Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The dog barks, the caravan moves on

During the first seven years of his administration, Bush's grasp of Middle East policy was characteristically simple: If you can't sell it arms, bomb it.

Starting last fall, though, Team Bush began the search for their own Holy Grail: A legacy.

The Middle East summit in Annapolis last November never rose above the tepid expectations its participants held for it. And his whirlwind tour of the Middle East last month--including his first and last visit to Israel--got him a big arms deal with the Saudis, a photo op on a camel, and not much else.

Bush the executive is famous for reading next-to-nothing, insisting that briefings be delivered orally, and having a somewhat short attention span.

With that in mind, here's 90-second crash course on 5000 years of Middle East history that might go a long way toward helping him put his 13-month "legacy" push in perspective:

Watching wave after wave sweep back and forth across the region for several millennia might be humbling to some.

(Hat tip to James the Elder.)

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