Friday, July 21, 2006

Creating More Osamas and Zarqawis

According to the Washington Post:

In the administration's view, the new conflict is not just a crisis to be managed. It is also an opportunity to seriously degrade a big threat in the region, just as Bush believes he is doing in Iraq. Israel's crippling of Hezbollah, officials also hope, would complete the work of building a functioning democracy in Lebanon and send a strong message to the Syrian and Iranian backers of Hezbollah.

"The president believes that unless you address the root causes of the violence that has afflicted the Middle East, you cannot forge a lasting peace," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett. "He mourns the loss of every life. Yet out of this tragic development, he believes a moment of clarity has arrived."

The New York Times, on the other, wonders if the "opportunity" the administration sees in the carpet bombing of Lebanon isn't just helping to create more Bin Ladens and al-Zarqawis:

DAMASCUS, Syria, July 21 — In mosques from Mecca to Marrakesh, sermons at Friday Prayer services underscored both the David-versus-Goliath glamour many Arabs associate with Hezbollah’s fight against Israel and their antipathy toward the United States and its allies in the region for doing so little to stop yet another Arab country from collapsing into bloodshed.


The tone of the sermons suggests that the fighting in Lebanon is further tarnishing the image of the United States in the Arab world as being solely concerned with Israel’s welfare and making its allied governments look increasingly like puppets.

“What is creating radicalism in the region is not authoritarian regimes,” said Mustafa Hamarneh, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. “Mainly it is American policy in the region — survey after survey shows that.”


“What gives us pain is the Arab position,” said Mohamed al-Habash, a cleric who serves in Syria’s Parliament, speaking from the pulpit of Al Zahra Mosque. “They are entering a conspiracy against the Arabs, their brothers.”

In an interview, the cleric said the United States was helping religious extremists by encouraging the Israelis to continue their onslaught. By not working harder to stop the deaths of scores of Lebanese women and children, he said, the United States is abetting the recruiting efforts of the likes of Osama bin Laden and the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

“The United States is creating more Zarqawis, more bin Ladens in the Mideast every day,” Mr. Habash said.

A senior Saudi imam asked during a sermon today "Where are those who filled the world with slogans of freedom and democracy? Don’t they fear that history will condemn them for their double standards?”

It's an excellent question.

I would bet that question never occurred to the smug dry drunk sitting in the White House running things.

All Bush knows is force. The hammer. Toughness. Grit. (At least that's how he plays it on the outside...we know he's actually a terrified little boy still scared to get a tongue-lashing from Mommy Bush, but that's a story for another post.)

I would bet it has never occurred to the preznit that, you know, there might be other ways to achieve national objectives and win a victory against Hezbollah in the war on terror than allowing Israel to level Lebanon back to 1982. At least that's what I take from this quote in the Washington Post analysis of the administration's strategy:

Jack Rosen, chairman of the American Jewish Congress, said Bush's statements reflect an unambiguous view of the situation. "He doesn't seem to allow his vision to be clouded in any way," said Rosen, a Democrat who has come to admire Bush's Middle East policy. "It follows suit. Israel is in the right. Hezbollah is in the wrong. Terrorists have to be eliminated, and he sees Israel fighting the war he would fight against terrorism."

Except that fighting the war on terrorism this way has bogged us down in a worsening sausage factory in Iraq, created world-wide animosity against the United States, and made us less secure in this post-9/11 world, not more secure. And if you don't think that is so, then please count up the number of terrorist attacks that have taken place around the world in the last two years in which the terrorists claimed to have been radicalized by the war in Iraq and ask yourself, "What would the war on terror have been like if we had finished the mission in Afghanistan, rebuilt that nation as we had promised we were going to, and continued hunting down Bin Laden and the other Al Qaeda terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks rather than invaded Iraq?"

What a great question. The bad news - Saddam would still be in power. The good news - thousands of people would still be alive, and the reputation of the US wouldn't be in tatters. And as a bonus, maybe we would have actually caught that bastard bin Laden.
Right - and Saddam would be contained, still wouldn't have WMDs. Iran wouldn't be as emboldened w/ Saddam still in power on their flank. And we wouldn't be tied down militarily and broke financially. I saw somewhere that even if the U.S. can completely extricate itself from Iraq by 2009, this war will cost a half trillion dollars.
All too true. God help America.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?