Highlights

 
Quotable
It takes twenty years or more of peace to make a man; it only takes twenty seconds of war to destroy him.
King Baudouin I of Belgium
Original Letters Blog US Casualties Contact Donate

 
August 8, 2006

Condi's 'New Middle East'


by Patrick J. Buchanan

"Things are as they are, and their consequences will be what they will be. Why then should we seek to be deceived?"

Columnist Stewart Alsop, dead now these 30 years, once closed a column with this quote from the philosopher Bishop Berkeley. His column, I believe, was about Vietnam.

As we approach the fifth anniversary of 9/11, we, too, can see the shape of things to come.

In the ideology of "democratic fundamentalism" to which George W. Bush converted after 9/11, we are simply in a rough patch on the glory road to a democratic Middle East and "the end of tyranny on this earth."

In reality, our situation has never been more grim.

The successful experiment that featured the "freest, fairest elections ever held" in Palestine is dead. Over 125 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza. The Gaza Strip is a shambles. The terror wing of Hamas will have no trouble recruiting in the rubble.

The same is true of Lebanon. The "Cedar Revolution" was a Bush success, a beacon of hope. That Hezbollah won a dozen seats only seemed to prove that the elections had indeed been free, fair, and open to all.

Now Lebanon is in ruins. The 900 dead, thousands wounded, the million refugees, the smashed infrastructure, and the scores of thousands of Westerners who have fled means years before Lebanon recovers, if ever she does. Arab hatred of Israel and America is pandemic.

Hezbollah ignited the hostilities. But it was Israel that escalated to rain destruction on a people and nation that had not countenanced or condoned Hezbollah's provocation, but condemned it.

Think back. Had Reagan done to Lebanon, when half a dozen Americans were seized as hostages, what Israel has done, when two soldiers were taken hostage, Democrats would have denounced Reagan as a war criminal. Conservatives would have begged him to ease up.

Yet, almost to a man and woman, our politicians are falling all over one another to express their 100 percent support of what Israel has done to Lebanon. Even Israelis must feel a measure of contempt for this kind of groveling.

Indeed, in Israel, dissent against the blitzkrieg is rising, and the Olmert regime is being challenged and even condemned by courageous Israelis for letting the air force have a free hand to smash Lebanon.

Moving on to Iraq, where the war has lasted as long as our war on Nazi Germany, Gen. John Abizaid is warning that a descent into civil war is now possible, and Bush concedes that, three years and three months after "Mission Accomplished," the situation in Baghdad is "terrible."

Questions now on the table are: Will America let go? Will Iraq break apart? Americans are not all that far away from a strategic disaster.

Whatever happens to Joe Lieberman in Connecticut, the new center of gravity of the Democratic Party is antiwar. Democratic hawks are a dying species. Al Gore now emerges, given his authentic antiwar credentials and emergence as a world leader of the global warming movement, as the Left's best hope for the nomination.

Kerry and Edwards, the 2004 ticket, know which way the wind is blowing. Both have declared that had they known in 2002 what they know today, they would not have voted for the war. Hillary senses the ground shifting beneath her feet. Last week, she scourged Rumsfeld, called for his resignation, and denounced Pentagon mismanagement of the war.

Two years and three months before November 2008, the Democratic Party has pulled out of the Bush coalition; two-thirds of the nation considers Iraq a mistake; and a majority wants the troops home.

Can Bush sustain support for the war as the news from Iraq gets worse and worse? For, if this war is lost on the home front, the war will be lost in Mesopotamia.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are fighting in larger units and, colluding with drug lords, killing more Afghans and allied troops than they have in five years. Hamid Karzai reigns in Kabul but does not rule. U.S.-NATO forces are not losing battles, but they are insufficient in number to win the war.

Iran, fearful of Bush in 2003, is now rejecting U.S.-EU bribes and rejecting any suspension of its uranium enrichment program. Bring it on, Ahmadinejad seems to be saying to Bush. As for Pakistan, the Islamists there remain but a bullet away from custody of an atomic bomb.

While all these are trends, none seem to be going our way.

The Israeli-American ace of trumps, raw military power, is still able to defeat armies and destroy states, but it has proven less effective in eradicating guerrillas, and counterproductive in changing Islamic hearts and minds.

