Thursday, August 10, 2006
Failures of Diplomacy
I am frankly surprised and disappointed with some commentary appearing today over at The Corner, courtesy of Andrew Stuttaford.
Stuttaford expresses alarm over the current impasse in
If you think the failed policies of the past led us precisely to where we are with Islamic Fascism, its rogue state sponsors, and “moderate Middle East state” Vichy Governments, then you might have a different perspective.
I think it most significant that the deadly, avowed enemies of
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind such a ceasefire, such an eventually, under any conceivable scenario, timetable, architect or participants, is a perfect return to the status quo in terms of Hezbollah capabilities for terror – and an even degraded potential for the Lebanese to defang or prevent Hezbollah from resuming their proxy terror war.
Those who suggest this is a disaster for US relations in the region are naïve, ignorant, or stupid, or feigning one or more of the above.
Remember 1979 in
Anyone who is at all familiar with the constant and unwavering stream of hate spewing from Madrassas and even “moderate” Islamic scholars for the past 30 years knows how ridiculous it would be to suggest that anything we’ve done in the past 5 years could possibly have worsened our standing in the world. Every time the Muslim world gets offended, that’s one more in an orderly succession of justifications and “causes” of one brutality or crime against humanity after another.
It’s sick, immoral, and pathological in the extreme. It’s the basis of the “blame the victim” mentality that our enemies want so very much for our ruling elites to adopt. After all, such a first step is essential to our eventual submission to Islam as dhimmi.
I don’t know if Stuttaford admires “the most talented foreign policy practitioner currently active in the Democratic party,” Richard Holbrooke, but Gregory Djerejian certainly does.
In today’s Washington Post, Holbrooke conflates
I don’t doubt for a minute that the current war between civilization and Islamic fascism provides opportunities which
The implication from “diplomatic realists” like Holbrooke is that, had
That’s the bizarro world of International Diplomacy, always ready to create pretend peace at someone else’s expense. (And if at the expense of Jews, all the better.)
Holbrooke bases his argument on an incongruous historical comparison to JFK and Khrushchev during the Cuban Missile Crisis:
This combination of combustible elements poses the greatest threat to global stability since the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, history's only nuclear superpower confrontation. The
How in keeping with the new DNC talking points, being flown aloft this month in the wake of
Just to mention some problems of historical accuracy: contemporary analysis of the Cuban Missile Crisis suggest the outcome had a lot more to do with Cuban and Soviet conflicts, mistrust, power plays and pure dumb luck than “brilliant diplomacy.”
Holbrooke places deep significance in the influence upon JFK of Barbara Tuchman’s “The Guns of August,” and quotes this centerpiece:
"The nations were caught in a trap, a trap made during the first thirty days out of battles that failed to be decisive, a trap from which there was, and has been, no exit."
Based on his premise, Holbrooke offers this assessment:
Preventing just such a trap must be the highest priority of American policy. Unfortunately, there is little public sign that the president and his top advisers recognize how close we are to a chain reaction, or that they have any larger strategy beyond tactical actions.
World War One can surely be described as a complex nesting of convoluted alliances and defensive treaties, and involving grand schemes of empire building and competition. Tuchman makes a valid assessment about the tragedy that was The Great War, and recall too that much of the world agreed that this needed to be the war to end all wars, and the last of the “world wars.”
Too bad Holbrooke didn’t reflect on the equally tragic good intentions gone foul in the aftermath of WWI, and how the most destructive seeds to germinate in the aftermath that led to the unthinkable WWII, spawned most of all through naïve and ill-considered diplomacy. Instructive too, would be the pre-WWII attempts at compromise, appeasement, and an assumed equivalence of both morality and legitimacy, even in the face of naked aggression, brutality, and oppression.
Such counter-examples are of no use to the realists. What we need most is more diplomacy, according to Holbrooke, despite the almost total absence of successes against this particular enemy and threat:
American policy has had the unintended, but entirely predictable, effect of pushing our enemies closer together. Throughout the region, Sunnis and Shiites have put aside their hatred of each other just long enough to join in shaking their fists -- or doing worse -- at the
So what else is new? It’s hard to imagine a more brutal and catastrophic “consequence” of anti-American sentiment than 9/11, which need not require the reminder, happened before we invaded
Holbrooke seems to know what’s best for the Israelis than the Israelis themselves:
Every secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Warren Christopher and Madeleine Albright negotiated with
With precious little to show for it, I’d argue. Just because you ignore a cancer and allow it to metastasize, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. And would Hobrooke seriously argue that the Bush Administration isn’t coordinating our responses and actions with the Israeli Government? If so, he’d be the first critic to suggest it. What makes him think that’s not already happening? If
There is a kind of perverse, reflexive logic in most
The problem is, this kind of thinking, this approach, the presumption of good intentions that lies at the heart of realist diplomacy, is absurd against an enemy that uses our civility against us. We saw it with North Korean duplicity on nuclear agreements, we saw it in the UN-facilitated fraud known as Oil for Food in
Once we start down the diplomatic primrose path with openly violent and avowed terrorists like Hezbollah, then surely we have fallen into the trap of our enemies making.
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