Israel’s Bush Warriors

Traveling earlier this week via plane from Washington D.C. to Los Angeles, CA., I had the honor and pleasure to sit beside a beautiful, articulate, intelligent, fresh-out-of-the-military young Israeli woman.

It was total culture shock for me. 

We talked for the entire 5 hour trip about everything from art and politics, to romance and business. But the portion of the conversation that rattled me was the fact that this woman was stunned to learn in her first month in the States that so many Americans didn’t like George W. Bush. 

“When he visits Israel, we roll out the red carpet. He’s a hero. He fights terrorists. I thought everyone in America loved him.” 

Now I suppose this shouldn’t come as a shock to me given America and Israel’s long history as allies–and it by no means suggests that all Israelis think this way–but it was nonetheless disturbing to me to consider that A) anyone could view Bush as a hero and B) that people think we as Americans overwhelmingly believe Bush to be a great man and a great president. I immediately confirmed what she was slowly discovering: many Americans, if not most Americans, consider George W. Bush a criminal and, perhaps, the worst, most dangerous president in U.S. history!

What disturbed me even more (really? More?) was her proclamation that most Israelis feared Barack Obama and believed that if he were elected president of the United States, he would choose not to be a friend of Israel’s. She went on, in fact, to let me know that many Israelis believe Obama to be an Arab. I guess the GOP’s misinformation machine still has frighteningly long arms. 

The good news here is that one person’s perspective does not a whole country make. However, it is indicative of a school of thought that does exists and may or may not be rampant. I, for my part, did my duty to inform her of my beliefs and the beliefs of most of the people I know and respect as to the dangers of the Bush Administration and McCain’s intention to continue the devastating policies of that Administration.

I sincerely hope that most people the world over can see Bush for what he is and that my experience of culture shock was a limited one. And let’s hope and act to educate people as to exactly who and what John McCain is and what he represents and what the landscape might look like, both here and abroad, if he were to be elected president of the most powerful country in the world.

Israel’s Bush Warriors

3 thoughts on “Israel’s Bush Warriors

  1. Man, how misled can one person be? Many Americans, if not most Americans, consider George W. Bush a criminal? The sixties are over, pal, so you can put away the dope and funky beads. “Many Americans” continue to respect the office AND the man, as well as his support for Israel, and his continued battle against radical Islamism. Your Israeli friend was right to fear the course that Obamessiah would take this country, but your cynicism seems to overwhelm all sense of reason.

  2. halmasonberg says:

    Thanks for the comments, Steve. Culture shock continues. It’s always good to hear the views from the “other side” as it were. The irony is, of course, that your comments from where I stand seem to defy all sense of reason as well. Strange, huh? I can’t understand how anyone could live in America, see the direction we’re going and not recognize the inherent dangers, not to mention what seems to me and many others outright criminal activities (see Kucinich’s 32 articles of impeachment presented to congress). From where I stand, one has to allow oneself to be in a state of supreme denial to NOT see these things. OR that they simply don’t mind these things and sincerely believe this is what needs to be done in order to get to a certain place politically, financially, religiously, whatever. What I find small-minded is the seeming belief that anyone questioning the actions of their president or government must be relegated to some hippie throwback. I for one hope that Americans continue to question the actions of their government. It is how this country was set up. It is a requirement for the checks and balances to work. Otherwise we most certainly live with the danger of possibility that in the wrong hands we could slowly become a fascist state and lose those freedoms we hold so dear. A bit much? I don’t think so. I care about this country and will exercise my rights as a human being and a citizen to do what I consider my duty as an American to ask the questions that concern me. And expect answers. You are right about one thing, though. I am somewhat cynical about the goings on in this country and I do not have total faith in the education of the American people to make informed decisions. Yet I hope that they will and we can steer this country back on a path that I see as healthy, responsible and caring. Both of its citizens and the world we inhabit with others. As for Obama, I can’t say whether or not he’ll be a good president or not, but I have more hope for what he might accomplish than I have in a very long time. As for what most Americans feel, I can only gauge what I see and hear around me. I don’t personally know anyone who likes and respects Bush. Even those I know who voted for him. However, Steve, I’m guessing the landscape looks different from where you stand. I believe if McCain takes office, history will be a frightening subject for future generations to study when they get to this particular period. That said, I’d love to be wrong. And for the record, I’m not anti-Israel. Nor am I anti-Palestinian. I am pro-humanitarian (guess that makes me one of those 60’s hippies you so fondly spoke of). I am, however, NOT a supporter of terrorism. Sadly, I have to question some of the choices America has made and wonder if, through particular sets of eyes, they would not seem to be the actions of terrorists by another’s definition. And for the record, I would vote Republican if a candidate came up whom I felt stood for the America I believe in and represented an approach I believed had the well-being of its people and the world they live in as a top priority. But at this point in time, the current administration and the words and actions of John McCain lead me to believe, most emphatically, that we are headed down a path that is currently irresponsible and dangerous to ideals and concerns that are most important to me. The things I believe are worth standing up for and speaking out for. And as is only appropriate, there are those that disagree with me. However, name-calling (Obamessiah?) does not a strong argument make. I am, nonetheless, interested in hearing the intelligent thoughts of someone of a different opinion than my own. I am not so arrogant as to believe I am right about all things. But it will have to be one hell of an argument to convince me that George Bush is anything less than an outright criminal. That said, I welcome that argument if it is out there.

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