Wednesday, July 26, 2006

More Unrealism in the Congress

A number of Congressional Democrats are angry that Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki would not directly condemn Hezbollah or call it a terrorist organization and instead retreated into generalities.

I love how members of Congress never seem to understand politics anywhere else in the world. Al-Maliki is head of a fragile governing coalition trying to walk a real tightrope. He knows the polls on the ground throughout the Arab world show widespread support for Hezbollah, and he, as an Iraqi Arab Shi'ite, isn't in the strongest position to be critical of another Arab Shi'ite movement. Keeping Iraq from moving any further into the Iranian orbit should be our first priority, and we want Maliki to look even more as if he is a U.S. stooge? It is another reminder to me about how Congress increasingly wants "the show" over substance.

It amazes me to see how many Congressmen still hold to the fantasy that a "democratic Iraq" means a pro-Israel Iraq, perhaps continuing aftershocks of the hopes expressed by Marc Grossman on the HIll several years back--and not understanding that Maliki can't deliver.

Ray Takeyh and I took a lot of heat for a piece we wrote three years ago where we said democratically elected Arab leaders would have even less leeway dealing with Israel and being accommodating of U.S. preferences and that we had to be prepared for this trade-off. Seems like that message never made it to the Hill.

Why would a democratically elected Muslim government, any where in the world, be a friend of Israel when there is an undeclared war between Judaism and Islam?

Washinston D.C.: A small island surrounded by Reality.
I don't understand how the US continues to insist that as a test of their commitment to democracy Arab leaders should recognize or deal with Israel. Those are two separate issues.

And pressure from US will only backfire. It will undercut those voices that have tried in the past to try and offer compromise solutions.
What a way to run an empire--to ask your clients to commit suicide.
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