Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Clueless in New York Clueless in New York

Joe Conason has an article in the NY Observer titled: Our Coarse President Can’t Fix Middle East that complains that our President is obviously not sophisticated enough to win the War on Terror. After all, he chews with his mouth open, and uses explitives when describing terrorist states.

Conason does understand that a lot of what is going on in the Middle East right now is a direct result of our actions in Iraq and Afganistan. But he takes away the wrong message. He doesn't comprehend that they are reacting this way precisely because they fear what we are doing there, and are fighting for their lives to survive in the face of it. The leaders in both Syria and Iran are petrified of what is happening all around them, and are doing whatever it takes to rally everyone around them.

But it isn't working. Who would have thought that the major Arab nations would be sitting on the sidelines in this crisis, and not egging everyone on to obliterate Israel? Yet, we have Saudi Arabia, Egypt, et al., urging caution and tacitly supporting Israel.

But Conason worries that we have alienated our traditional allies through this go-it-alone, cowboy foreign policy. And which allies are these? Obviously, not Great Britain, as it was to Blair that Bush used the explitive, and they are carrying their weight in Iraq. Rather, I suspect he means such stalwarts as France, long known for its strong support of our foreign policy. Oh, Wait. I forgot. France pulling out of NATO for awhile. France selling arms to Iraq throughout the arms embargo. France taking Oil for Food bribes. France telling us that they wouldn't support sanctions anymore, as we got ready to invade (but not mentioning that they had sold the rockets to Iraq that would shortly be shot at us, or that their vote was in payment for all those bribes). How about Russia? Ditto on the arms and bribes. Besides for most of my lifetime, they were our mortal enemy. Germany? Not sure whether they still have an army. Well, they have part of ours. Japan? Worried about oil supplies, but little else in the Middle East, but coming closer every day to us with North Korea and China. Besides, their Prime Minister got a recent tour of Graceland and got to wear a pair of the King's glasses. I am not sure what other allies he is talking about. Maybe the Netherlands, with their unionized military.

No, the author wants us to go back to the ineffectual Clinton foreign policy, where talking was more important than getting anything done. But he refuses to realize that that was a big part of why al Qaeda attacked us on 9/11 - the Moslem world viewed us as a paper tiger. We had the power, but were too constrained by decadent western values to use it, even when attacked. He refuses to acknowledge that the only thing that they respect is power and the willingness to use it.

Conason is just one more effete, sophisticated, eastern liberal totally out of touch with the world, still dreaming that if everyone just understood everyone else, through endless rounds of talking at diplomatic dinners (where no one speaks with their mouths full and never uses crude language), then all these minor irritations in the world would just go away. Sorry. Not today in this world. And most likely, not in our lifetimes. Not the way the world really works.

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