Holy bejeesus, a sane liberal has peeked out from around the corner and is showing a few minutes of clarity:
On the one hand, on Monday the 87th British soldier was killed in Iraq, while suicide bombs and armed clashes have accounted for more than 40 Iraqi deaths since last week. On the other, the Bush administration is in triumphalist mode. A friend who visited the White House recently described the president’s buoyant account of his Iraqi crusade, which highlighted the fact that a national government has been formed.
Some progress is claimed towards normalization in Shia and Kurdish regions. Syrian withdrawal gives Lebanon a chance of making something of democracy. Washington asserts that it is involving itself more than ever in the Middle East peace process. None of these claims should be dismissed out of hand.
The greatest danger for those of us who dislike George Bush is that our instincts may tip over into a desire to see his foreign policy objectives fail. No reasonable person can oppose the president’s commitment to Islamic democracy. Most western Bushophobes are motivated not by dissent about objectives, but by a belief that the Washington neocons’ methods are crass, and more likely to escalate a confrontation between the west and Islam than to defuse it.
Such skepticism, however, should not prevent us from stepping back to reassess the progress of the Bush project, and satisfy ourselves that mere prejudice is not blinding us to the possibility that western liberals are wrong; that the Republicans’ grand strategy is getting somewhere.
It may sound perverse to suggest that we should not measure progress in Iraq solely, or even chiefly, by counting corpses. Yet most insurgent activity is the work of Sunnis, chronically alienated by dispossession from power, or jihadists committed simply to frustrate any project sponsored by the US. The key question, surely, is how far the Shia and Kurd majority is moving towards the creation of a working society. Evidence on this is mixed. Journalists are able to travel so little outside the Baghdad enclave that the world depends for information chiefly on western military and diplomatic sources. My own contacts say that the situation is improving, but remains precarious. They suggest that criminal anarchy is gradually being stemmed. The recruitment and training of Iraqi security forces is going a little better.
We must respect American power, and also acknowledge that the world sometimes has much need of it. As Sir Michael Howard, wisest of British strategic thinkers, often remarks: “If America does not do things, nobody else will.” We should acknowledge the limitations of the UN. The pitiful performance of many international peacekeeping contingents, not least in Afghanistan, highlights the feebleness of what passes for European security policy.
But you know as well as I that this kinda talk will be drowned out by the same type of people that scream “Reagan had nothing to do with bringing down that wall!”
Ok, the author is a lefty but I wouldn’t call him a moonbat based on some of his other articles but he doesn’t let us down when he starts in on the lefty mantra about the Palestinian situation. The simplistic and naive view that so many of them have in regards to the Palestinian/Israeli situation is printed for all to see. How many times have the Palestinians been given the chance to stop the war. At one point Ehud Barak offered them almost all the land they demanded. To which Prince Idiot Arafat declared an Intifada.
As the Captain put so well:
Believing that Palestinians will suddenly embrace the existence of Israel if the world treats them with respect and kindness ignores the entire decade of the 1990s, when Bill Clinton hosted Yasser Arafat more often than any other world leader in an attempt to do what Hastings suggested. It didn’t work, not because the world didn’t treat them nicely, but because they didn’t get what they wanted. When they stop wanting the elimination of Israel, then they will have peace.