Monday, March 28, 2005

They Haven't Sold Their Whole Agenda... Yet

I don't have time to post a lot this evening, but I thought this was worthy of mention: the fact that the "not an inch" crowd has started criticizing the Bush administration recently, and Condi Rice specifically. See this article by Rachel Neuwirth and this editorial in the The New York Sun. While I'm certainly not a fan of the Bush administration in any respect, I think it's important to note that there are still policy debates. The neocons have never sold their entire agenda to President Bush -- their intent is to sell it piece-by-piece. So, you have the odd situation of President Bush talking about getting back to the 'Roadmap', and trying to get Congress to give financial aid to help Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) strengthen the Palestinian Authority, while you have AIPAC, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), and the neocons inside and outside the administration trying to run interference and prevent these things.

Now don't get me wrong, again, I detest George W. Bush, and I think he's not the sharpest tool in the shed to begin with, which is why he likes to simplify complicated issues down to a comic book "good and evil" level -- but it is important to note that the neocons haven't gotten him to "buy in" to their entire agenda.

The other thing that's interesting about the Rachel Neuwirth article is her reference to Israel's "huge contributiuon to our security over the decades." Huh? Hasn't she thought at all about the whole issue of "why do the Arabs hate us?" Even during the Cold War, the "unsinkable aircraft carrier" nonsense ignored the fact that the Arab world, due to its Islamic character (and hence disdain for Soviet ideology), would have been naturally quite resistant to Soviet subversion/influence absent the Arab-Israeli conflict? For the record, I do think the U.S. should support Israel's security, but we should also support our own by pushing hard for a just two-state solution which would remove the ugly pictures most Arabs see from the West Bank every night on al-Jazeera. The feedback loop by which the Arab-Israeli conflict turns into Arab hatred for America is something frighteningly few Americans understand -- we need to fix that.


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