A brief overview of the situation is always valuable, so as a service to all Americans who still don't get it, I now offer you the story of the Middle East in just a few paragraphs, which is all you really need. Here we go:
The Palestinians want their own country. There's just one thing about that: There are no Palestinians. It's a made up word. Israel was called Palestine for two thousand years Like "Wiccan," "Palestinian" sounds ancient but is really a modern invention.
Before the Israelis won the land in war, Gaza was owned by Egypt, and there were no Palestinians" then, and the West Bank was owned by Jordan, and there were no "Palestinians" then. As soon as the Jews took over and started growing oranges as big as basketballs, what do you know, say hello to the Palestinians," weeping for Their deep bond with their lost "land" and "nation."
So for the sake of honesty, let's not use the word "Palestinian" any more to describe these delightful folks, who dance for joy at our deaths until someone points out they're being taped. Instead, let's call them what they are: "Other Arabs Who Can't Accomplish Anything In Life And Would Rather Wrap Themselves In The Seductive Melodrama Of Eternal Struggle And Death."
I know that's a bit unwieldy to expect to see on CNN. How about this, then: "Adjacent Jew-Haters." Okay, so the Adjacent Jew-Haters want their own country. Oops, just one more thing. No, they don't. They could 've had their own country any time in the last thirty years, Especially two years ago at Camp David.
But if you have your own country, you have to have traffic lights and garbage trucks and Chambers of Commerce, and, worse, you actually have to figure out some way to make a living. That's no fun. No, they want what all the other Jew-Haters in the region want: Israel. They also want a big pile of dead Jews, of course -- that's where The real fun is -- but mostly they want Israel.
Why? For one thing, trying to destroy Israel - or "The Zionist Entity" as their textbooks call it -- for the last fifty years has allowed the rulers of Arab countries to divert the attention of their own people away from the fact that they're the blue-ribbon most illiterate, poorest, and tribally backward on God's Earth, and if you've ever been around God's Earth, you know that's really saying something.
It makes me roll my eyes every time one of our pundits waxes poetic about. The great history and culture of the Muslim Mideast. Unless I'm missing something, the Arabs haven't given anything to the world since algebra, and, by the way, thanks a hell of a lot for that one.
Chew this around and spit it out: Five hundred million Arabs; five Million Jews. Think of all the Arab countries as a football field, and Israel as a pack of matches sitting in the middle of it. And now these same folks swear that if Israel gives them half of that pack of matches, Everyone will be pals. Really? Wow, what neat news. Hey, but what about the string of wars to obliterate the tiny country and the constant din of rabid blood oaths to drive every Jew into the sea? Oh, that? We were just kidding.
My friend Kevin Rooney made a gorgeous point the other day: just reverse the numbers. Imagine five hundred million Jews and five million Arabs. I was stunned at the simple brilliance of it. Can anyone picture the Jews strapping belts of razor blades and dynamite to themselves? Of course not. Or marshaling every fiber and force at their disposal for generations to drive a tiny Arab State into the sea? Nonsense. Or dancing for joy at the murder of innocents? Impossible. Or spreading and believing horrible lies about the Arabs baking their bread with the blood of children? Disgusting. No, as you know, left to themselves in a world of peace, the Worst Jews would ever do to people is debate them to death.
Mr. Bush, God bless him, is walking a tightrope. I understand that with vital operations in Iraq and others, it's in our interest, as Americans, to try to stabilize our Arab allies as much as possible, and, after all, that can't be much harder than stabilizing a Roomful of supermodels who've just had their drugs taken away.
However, in any big-picture strategy, there's always a danger of losing moral weight. We've already lost some. After September 11 our president told us and he world he was going to root out all terrorists and the countries that supported them. Beautiful. Then the Israelis, after months and months of having the equivalent of an Oklahoma City every week (and then every day) start to do the same thing we did, and we tell them to show restraint. If America were being attacked with an Oklahoma City every day, we would all very shortly be screaming for the administration to just be done with it and kill everything south of the Mediterranean and east of the Jordan. (Hey, wait a minute, that's actually not such a bad id . . . ooh that is, what a horrible thought, yeah, horrible.)
While I often disagree with Miller, he's dead right here. What's interesting is that he seems to have changed positions, in that he ranted about the Middle East back in May 2002, concluding that "if I can forgive that motherfucker Sinbad for beating me on Star Search, than Israel and Palestine can certainly get their shit together." He also had some wicked one-liners. Example: "On the other side of the sandbags, you have Ariel Sharon. Now, Ariel Sharon has never been a guy who knows verses 3 through 5 of 'Kumbaya.' But this recent intifada has hardened him like a dead guy on Viagra."
Miller's May 2002 proposal for the Palestinians:
Give the Palestinians CASINOS! It worked here in the U.S. for our Native Americans. Look, all religion has done is to jump-start a grudge war over it's individual beliefs and at least in casinos everyone can get along, have a few drinks, play a little Black Jack and forget their problems. You don't even have to build a lot of new buildings because they already have a thousand-year-old Holy Land theme going on over there. "C'mon, seven. Baby Jesus needs a new pair of shoes!"
He must be wise, because I think casinos are the way to solve a lot of problems, including Tennessee's ongoing fiscal woes.