Thursday, August 25, 2005

Condi Courts Armageddon

The Bush Administration is unwavering in its determination to fight Islamic fundamentalists and root them out wherever they can be found. The Bush Administration is also a tireless champion of democracy, even to the extent of damaging its own interests in the GWOT, as in the U.S.'s recent ouster from Uzbekistan.

Both, however, have one towering exception: Israel.

“It cannot be Gaza only,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the New York Times last week, meaning that the Gaza disengagement will “have” to be just the first of further withdrawals.
That has to be the "tell me I didn't just read that!" moment of 2005 (and that's saying something). That comment can only be said to have, in the classic vernacular, fallen out of Condi's mouth "like a brick."

What’s wrong with Rice’s statement? To answer that question, imagine a U.S. leader announcing: “Britain will have to deal more effectively with domestic terrorism.” Or: “France will have to contribute troops to the war effort in Iraq.” Those are both things America would want; but in the normal practice, democracies respect—at least publicly—each other’s autonomy and don’t dictate policies to each other....

The difference between Israel and other U.S. democratic allies like Britain or Japan is that Israel is much smaller, more starkly dependent on America, and has nowhere else to turn in its geopolitical isolation. In the real world, one can’t expect incomparably more powerful America to be concerned about niceties like Israeli democracy and autonomy when larger matters are at stake.

That has, indeed, been the approach—just in the more recent history, from Bush père/Baker’s “invitation” to a reluctant Yitzhak Shamir to attend the Madrid Conference, which got the ball rolling for Oslo, to Clinton’s sending U.S. spin doctors to help Ehud Barak win the 1999 Israeli election, to Bush fils’ crafting of the "Road Map" and foisting it on a less than enthused Ariel Sharon.

Sounds like a consistent, and bipartisan, level of perfidious hypocrisy that would spark massive protests, if the victim of this dishonorable two-facedness wasn't the world's most hated ethnic group.

And yet Israel has gone along - to the following disastrous results:

If we descend, then, from the lofty plane of principle, the only other thing that could—seemingly—induce some humility is the record of the Israeli accommodationist policy over the past dozen years. It hasn’t, after all, been a bang-up success. To say it has: sunk Israel into death, mayhem, and continuous warfare and the Palestinians into poverty, dictatorship, and genocidal depravity; created the paradigm of the suicide bomber that now plagues the whole world; turned the Holy Land into a safe base of operations for the PLO, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hizbullah, and (most recently) Al Qaeda; induced Israel into an ignominious “disengagement” and total destruction of settlements after four straight years of shelling to which it found no military answer—is only to get started.

Personally, I had thought this "peace process" BS dead and buried after the aforementioned Ehud Barak offered Yassir Arafat all of Gaza and 95% of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem for the Pal capital, back in September of 2000, and Arafat rejected it in favor of Intifada II. This was the final straw that brought Ariel Sharon to power, which had heretofore seemed inconceivable, and with the election of George W. Bush here, and the 9/11 attacks, the notion of a return to the undisputably discredited Oslo appeasement template appeared a non-starter. There was simply no way that Dubya would look upon the Jewish state as anything but a stalwart ally - and long-time forerunner - in both the GWOT and the democratization of the Middle East.

Guess the joke's on me. Only it's the Israelis who'll suffer the punchline (as noted by Evelyn Gordon in an important Jerusalem Post op-ed):

* cede full control of the Gaza-Egyptian border* create a “safe passage” (read: weapons conduit) between Gaza and the West Bank

* end its security inspections of goods passing between Gaza and Israel

* increase the number of Gazans (including potential terrorists) allowed to work in

* allow the Palestinian Authority to acquire large quantities of additional arms

It's no wonder that eventually the Jews will be driven to the point of having to rely upon an outside Western security guarantee - once withdrawn to the pre-1967 borders, with an armed jihadi camp on both sides of a geographical "waist" only ten miles wide, the IDF will be unable to defend what's left of its country, and its Muslim enemies will be unable to restrain themselves for going in for the kill.

Mark my words: this "peace" process is the road to Armageddon. And when that shooting starts, Jews will be far from the only people to perish.

[HT: Powerline]