaza two years ago, and look at it today.
That’s why I was so surprised to read that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has reportedly offered to surrender the Golan Heights if Syria will end its support for Hezbollah and limit its relationship with Iran. Every time Israel gives up more land, chaos is the result. Syria cannot be trusted, and if it breaks its word, it is inconceivable that Israel would attempt to reclaim the Golan Heights by force. Why Prime Minister Olmert believes this deal would work out any better than previous land-for-peace fiascos is a mystery.
President Bush went to Capitol Hill today to attempt mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of the Senate’s “grand compromise” immigration bill. In the president’s defense, he is being consistent, if even to a fault. He has always supported immigration “reform,” but the political realities after the September 11th attacks forced him to back off. Unfortunately, those realities are still at work today. Five years after the 9/11 attacks, our borders remain unsecured and millions of Americas are stunned and disgusted by the inability or unwillingness of the government to enforce existing immigration laws.
While his position has not changed, it is nevertheless disappointing to see the president spending what little political capital he has left on this bill. This is the kind of effort that would be justified in defense of his war policy. This is the kind of effort pro-family leaders desperately wanted in support of the marriage amendment. But this issue is dividing the country like few issues can. It’s very telling to me that none of the president’s would be successors campaigning for the Republican nomination support this bill, save one, and his poll numbers are in a free fall, while the bill has been embraced by most of the president’s political enemies on the Left. This bizarre combination of bad policy and bad politics has left the president’s strongest supporters frustrated and asking, “Why?”
On a positive note, I’m pleased to report that some senators do understand that we must secure our borders. Eleven senators sent a letter to President Bush today advocating a “security first” approach and asking the president to send Congress an emergency bill to fully fund all border security initiatives, like the Secure Fence Act that passed last year mandating 700 miles of border fencing.
The senators signing this letter were: Bunning (R-KY), Chambliss (R-GA), Coburn (R-OK), DeMint (R-SC), Ensign (R-NV), Enzi (R-WY), Grassley (R-IA), Inhofe (R-OK), Isakson (R-GA), Sessions (R-AL), and Vitter (R-LA).
If the president would follow this advice, the American people would rally to him in a heartbeat.
The Washington Times reports today that the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which has a very checkered past when it comes to its affiliations with terrorists and terrorist sympathizers, is hemorrhaging members and is increasingly dependent upon a handful of major donors to keep its doors open. According to the Times, CAIR has lost 90% of its members since the 9/11 attacks and generated just $59,000 in membership dues last year. Clearly, the organization’s claim to represent the interests of American Muslims is grossly overstated, and I can only hope that politicians and policy makers will ignore this fringe group from now on.