November 24, 2006

Realpolitek from Bush Senior

Hattip to Anon, well one anon, at Neo's comment site for this link.


The realists have it all wrong. This policy was tried for decades on end and it resulted in scenarios where the only prominent opposition to a secular dictator came in the form of even worse religiously fanatical masses. Look for a moment at Egypt, where the Muslim Brotherhood and likeminded Salafists are the main resistance to Mubarak's rule. Look at the Jordanian kingship, where its people tended to sympathize with Abu al Zarqawi before he started blowing them up. Look at Kuwait - a nation that was liberated by the United States and subsequently ethnically cleansed all Palestinian nomads - where its people polled the highest anti-American sentiment in the region. Look at the Saudi royal family, which brainwash and indoctrinate their youth in systematic fashion in order to get them hating our liberalism just a little bit more than they hate their lack of significance.

Not only must we not talk to our enemies - just ask Sharansky how much he and his fellow dungeon dissidents preferred Reagan's unapologetic and open moralism to Nixon's detente - but we must become increasingly suspicious of our once-cherished Arab allies. Dwight Eisenhower once remarked that if one could not solve a problem, he would be wise to enlarge it. The solution to our current quandary in the Mideast is not a reversal and return to the old order, but to rile up a few more hornet nests. We are engaged in an audacious counterinsurgency across hostile Sunni municipalities with hundreds of thousands of indigenous Iraqi allies at our side. If we were to accept any of the ridiculous Vietnam comparisons, at least let us acknowledge that we have not only toppled the adversarial government (which was not done then), but we have also, wisely, skipped the half-decade as loner and have moved on to contemporary Vietnamization.

Keeping the historical analogies alive, if this is in fact the decades-long struggle we are told it is, and victory, as only a determined few define it, rests not only with the capture of specific terrorists or with the continued prevention of domestic attack, but with the transformation of an undemocratic, self-righteously puritanical, and intolerantly hierarchical part of the planet, then let us not embrace a new detente. George Bush Sr., the stone-cold pragmatist, should creep out anyone who champions the promotion of human freedom. Like his associates, the so-called "wise men" from Powell to Baker, Bush the elder served the United States with credit and as he saw fit, in service and in government. But as he saw fit - as Baker, Gates, and that gang see fit - is wrong.

We must never forget their keeping Hussein in power, or their reinstalling of the Kuwaiti thugocracy, or their assurances to the Iraqi people they would receive American assistance in the event of an uprising - and then their ensuing butchery when the aid they believed we would provide never showed up. We must never forget their golfing with loon tyrants and crass despots for the sake of dictatorial constancy. We should not forget Scowcroft apologizing for Wahhabism, or his lunching with the slaughterers of Tiananmen to "avoid isolating China." We must never forget their nonchalance as the Berlin Wall fell, or their attempts to preserve the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and continued existence of the Soviet Union. We should not overlook their aversion to change - democratic change, above all.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We must never forget their keeping Hussein in power, or their reinstalling of the Kuwaiti thugocracy, or their assurances to the Iraqi people they would receive American assistance in the event of an uprising - and then their ensuing butchery when the aid they believed we would provide never showed up."

Yes, I felt sick about that. But it didn't entirely surprise me. In my lifetime America has vacillated between fickle and stalwart, with the former unfortunately too dominant.

28 February, 2007 21:33  

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