Haven't had much to say for the past week about West Michigan politics because I've been traveling in the Middle East, as in Israel and Turkey.
When my agent in Israel told me he thought George Bush was the best friend his country ever had, I wanted to hit him. At the same time, you really can't understand how small Israel is until you go there. On one hand, there were crowds of teenagers on the beach in Tel Aviv playing music and throwing Frisbees. On the other were the teen aged girls in green uniforms carrying very large guns guarding the Jewish version of the Pentagon.
Every Israeli spends two years in the IDF after High School. Gaza is as far away from Tel Aviv as Lansing is from Grand Rapids. Gaza is not much bigger than Kent County but packed with more poverty and anger than 50 Detroits. Then you have Syria, Iran, Iraq - armed to the teeth and too close for comfort. So maybe I would feel good about W too if I thought he was keeping me safe. It's just a whole different situation than Republican fear mongering about terrorist strikes in the U.S.
It's spring in Ankara and the apple blossoms are out. It's a beautiful city and much more put-together than I was expecting. Turks are attractive, charming and friendly and are confirming what I have always heard about this being a great place to visit. And my agent says he is Democratic Muslim and is impressed with Barak Obama.