I know we’ve been down this road too many times. But this time we really are caught between a rock(our principles) and a hard place(Isreal).
from the NYT:
Israel said the airstrike was on a training site used by Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian group that claimed responsibility for the attack in Haifa on Saturday. Still, a senior Bush administration official said the evidence that the target was in fact such a base remained “very amorphous.”
President Bush’s own aggressive stance against terrorism leaves little room for the administration to criticize actions taken by others. Having laid out an American doctrine claiming the right to carry out pre-emptive attacks against terrorist targets, the administration has consistently said that it recognized Israel’s own right to retaliate for terrorist attacks.
If you’re not with us, you’re against us. That’s what he said. Now we can’t fault Israel for it’s actions, but we can’t condone either. We can only undermine their ability by playing stupid. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil may get you brownie points in the middle east, the UN and the media, but they still manufacture hate and jihad against us regardless of how tight we hold reigns on Israel.
Haven’t our enemies (Saddam, Osama) already stated that most of their hatred is because of the presence of Israel, our support for them, and the palestinian ‘occupation’? It appears to me that this terrorism problem is being skirted and patched just like every other government action: Treat the symptoms and ignore the sickness.
Isreal laid out the doctrine of preemptive strikes long ago and are the only ones(besides the arabs) that remain consistent while we blow with the wind. After making us look strong by holding the Iraqi leader to his promises, we are appear soft on Saudi Arabia and Syria. The arabs might be right about us, we will retreat when enough pressure is applied, or when we get tired, or when we lose resolve. If Bush is truly a good leader, he will have to make some ‘tough decisions’ before the next election instead of playing pussyfoot and covering his eyes ears and mouth like the three monkeys.
There will never be peace in the middle east until there is a victory by one side or the other. Or until someone has the courage to say enough is enough and force a settlement. Only the leader of the most powerful nation in the world has the ability and the power to do this. Obviously the ‘congress’ of nations, the UN, is powerless to do anything about it so our leader must set the standards, plot the course, and set sail for the promised land.
But if the planning for the Iraq situation is a model for the administrations effectiveness, perhaps we don’t have the necessary leadership to accomplish this onerous task. Perhaps golf and poetry are more important than life and legacy.