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Jewish World Review April 25, 2002 / 14 Iyar, 5762

Tony Snow

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Musings | On the matter of Middle East peace, the Bush administration is guilty of thinking small.

Secretary of State Colin Powell is trying not to secure peace, but to revive a dreary peace process. That doesn't make sense.

Everybody involved knows what the final map of the region will look like. Give Palestinians all but a few small slivers of the West Bank; move Israelis out of West Bank settlements and into locations along the border and divide East Jerusalem and its holy sites along religious and ethnic lines. You can't get such a deal through a peace process, which moves in tiny increments ... and gives each side many chances to walk away over trivial issues.

The only way to get a deal is to propose a deal -- and dare both sides to move. Make an offer nobody can refuse -- and demand that everybody get on board. Boldness is the key. After all the good book says, "Blessed be the peacemakers" -- not "Blessed be the Process makers."

Here's a classic of political correctness.

Ohio University has ordered Journalism Professor Patrick Washburn, incoming president of the American Journalism Historians Association, to remove a gun mounted to his office wall.

The administration, acting on a complaint that the weapon "intimidated" an unnamed member of the so-called university community, says the display violates Ohio University's workplace violence policy, which outlaws "threats, violent behavior or acts of intimidation."

Washburn notes the firearm is inoperable, has been touched only once since its original mounting 15 years ago -- and then just for an office move -- and hasn't been fired in more than 100 years. The antique belonged to his great grandfather.

When the university not only rejected Washburn's request for a break, but threatened to discipline him, he wrote the school's brass requesting "that the cannons that are fired when Ohio University scores at football games not only never be fired again ... but that they be removed from campus."

The officials, needless to say, were not amused.

This year's award for tin-eared political commentary goes to Georgia Democratic Representative Cynthia McKinney. McKinney, known for occasional bursts of outlandish rhetoric, outdid herself during a March interview with the left-wing Pacifica Radio network.

In a short chat, she hinted that the Bush administration knew in advance of plans to bomb the World Trade Center September 11, but didn't act. Why? Because she Said cronies and family members of the president stood to make money off various clean-up efforts.

When Washington worthies got wind of the interview, McKinney found herself in hot water. Fellow Georgia Democrats Zell Miller and Max Cleland let her have it, prompting McKinney to issue a press release that only made things worse.

She conceded that she had no evidence of presidential complicity in the worst act of terrorism in American history -- but then added menacingly that an investigation might prove otherwise. The irony, as Zell Miller noted, is that nobody works harder to squeeze into State of the Union pictures with the president than ... Cynthia McKinney.

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