Unfettered Musings

Friday, November 12, 2004

A cowboy with high ideals.

Watching President Bush speak this morning with UK PM Tony Blair about the possibility of a Palestinian state, I was struck anew with why so many label him a cowboy. It is obvious he has never picked up a copy of The Articulate Executive, he often pauses too long in the middle of sentences, he speaks with a syrupy southern drawl and.......he speaks in terms of high ideals. To many the latter smacks of the naiveté of a bygone era. It is associated with a time in which a handshake was as good as a signature on a hundred-page contract, and was just as binding. It is reminiscent of a period when the pioneering spirit was alive and well and pushing its way into areas of the world never explored by man. It is an attitude that is considered outdated and unrealistic in post modern world in which terrorism is a fact of life, murderous regimes are too numerous to fathom, and middle eastern families accept payment in return for sending their explosives-laden sons and daughters into bus stations to kill innocent people. Modern society prides itself on its ability to think and speak in terms of realism, and on it's face it appears that democracy doesn't stand a chance in the middle east, and least of all in Palestine. Observing the chaos that was Yasser Arafat's funeral this morning only serves to confirm that assertion.

Is it true that the Middle East isn't capable of a sustained democratic government? Is it unreasonable to assert that the terrorists are the exception, and not the rule, and that most people in the region are tired of the oppression and the bloodshed and would jump at the chance to take the reins of their future and live in peace? Time will tell, but we've been given an exciting sneak peek when Afghanistan had its first democratic election, and the first person to cast a vote was a 19 year old woman who had undoubtedly been barred from even appearing in public without a male escort under a thug regime and Sharia Law before Afghanistan was liberated.

When did this country become so jaded that we stopped believing in higher causes and lofty ideals? It is ironic and sad that the nation that leads in technological and medical pioneering and makes continual breakthroughs in those arenas is so pessimistic in regards to social advances. It is narrow minded to think that the Arabic ethnos isn't capable of democracy, and this, in essence, is the unspoken implication.

Democracy is the only viable avenue to worldwide stability. Is it an unrealistic goal? Perhaps, but we should fight with everything in us to make it a reality. Our lives, and the lives of our children and the future of our nation depend on it's realization. When freedom prevails terrorism will be a thing of the past. It is central to the war, and not an unattainable distraction propagated by an outmoded cowboy president as many would like to believe. Until we, as a society, embrace this reality and commit to the president's vision of the spreading of freedom we will never rid ourselves of terrorism.

President Bush understands that a free and democratic Palestine is the only way to ensure safety for Israel, and that is the driving force behind his push for a Palestinian state. Christians will criticize him for splitting up Israel, but the fact is, it is already split. It will be until Jesus returns and sets it right. Palestinians aren't going away. As Christians we should get on our knees and pray for a Palestinian leader who will do what Yasser Arafat never would: agree to live side by side with Israel in a peaceful, democratic, Palestinian state. We should pray, also, that the people of Palestine will accept the terms and learn to co-exist with Israel and will rein in the terrorists in their midst. If we truly love Israel's people and not just the idea of Israel we have to support this course of action. The outcome is in God's hands, of course, but our president is exploring the only alternative that he, as a temporal leader in a temporal world, sees as a real possibility for eventual peace. It may fail, in fact, it is likely to, but we can't damn him for trying. It is a high ideal. It is a lofty goal. It is also the only way to win peace for the people of Israel and for the world.