Cutting through the bullshit.

Friday, 8 June 2007

The looming threat

Peter W. Rodman is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and until recently was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. William Shawcross is the author of “Allies: Why the West Had to Remove Saddam” and many other books.

‘Many years ago,’ they write in their joint op-ed in today’s NY Times,

the two of us clashed sharply over the wisdom and morality of American policy in Indochina, especially in Cambodia… Decades later, we have not changed our views. But we agreed even then that the outcome in Indochina was indeed disastrous, both in human and geopolitical terms, for the United States and the region. Today we agree equally strongly that the consequences of defeat in Iraq would be even more serious and lasting.

After detailing their view of the unfortunate outcomes of the US defeat in Vietnam, they conclude,

American defeat in Iraq would embolden the extremists in the Muslim world, demoralize and perhaps destabilize many moderate friendly governments, and accelerate the radicalization of every conflict in the Middle East.

It never ceases to amaze me the way these ‘intellectuals’ think that they deploy a ‘friendly’ word like ‘moderate’ and suck in all the regular punters. As if we didn’t know just what kind of moderate governments they prefer remain stable. The ones whose moderation is evidenced by hacking off people’s limbs as a punishment and taking a strong stance against women’s suffrage, or even driving.

The ones they endeavour to demonise as ‘extremists’ include, but may not be limited to, those who espouse such extreme political views as trade union rights for Egyptians, an end to the US occupation of Iraq, or the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, or even making ‘the only democracy in the Middle East’ a state of all its citizens – ‘or what the rest of us would call a liberal democracy’ as Jonathan Cook puts it.

Our conduct in Iraq is a crucial test of our credibility, especially with regard to the looming threat from revolutionary Iran. Our Arab and Israeli friends view Iraq in that wider context. They worry about our domestic debate, which had such a devastating impact on the outcome of the Vietnam War, and they want reassurance.

That would be the looming threat of Iran developing nuclear power and selling more oil to America’s looming economic rival in China, in Euros. And obviously, ‘we’ mustn’t do anything to worry ‘our Arab and Israeli friends’, the hand choppers and beach shellers.

The United States cannot be strong against Iran — or anywhere — if we accept defeat in Iraq.

Well…good, and not a moment too soon! American credibility has not benefited the people or the planet. The only concern is the release of greenhouse gases as billions issue a collective sigh of relief.

1 comment:

  1. well put. i was retching when i read this at work yesterday.