November 30, 2008

Failed policies that caused war re-packaged as..."a radically different strategy"

This piece by Walter Mearsheimer is just everything I hate...

The United States is in deep trouble in the Middle East. Despite Barack Obama's promises to withdraw from Iraq, the debacle there shows no sign of ending soon. [Actually things seem to be working out rather well. In fact we've clearly won.] Hamas rules in Gaza; [So? How is this more trouble than Palestinian terrorism has always been?] Iran is quickly moving to acquire a nuclear deterrent. [If they only wanted to deter, they wouldn't be a problem.] We need a radically different strategy for the region. [Wait for it, folks, he's gonna propose something we've never heard before...]

Fortunately, there is a strategy that has proved effective in the past and could serve again today: "offshore balancing." It's less ambitious than President Bush's grand plan to spread democracy throughout the Middle East, but it would be much better at protecting actual U.S. interests. The United States would station its military forces outside the region. And "balancing" would mean we'd rely on regional powers like Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to check each other. [I get it. You're consulting Richard Nixon via Ouija Board! So how's our partnership with the Shah workin' out?] Washington would remain diplomatically engaged, and when necessary would assist the weaker side in a conflict. [Like the Iran-Iraq War, right?] It would also use its air and naval power to respond quickly to unexpected threats. But--and this is the key point--America would put boots on the ground only if the local balance of power seriously broke down and one country threatened to dominate the others. [So if Iran gets its nukes, then we should invade? Is that what you're saying?]

This approach might strike some as cynical. It would do little to foster democracy or promote human rights. But Bush couldn't deliver on those promises anyway, [Iraqis are voting, and traveling, and criticizing their government, and not being tortured to death by a mad tyrant. Same for Afghanistan. Sounds like Bush delivers pretty well.] and it is ultimately up to individual countries to determine their own political systems. [How about this: The PEOPLE of those countries determine their own political systems.] It is hardly cynical to base U.S. strategy on a realistic appraisal of American interests and a clear-eyed sense of what U.S. power can and cannot accomplish. [It is purely cynical and evil. I spit on your nihilism with the utmost contempt.]

Offshore balancing is nothing new: the United States pursued such a strategy in the Middle East quite successfully during much of the Cold War. ["Successful" if you are cynical and don't care what happens to worthless brown-skinned people.] America helped Iraq contain revolutionary Iran in the 1980s. [A million HUMAN BEINGS perished that war, but hey, why should we care about some rag-heads?] Then, when Iraq's conquest of Kuwait in 1990 threatened to tilt things in Baghdad's favor, the United States assembled a multinational coalition to smash Saddam Hussein's military machine. [And you "realists" managed to keep Saddam in power when we might easily have removed him. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died as a result. That's your "realistic appraisal of American interests?" The blood of the Shi'ites is dripping from your hands.]

The strategy has three particular virtues. First, it would significantly reduce the chances that we would get involved in another bloody and costly war like Iraq. America doesn't need to control the Middle East with its own forces; it merely needs to ensure that no other country does. [Canard. We are not trying to control the ME with our forces. Iraq is shaping up to, with a bit of luck, be a democratic terrorist-hating nation with a powerful military that will tend to stabilize its own neighborhood.]

Second, offshore balancing would ameliorate America's terrorism problem. Foreign occupiers generate fierce resentment. Keeping America's military forces out of sight would minimize the anger created by having them stationed on Arab soil. [The same old BS--They are only terrorists because WE are horrid. Oh, and Jews of course--they should do some "offshore balancing" into the Mediterranean.]

Third, offshore balancing would reduce fears in Iran and Syria that the United States aims to attack them and remove their regimes--a key reason these states are currently seeking weapons of mass destruction. Persuading Tehran to abandon its nuclear program will require Washington to address Iran's legitimate security concerns and to refrain from overt threats. [To Jew-haters, Iran and Syria always have "legitimate security concerns." Guess who they have the "legitimate" right to target?]

A final, compelling reason to adopt this approach is that nothing else has worked. [Including this approach.] After the Gulf war, the Clinton administration pursued a "dual containment" strategy: instead of using Iraq and Iran to check each other, the United States began trying to contain both. As a result, both came to view the United States as a bitter enemy. The policy also required the United States to deploy large numbers of troops in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, which helped persuade Osama bin Laden to declare war on America. [He has said openly he dared to attack us because we have RUN AWAY from fights in places like Somalia, and are afraid to take casualties. It's Mearsheimer-ism that's got us into this war.]

Offshore balancing wouldn't eliminate all the problems we face in the Middle East. But it would be considerably less expensive in both human and financial terms. It's not a foolproof strategy, but it's probably as close as we can get.

[Think of it this way. There are neighborhoods in any big city that are dangerous places. Let's have the cops practice "offshore balancing," so crooks will no longer be angry at the "occupying" forces, and we can save a lot of expense. We'll just "balance" the criminal gangs, encouraging them to fight each other! It's foolish to worry about the PEOPLE in those neighborhoods; if they had any value they would already have moved to where the better sort live.]

Mearsheimer is a professor of political science at the University of Chicago and coauthor of“The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." [The old blood libel was that Jews are secretly controlling the world like puppet-masters. The new one is that ISRAEL is secretly pulling the strings. I say they are both the same toxic brew.]

Note: PowerLine Blog has exhaustively covered the grotesque anti-Semitism of the authors of “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy." See this search. (Of course the PowerLine guys are important and respectable, and never call anyone "anti-Semitic. Just anti-Israel. [Here's an example.] I'm a nobody, and don't have to be so mealy-mouthed.)

Posted by John Weidner at November 30, 2008 8:23 AM
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