Friday, August 11, 2006

Dont' wake me, I'm dreaming

Victor Davis Hanson and Martin Sherman attempt to rally a West that's too groggy from an overextended siesta.

Hanson pours warm water in the collective hand of the West by proposing six "surreal rules" of war. Few of us escape a place in this satirical dream world. I got the biggest kick out out of rule 5:

To fight in the Middle East, the United States and Israel must enlist China, Russia, Europe, or any nation in the Arab world to fight its wars. China has killed tens of thousands in Tibet in a ruthless war leading to occupation and annexation. Russia leveled Grozny and obliterated Chechnyans. Europeans helped to bomb Belgrade, where hundreds of civilians were lost to “collateral damage.” Egyptians gassed Yemenis; Iraqis gassed Kurds; Iraqis gassed Iranians; Syrians murdered thousands of men, women, and children in Hama; Jordanians slaughtered thousands of Palestinians. None received much lasting, if any, global condemnation. In the sick moral calculus of the world’s attention span, a terrorist who commits suicide in Guantanamo Bay always merits at least 500 dead Kurds, 1,000 Chechnyans, or 10,000 Tibetans. To win these wars, we need to outsource the job to those who can fight them with impunity.

Sherman pinpoints a stream of ice-cold water on two decades of sleepwalking Israeli elites. He aims the biggest chunk of ice on the forehead of the political elite, especially the Ehud Olmert- led government and its conduct of the current war with Hezbollah:

As the government dithered, its weakness and hesitancy began to take heavy toll on a range of vital national interests – degrading Israel's deterrent posture in the Arab world, eroding the Arab fear of the consequences of attack on Israel's civilian population centers and infrastructure; accumulating diplomatic damage via continual bombing of Lebanon which did little to quell the deluge of rockets on Israeli civilians, but much to stir up international condemnation; fomenting growing anger across the Moslem world – and hence pressure - on regimes that tacitly endorsed a swift crushing of Hizbullah; and perhaps most disturbingly, undermining the US perception of Israel's military prowess and hence of its value as an ally.

On Sherman's last point, I appreciate his concern about America, but I believe we've let Israel down as well.

5 Comments:

Blogger bubba said...

One problem: Our friends on the "Progressive" side refuse to let us fight the war with impunity.

When the greater citizenery of this nation become outraged enough, that sad fact will change.

8/12/2006  
Blogger Joe Guarino said...

I almost get the feeling that Bush is hoping to pass this problem along to the next administration. I have been unsure whether it would be his instinct to "fight the war with impunity". Certainly he has sometimes seemed to navigate the conduct of the war with one eye on political repercussions. And we have seen what happens domestically when he conducts the war on terror with even a modest level of aggressiveness.

We have not only been letting down Israel-- we have been letting down our own people. Perhaps another major attack will arouse us. The question is whether it comes within the next two years.

8/12/2006  
Blogger Glenn said...

Good to hear from you Bubba and Joe.

Bubba, it the Left believes that the 60 percent of Americans who are unhappy with Iraq agree with their views, you're right. They'll be in for a rude awakening.

Joe, even if the UN deal works out better than expected, it still doesn't change my assessment of Bush. While I trust his instincts, his performance has been too halting to label him a strong war-time president. Unless things change dramatically, national security will be the top concern of most voters in '08. Whoever stands out as a great leader should pull ahead of the pack. We've got to get away from the political leadership style of the '90s.

8/13/2006  
Blogger bubba said...

"Unless things change dramatically, national security will be the top concern of most voters in '08. Whoever stands out as a great leader should pull ahead of the pack. We've got to get away from the political leadership style of the '90s."

Guiliani.....

8/16/2006  
Blogger Glenn said...

I think Rudy would fit the bill nicely.

8/16/2006  

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