Monday, July 24, 2006
Turning Points in the Middle East?
The transformationalist vision is always compelling--but the problem is that the U.S. seems to lack the will and staying power to see it through. And I still see no evidence that people here in Washington want to face the reality that democracy promotion and sustaining and deepening pro-U.S. governments don't always go hand in hand.
1- The power to undo nuclear Iran is not there; this is a moot point.
2- Israel & Hizbollah just destroyed US political position in the Levant.
3- US is hated by the Sunni Arabs.
4- There is a war between Judaism and Islam that includes Israel and the Occupied Territories.
5- Iraq is in the middle of a civil war with no end in sight; it is finished as a political process.
6- Turkey and PKK are going at it again.
7- Mubarak has passed his shelf-life.
8- Demographic bomb is ticking in the Persian Gulf states.
9- Jordan is shaky.
We do not need widening of conflicts to Iran and Syria: US cannot dictate the terms of the peace (unless she uses nuclear weapons).
We cannot try containment; that was the game in 1990s, it is over now.
What we need is tedious, persistent, and high-level engagement on all fronts at the same time.
We need to take the Syrian suggestion and work on a comprehensive framework to settle the Isla-Judaism War. This should take the first priority.
It seems to me that the President had made up his mind who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, whom to trust and whom not to trust, and whom to embrace and whom not to embrace.
Thus, it may be that there is no productive and realistic approach possible until the President leaves offic in 2008 (may be not even then).
There is no balance just jockeying for position & power.
What are US aims in the Levant?
What are US aims in the Persian Gulf?
Are they achievable?
If not, what is achievable?