Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Middle East Morass

Iraqi health officials swear that the findings on the number of dead Iraqi civilians published in Lancet is erroneous. It turns out that ONLY 150,000 Iraqis have died. Remember the words of Maddy Albright? "If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future." Are you ashamed yet?

Meanwhile, Henry Kissinger says that a military victory in Iraq is impossible...but we still can't get out.

Another moral imbecile, Charles Krauthammer, says that though Iraq is crumbling, it surely is not our fault. "Is this America's fault? No. It is a result of Iraq's first democratic election. The United States was not going to replace Saddam Hussein with another tyrant. We were trying to plant democracy in the heart of the Middle East as the one conceivable antidote to extremism and terror -- and, in a country that is nearly two-thirds Shiite, that inevitably meant Shiite domination. It was never certain whether the long-oppressed Shiites would have enough sense of nation and sense of compromise to govern rather than rule. The answer is now clear: United in a dominating coalition, they do not." In other words, merely because American power toppled the existing state, disbanded the army, and compelled "democratic" elections in no way implicates us in the mess that has been created. In fact, it's all Saddam's fault.

Neocons like Perle, Krauthammer, Adelman, and Frum have turned on Dubya. At least Joshua Muravchik admits complicity in the bloodletting, "All of us who supported the war have to share some of the blame for that."

Will the Democratic victory bring about a change of policy in Iraq? Not bloody likely! In fact, the sellout is coming. William Lind explains why: "Neither party wants to enable the other to blame it in 2008 for 'losing Iraq.' The Democrats are especially fearful of anything that would seem to make them look 'weak on defense.'" Politicos, a cowardly lot to be sure, are unable and unwilling to admit defeat and withdraw, the best of a series of very bad options. So instead "politicians of both parties in Washington, not wanting to hold the bag for the inevitable failure, will be able to agree only on a series of half-measures. We will train still more Iraqi troops or police, ignoring that both are mostly militiamen for one or another faction. We will pull our troops back into remote bases, where most already stay, remaining in Iraq while the civil war boils up around us. We will try to get the regional powers to help us out, despite the fact that those who would can't and those who can have no reason to do so. We will steam in circles, scream and shout, hoping desperately for a deus ex machina rescue that is unlikely to appear."

Ron Paul explains why things won't change. "Not a whole lot will change because the leadership on the Democratic side, even if they had their way, don't have a different foreign policy. They have been supportive of an interventionist foreign policy in the middle east, and they are not about to back away from that... They are willing to criticize the policy but only as a means to get power." Paul is going to push for a repeal of the Military Commissions Act. Think he'll get Nancy Pelosi's support?

It appears that virtually the whole of the political establishment has abdicated its duty and is waiting for some miracle to be produced by the Baker Commission. Michael Kinsley is a bit more realistic: "The chance that this group of ageing Brahmins will come up with something original is not enormous. It's a nutty, and not very attractive, idea to turn an urgent issue of war and peace over to a commission. Commissions have usually been trotted out for long-running social problems; going to war is something that ought to be decided by the people we elect. In recent decades Congress has virtually abandoned its duty to make the decisions about when US soldiers are sent to kill and die - presidents have foolishly claimed that authority. And now we have a president who is stuck with a war he insisted on and a citizenry that has no interest in it."

Seymour Hersh says that the CIA doubts that Iran is producing nuclear weapons.

Record numbers of dead in Iraq this month.

Rick Warren welcomes pro-aborts to his pulpit.

More and more depressing news about Ligonier.

Some good work is being done over at Chalcedon--especially by Chris Ortiz. Ortiz is hitting the Haggard/New Life debacle from every conceivable angle. Chris has also written a nice piece on muscular postmillennialism. And Tom Rose makes a Christian case against imperialism.


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