Bill Bennett? Mr. "Book of Virtues"? The former Education Secretary who once said aborting "every black baby in this country" would reduce the crime rate"
? The same guy who once said that beheading drug dealers would be "morally plausible"? The guy who once went on a blind date with Janis Joplin?
Yep, that's my pick, but not for any of the above reasons.
I support Bill Bennett as Mid-East Envoy because he's got the right experience.
Ya' see, when we sit down across the table from Syria, and Hezbollah, and Hamas, and Iran, we need a guy who is willing to roll the dice, to push all of his chips into the middle of the table, who's not afraid of rolling snake eyes. In other words, a degenerate gambler.
A little historical perspective may be in order; when Israel was recognized as a state in 1948, that recognition was followed by approximately one year of fighting between Israel and various Arab states, pursuant to the Arab league's Declaration of War
. An armistice was reached in the Spring of 1949.
An uneasy and imperfect peace continued into the '50's, at which time Egypt's threatened nationalization of the Suez Canal brought regional and international passions to a fresh boil.
There followed the founding of Fatah and the PLO and, in 1967, the region erupted in the Six-Day War. Into the '70's, various factions instituted a campaign of terrorism, featuring the hijacking of civilian aircraft and the Black September kidnapping/murder of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The entire bloody history of the region is well documented, and the interested reader can Google away to his/her heart's content.
But why Bill Bennett? The answer can be found on the roulette wheel depicted above. You will observe that the wheel contains 38 spaces; 18 are red, 18 are black, two are green. Various bets can be made predicting the drop of a ball onto the spinning wheel. If the ball falls into the green spaces ("0" or "00"), however, the house wins and all the players lose.
Now consider the US approach to the Middle East. On one hand, we have been enthusiastic political and financial supporters of Israel. On the other hand, our ravenous appetite for petroleum has created wealth beyond description in the oil-rich Arab states of the Middle East. Much of that oil money, either overtly or covertly, funds the various fadayeen and jihadist enemies of Israel, and the funding has been increasing right along with the price and consumption of oil. In short, we're backing both sides. In roulette, you can back both sides by betting on both red and black. About 95% of the time, the ball will land on either red or black, and your losing bet will be balanced by your winning bet; it's a break-even proposition. The other 5% of the time, however, the ball will land on the green "0" or "00". Then you lose both bets. Let's recap: in the short run, you can break even, and in the long run, you will always lose, but the one thing you cannot do is win! Bill Bennett, as a degenerate gambler, understands this. (For the degenerate sports gamblers in the audience, it's like betting on both teams in a football game; you are gonna lose the vig on every bet.)
Are we willing to cut off our aid for Israel? Nope, that's political suicide. Are we willing to cut off our consumption of Middle East oil? Not a chance. QED, we are playing the red/black game in the Middle East, a game in which our best hope is stasis in the short term, but a game at which we must ultimately lose.
Now, I don't mean to suggest that Bill Bennett can find a way to win the game; it simply can't be done. But I believe he's enough of a degenerate gambler to stay at the table, drink the free drinks, flirt with the cocktail waitresses and keep the game going
! Because whether we like it or not, the game must continue. Whatever miscalculations were made at the time of Israel's founding, whatever legitimate Palestinian grievances were overlooked or ignored, we have too many chips in play to walk away from the table. So if we're going to continue to keep betting the red and the black, we should at least be represented by a guy for whom the winning or losing are less important than the action
. In short, a degenerate gambler. In shorter, Bill Bennett.