dimanche, juillet 23, 2006

The bitter fruit of Iraq

"Behind Hezbollah’s rockets lurks the specter of a newly unleashed Iran, its patron and supplier. Israel — which hoped to reap some peace after its withdrawal from Gaza — has been emboldened to lash out against its enemies more aggressively than it has in two decades. Iraq is in ruins, and the Arab states seem paralyzed. Everywhere, the struts that upheld the region’s tenuous stability are wavering, and fierce new winds are blowing.
Whatever the outcome of the current proxy war — fought on the soil of the suffering Lebanese — this broader struggle for dominance will continue to play itself out. So the question arises: What is America’s role in this volatile new world? Arab democracy may be a distant dream, but there is still much to be gained or lost in the region, from access to crucial oil fields, to fighting terrorism, to the security of Israel.
The Bush administration stuck to its playbook through Israel’s initial assault, giving a tacit blessing to its airstrikes and maintaining a studied silence: We do not negotiate with bad guys like Syria and Iran. That has left it with little leverage, and virtually no one to talk to.
Some critics of the administration emphasize the benefit of talking with Syria or Iran. Tehran in particular can inflict pain on American troops and allies in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as Israel. But it is not clear that such negotiations would succeed." Robert Worth, NYT Week in Review
Taken from today's paper, these comments are part of a broader analysis of the current situation in the Middle East. It is obvious that the US intervention in Iraq has done more to destabilize the tenous balances in the Arab world than any of them, including Saddam Hussein, could have done on their own. Iraq, headed by a man who terms Israel a tumor, is emboldened to continue with its nuclear program. Israel, with no check on its relentless assault (does it matter that they claim they are trying to avoid innocents, they are dying anyway) on civilians, and a steady stream of bombs send COD from the United States, is emboldened to try to wipe out its enemy, Hezbollah. Thanks to Hezbollah and to Israel, the fragile state of Lebanon is being crushed.
As we see the leaders of the Middle Eastern states struggle with this new map of horror, it is well to remember that we are in part responsible. It was American leaders, given cover by a group of bent intellectuals, who thought that the United States and its allies could bring democracy to Iraq, a state patched together by thuggery and led by a dictator. The brain trust of George Bush and Dick Cheney and their colleagues still seem to think that you can eradicate evil by stamping out those who fuel it. Perhaps this was a seductive idea at the beginning, when we were high on the fumes of fury at what happened to us on 9/11/2001. But as we have seen over and over again, killing those who hate you, and taking the lives of others in the process, only encourages their descendants and friends to hate you, and to carry on the fued from generation to generation. The ineptness of the Administration's approach is evinced by the fact that Iraq is heading, if not already enmeshed in, a civil war that often takes the lives of 50 or more innocent men, women and children a day.
How can one bless the destruction of Lebanon? How can our leaders not repent of the horror of the death count in Iraq? If they represent American Christanity, God help us.
And they really aren't any more convincing as leaders than they are as believers-Condi and George and Dick really don't wish to sit down with Syria, and certainly have no desire to engage the venom of Iran's leader-the irony is, in a Middle East trapped in bloodshed and prey to the fear of aging despots, that they have left themselves almost no other choice.

2 commentaires:

Gail a dit…

Gosh, you are a great writer.
Well said.
We received a couple and their young son at our office yesterday--evacuated via Cyprus to Philadelphia.
The firsthand reports are sobering, to say the least. Thanks for adding your voice on the situation.

Catherine + a dit…

Your writing is a gift, E+.

I must say that I don't blame Israel at all, perhaps much to your dismay, but I do blame Hezbollah because Nasrallah today confessed he had consulted Lebanese politicians weeks ago about the plan to kidnap the soldiers to get a prisoner exchange. And he confessed that he had no idea that Israel would react so vehemently against Hezbollah, who is causing the pain and suffering of the Lebanese people, and inflaming the region.

Now, how truly stupid a statement it THAT! Of course he knew Israel would fight to get their people back. But you know, no one is saying anything about Lebanon's complicity in not complying with UN Rez 1559. Israel complied but they are being blamed for everything as usual. I could go on but won't, E+. I love your writing and encourage you to keep doing it. We need journalists like you everywhere.