Playing a Smart Man's Game?

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Friday, June 21, 2002

Playing a Smart Man's Game?

President Bush is expected to make a speech next week in which he outlines his vision for Middle East peace. The speech reportedly will require the Palestinian side to meet make broad reforms and demonstrate their commitment to peace, including a lasting crackdown in terrorism. In exchange, the President will propose an interim Palestinian state.

One doesn't have to be a prophet to conclude that this plan, like all the others, won't work because the only Palestinian state Arafat wants is one that does not include Israel anywhere in the region. But maybe Bush is playing a smart man's game. Perhaps he knows his idea will be rejected, thus giving Israel new permission to root out the terrorists by military means.

No nation can sustain itself when suicide bombers kill the innocent. Violence cannot and must not be rewarded, or it will simply encourage more violence.

All of the explanations from the Arab and Palestinian side are worthless. Homicide bombers are killing innocent civilians. There is no explanation and no excuse for this. Surely the President understands this. We'll find out early next week. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.