Thursday, October 30, 2003

MICHAEL TOTTEN ON TAKING RISKS: Michael Totten, liberal turned hawk, is right on one issue: liberals are mad, but it's not because we "taking down" a dictator. In fact, I think uou could say that liberals are mad at Bush for every single thing he has one in Iraq, except removing Saddam Hussein.

I remember the day, and it wasn't so long ago, that liberals like me were attacking our government for supporting dictators. Now these new "liberals," or whatever they want to call themselves, attack our government for taking down dictators.

Yep. I suppose they could plead "isolationism" as an excuse for the inconsistency. But the left has never been isolationist. Never. That's the position of the old right. The tragedy of the liberals is that a whole swath has run off the farm to join Pat Buchanan in Palookaville. And I used to say that if Buchanan were elected president I'd have to move to Canada.
We invaded Iraq, because it was perceived a "growing and grave threat." We went in because Saddam supposedly had WmD which he could deliver to terroists at any time. But when no WmD were found, when no al-Qaeda members were found anywhere under Saddam's control, when Bush's case crumbled, the hawks flip-flopped. The justifications switched almost weekly. But when all their justifications were exposed as bogus, they found a place to duck when they were looking for cover.

We never went to war to remove a vicious dictator. We never went to war to liberate an oppresed people. Even if we did go to war because Saddam was such a miserable and vicious bastard, it wouldn't be worth it. Or so says Paul Wolfowitz.
The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but... there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two... The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it.
While we're on the subject, what has America's most dastardly neocon and prime architect of the Iraq war been up to lately?
[Wolfowitz] praised past "great leaders" such as the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, King Hussein of Jordan and former Israeli leaders Shimon Perez and the assassinated Yitzhak Rabin. "The cause of peace in the Middle East will be enormously advanced if Israelis and Palestinians can demonstrate overwhelming numbers in support of compromise and in opposition to terrorism," Wolfowitz said.

He had harsh words for both sides, criticizing Israel for continuing settlements in the occupied territories and causing Palestinian suffering in those territories. He said Palestinians must stop terrorist attacks on Israel. "If the Palestinians would adopt the ways of Gandhi, I think they could, in fact, make enormous changes very, very quickly," Wolfowitz said. "I believe in the power of individuals demonstrating peacefully. The bombings and the violent response to the bombings in the last several months have certainly been a big setback, and we've got to get it back on track," Wolfowitz said. Wolfowitz also voiced support Thursday for an unofficial drive for a two-state solution to conflict in the Middle East, showing the administration's frustration with hard-line leaders on both sides.

Wolfowitz praised the petition drive by a prominent Palestinian moderate and the former head of Israel's secret service. Wolfowitz said he met last week with Israeli Adm. Ami Ayalon and Palestinian professor Sari Nusseibeh, who say they have collected 100,000 Israeli and 60,000 Palestinian signatures on their petition in just three months.

Their petition calls for Israel to withdraw to the borders it had before the 1967 war in which it captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The document calls for a demilitarized Palestinian state in those territories.

In a lecture at Georgetown University, Wolfowitz said the petition's principles "look very much like" the Bush administration's "road map" to a peaceful, two-state solution by 2005. "One of the keys to achieving peace is to somehow mobilize majorities on both sides so the extremists who oppose it can be isolated," Wolfowitz said. "As Americans, we know there are times when great changes can extend from the grass roots."
That's Jerusalem Post's "Man of the Year" for ya.


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