Monday, July 24, 2006

Superpower not so powerful










It's interesting that many members of the Reality Based Community (RBC) who have challenged the notion that the United States can "democratize" Iraq and "remake" the Middle East are so, so confident that the United States -- if only it wanted -- could end the current Mideast crisis as well as make peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Well, I remain very skeptical about that and have concluded that in many ways what we are seeing now in the beginning of a process in which the U.S. is beginning to lose its ability to take the lead in global affairs. I don't know how long it will all take. Recall that in the early 1950's pundits were still referring to Britain and France as major world powers. It took several crises, including the 1956 Suez War to demonstrate that that was not the case. So I think that like The Continental character in SNL played by Christopher Walken -- a once-upon-a-time "player" who thinks that at his old age he can still seduce the babes, Condi Rice is travelling around the world and operating under the assumption that the U.S. can still force its will on the world. And notwithstanding their criticism of the neocons, many foreign policy types in Washington share that assumption and are fantasizing about "shuttle diplomacy" in the Middle East, Camp David Peace Summits, etc. etc. It's over guys! Get a life.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Condi will intimidate everyone in the Middle East with her intellectual credentials. Are they aware of her PhD? That she speaks Russian? That she buys expensive shoes?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn 't Condi demand that the Israelis and the Hezbollah meet her for a summit at the Ferragamo show factory in Italy?

Hezbollah will object to decadent quality of the venue - and this will allow Israel a bigger kill window.

Daniel Larison said...

Condi's calls for multinational forces in Lebanon do sound nearly as desperate as the Continental's entreaties. She can't even offer Hizbullah any champagne.

Anonymous said...

Leon - The reason many conservatives supported Bush was because they saw Bush the way Hedley Lamar saw Mongo in Blazing Saddles - pushing the villigers of Rock Ridge against the wall with the piano.

The saw the saw the terrorists the way Lamar and "The Gov" saw the recalcitrant villagers .

Anonymous said...

What do you think of this analysis of Condi and events that is proffered by the UK's Melanie Phillips?

She's a very forceful writer who presents a POV that is sort of like the exact opposite of what is conveyed by the paleocons and libertarian.

---
"The ceasefire being demanded by moral cretins in Britain and Europe is the starting gun for the second Jewish Holocaust.

For years America has looked the other way from Iran and Hezbollah, despite the attacks carried out by Hezbollah against American interests over recent years. Now we read that President Bush sees a wider opportunity in Israel’s desperate war of self-defence.

According to Secretary of State Condi Rice, the war in Lebanon is an opportunity to create a new Middle East (again) by eradicating terrorism. What that means is that Israel is to be used to eradicate it.

Israel is to do America’s dirty work for it — the work from which America has flinched in the past and continues to flinch, in failing to address the real terrorist godfathers of Syria and above all Iran. So Israel’s sons are being sent to die so that America can restructure the Middle East by remote control, without committing any of its own to this terrible fight ...

....

Such a proxy war by the US is not only distasteful and cowardly. It may well not succeed ... the root problem of Iran (and Syria) would still remain. Israeli intelligence reports that the Hezbollah has a well-established global presence, and that Iran will unleash a terror war against Jewish targets around the world. Iran steadily moves towards gaining a nuclear capability. And the only country that can deal with Iran once and for all is America.

Peace will not come to Israel and the world unless and until there is regime change in Iran."

In Britain, rampant anti-Americanism and hatred of Israel prevent many from understanding just what is at stake in the Lebanon crisis.