John Ransom
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Obama interrupted his “Osama bin Laden is still dead” cross-country tour yesterday to give another major policy speech bereft of new ideas. But first the president let us know that “Osama bin Laden is still dead.”

Four times.

As Jimmy Carter manipulated the teleprompter in the background, Obama put on his best professorial airs and spit out his trademarked clipped delivery in a room full of State department staffers and diplomats who applauded tepidly when the “applause light” went on.

He talked about what he called self-determination in the Middle East.

If you covered your ears hard enough you could barely tell that the speech was largely a plagiarism of Carter’s 2009 book, We can have peace in the Holy Land: a plan that will work, updated for recent developments.  

The book builds upon Carter’s earlier work Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.

That book built upon Carter’s earliest work: the failed presidency of James Earl Carter (1977-1981), much of which he and Obama are still pursuing today (see Korea, North, inflation, jobless, misery index).

In all of his works, Carter seems to be singularly forgiving to the anti-democratic thugs who manage, or rather mismanage affairs for the Palestinian people. It is those thugs, not Israel, who are mostly responsible for the plight the Palestinians find themselves in (see stagnation, jobless, misery index).

Obama is approaching peace in the same way Carter did. To both Carter and Obama, self-determination is something the world bestows upon the Palestinians at the expense of Israel, instead being, um, self-determined

But real self-determination is something that only the Palestinians can give themselves. Peace will largely depend on whether the Palestinians are determined to refrom how their own society is governed inside whatever borders they occupy.

The recent “peace” agreement between rival Palestinian groups Fatah and Hamas, both of which claim to speak for the Palestinian Authority, is a terrific example.

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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.