If neither U.S. party is willing to show any independence of Israel, if America will not address the root causes of Arab animosity, and if we will not even negotiate with our enemies, we should probably pack up and get out of the Middle East. Before we are thrown out.

COPYRIGHT CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.


comments on this article?
 
 
Archives

  • Can Uncle Sam Ever Let Go?
    3/27/2009

  • Of Patriots and Assassins
    3/17/2009

  • Return of the War Party
    2/27/2009

  • The Long Retreat
    2/20/2009

  • Obama and the Great Game
    2/13/2009

  • A Bibi-Barack Collision?
    1/27/2009

  • Is Ehud's Poodle Acting Up?
    1/17/2009

  • Bush, Obama, and
    the Gaza Blitz
    12/30/2008

  • Obama's War
    12/19/2008

  • Can This Marriage Last?
    12/5/2008

  • The Rationale of Terror
    12/2/2008

  • Meeting Medvedev Halfway
    11/25/2008

  • Liquidating the Empire
    10/14/2008

  • An Amicus Brief for Neville
    9/30/2008

  • And None Dare Call It Treason
    8/22/2008

  • Who Started Cold War II?
    8/19/2008

  • Blowback From Bear-Baiting
    8/15/2008

  • Obama's War?
    7/29/2008

  • Honorable Exit From Empire
    7/25/2008

  • A Phony Crisis
    and a Real One
    7/15/2008

  • No More Blank Checks for War
    7/11/2008

  • Who's Planning Our Next War?
    6/27/2008

  • Hitchens Demands an
    Eye for an Eye
    6/25/2008

  • Was the Holocaust Inevitable?
    6/20/2008

  • Is Bush Becoming Irrelevant?
    5/30/2008

  • Bush Plays the Hitler Card
    5/20/2008

  • Is It Jaw-Jaw or War-War?
    5/6/2008

  • Petraeus Points to War With Iran
    4/11/2008

  • Was WWII Really 'The Good War'?
    4/4/2008

  • Should We Fight for South Ossetia?
    4/1/2008

  • Does Balkanization Beckon Anew?
    2/19/2008

  • Blowback From Moscow
    11/30/2007

  • Is World War III on Hold?
    11/13/2007

  • Is a Vote for Rudy a Vote for War?
    11/9/2007

  • Who Restarted the Cold War?
    10/19/2007

  • Infantile Nation
    9/25/2007

  • Is Terrorism a Mortal Threat?
    9/21/2007

  • Stopping the Next War
    9/14/2007

  • Phase III of Bush's War
    9/1/2007

  • Has Bush Boxed Himself In?
    8/28/2007

  • Onward Into Waziristan!
    8/3/2007

  • Hillary's Late Hit
    7/27/2007

  • This Is How Empires End
    7/20/2007

  • Tonkin Gulf II and
    the Guns of August?
    7/17/2007

  • How Scooter Skated
    7/6/2007

  • The Retreat of the Old Bulls
    6/29/2007

  • The Martyr of Mosul
    6/22/2007

  • On the Escalator to War With Iran
    6/15/2007

  • Who Lost Russia?
    6/5/2007

  • Does 'The Decider'
    Decide on War?
    5/30/2007

  • Why Congress Caved to Bush
    5/25/2007

  • But Who Was Right Rudy or Ron?
    5/18/2007

  • Dying for...Estonia?
    5/4/2007

  • Wolfie's Piggy Bank
    4/17/2007

  • What a Lack of Courage Cost
    4/10/2007

  • Magnanimous Mahmoud
    4/7/2007

  • Interventions Without End?
    3/27/2007

  • Pelosi's Capitulation
    3/20/2007

  • Does Putin Not Have a Point?
    2/13/2007

  • Is Bombing Iran Bush's Call?
    2/9/2007

  • Hysteria at Herzliya
    1/31/2007

  • The Ideologue
    1/25/2007

  • The X Factor in 2008 Iran
    1/23/2007

  • See the Superpower Run
    1/19/2007

  • Mr. Bush, Meet Walter Jones
    1/16/2007

  • Patrick J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of the new magazine, The American Conservative. Now a commentator and columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national television shows, and is the author of seven books.

    Reproduction of material from any original Antiwar.com pages
    without written permission is strictly prohibited.
    Copyright 2014 Antiwar.com