(Note: I found a memo from the Dean on my desk saying that we had a meeting at 1100 hrs….on Friday…..cannot be good…I am guessing that my plain spoken style may have offended some…..so this will be an ass chewing…..should I bring Vaseline?)……..
I began class by taking roll…all present and accounted for……..
Informed student that since the class was cut to 4 weeks from 6…that we would only slightly touched on the GW Bush and the Clinton years…..most everything during these two admins was common knowledge and not enough time had passed to make an accurate analysis……
We began with the Clinton Years……
Clinton Administration, 1993-2001.
Besides mediating the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, Bill Clinton’s involvement in the Middle East was bracketed by the short-lived success of the Oslo Accords in August 1993 and the collapse of the Camp David summit in December 2000.
The accords ended the first intifada and established Palestinians’ right to self-determination in Gaza and the West Bank and established the Palestinian Authority. The accords also called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories.
But Oslo left unsettled such fundamental questions as the right of Palestinian refugees to return to Israel, the fate of East Jerusalem, which is claimed by Palestinians, and continuing expansion of Israeli settlements in the territories.
Those issues, still unresolved by 2000, led Clinton to convene a summit with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli leader Ehud Barak at Camp David in December 2000, the waning days of his presidency. The summit failed. The second intifada exploded.
Throughout the Clinton administration, terrorist attacks orchestrated by the increasingly public bin Laden punctured the 1990s’ post-cold war air of quietude, from the 1993 World Trade Center bombing to the bombing of the USS Cole, a Navy destroyer, in Yemen in 2000.
That is about the extent of his involvement in the Middle East……he had a war in the Balkans to run and a domestic agenda that needed his full attention…….
George W. Bush Administration, 2001-2009
After deriding operations involving the U.S. military in what he called “nation-building,” President Bush turned, after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, into the most ambitious nation-builder since the days of Secretary of State George Marshall and the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild Europe after World War II. Bush’s efforts, focused on the Middle East, have not been as successful.
Bush had the world’s backing when he led an attack on Afghanistan in October 2001 to topple the Taliban regime there, which had given sanctuary to al-Qaeda. Bush’s expansion of the “war on terror” to Iraq in March 2003, however, had less backing. Bush saw the toppling of Saddam Hussein as the first step in a domino-like birth of democracy in the Middle East.
But while Bush talked democracy regarding Iraq and Afghanistan, he continued to support repressive, undemocratic regimes in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and North Africa. The credibility of his democracy campaign was short-lived. By 2006, with Iraq plunging into civil war, Hamas winning elections in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah winning immense popularity following its summer war with Israel, Bush’s democracy campaign was dead.
We discussed the Iraq War and that of the Afghan War…….
Before class was over I told them that Friday’s class would be review only of the material in prep for the final next Monday……Plus that I had been called on the carpet by the dean and the class would be over at 1100 hrs on Friday……