On Larry King last night Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice cast blame for the current problems in the Middle East on administrations the past 60 years.
I have to say that what has been a failure in Middle East policy is the last 60 years, in which we decided that we would try and trade democracy for stability and we got neither.And that policy produced the circumstances in which al Qaeda came into being, not just threatening our interests but literally threatening the homeland and so now we are on a difference course in the Middle East and it is a course that because it is different, because it insists on major change in the Middle East, is going to produce some turbulence. That's the nature of large-scale change.
Here’s my problem with this logic. Violent Islamic fundamentalist groups are the problem in the Middle East. Al Qaeda is estimated to have tens of thousands of followers worldwide. Sec. Rice cites Hezbollah as a terrorist group not for its political wing, but for its military capabilities, estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 fighters. What produces these relatively small groups of people intent on accomplishing their aims by violent means?
Why is large scale military intervention the method to drive widespread change? In Iraq, no Al Qaeda’s existed until democracy opened the door for them. In Lebanon the Israeli military is pummeling a country of 4.4 million to disable 5,000 guerillas. Why punish most of the citizens for the sins of 0.1% of the population?
The massive human suffering combined with over $2 billion in economic damage will do what to reduce the threat of Al Qaeda’s? What impact will it have on their future recruitment efforts? What impact will it have on peace in the region? The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has offered to send 10,000 warriors to defend Lebanon.
It is hard to believe that large scale conflict with its high human toll and economic devastation will result in a healthy rebirth. The traumatized infant will likely be physically and emotionally unhealthy. Why would anyone expect anything different as the parents are that way?
What kind of administration, in power for 6 years, would blame leaders from the past 6 decades for their abject policy failures? Not a healthy one.