What happens now?
Well, what I quoted Brent Scrowcroft saying in the podcast from FP comes to mind:
How can this go on? It's untenable. When Bush says the Lebanese people deserve to have free and fair elections in Lebanon, while at the same time occupying Baghdad...you cannot help but see how it smacks of hypocrisy. How free and fair was the election in Iraq? So, sure, he's correct to say that Lebanese should have free and fair elections. But so should Iraqis.
Those who know the president well suggest that George W. Bush’s decisiveness might be attributed, in part, to a higher power. Scowcroft was quoted late last year as saying, “It’s possible that the transformation came with 9/11, and the current president, who is a very religious person, thought that there was something unique if not divine about a catastrophe like 9/11 happening when he was president. That somehow that was meant to be, and his mission is to deal with the war on terrorism.” But, as Scowcroft also notes, the problem with absolutist beliefs “is that they can get you into traps in which the ends justify the means. It can be dangerous to believe that one’s motives are so noble that therefore anything we do becomes okay because we are doing it for a good cause.” The paradoxical implication is clear: From undercutting traditional relationships with allies to Abu Ghraib, the less moral ambiguity you have in your worldview, the more of it you can justify in your actions.
Another problem with this approach, according to Scowcroft, comes from the fact that “if you believe you are pursuing absolute good then it is a sin to depart from it.” Which means that absolutism either creates dangerous policy handcuffs or, alternatively, it leaves the United States open to charges of hypocrisy. “For example,” Scowcroft observes, “we advocate the export of democracy and yet we find ourselves embracing a number of leaders who are anything but democratic in order to advance other policies or even the spread of democracy elsewhere. You can not argue for absolutes and then practice pragmatism without opening yourself up to criticism.”
So, America, GET OUT OF IRAQ NOW.
And, Syria, GET OUT OF LEBANON NOW.
It should be done soon, but in a retracted fashion. Both America and Syria, leave your occupations behind. Make a plan. Then leave. I want a timetable from Syria and America to withdraw their forces from Lebanon and Iraq respectively.
Excuse my idealism.
As far as Hizb'allah goes...well, I'm afraid the popularity of Hizb'allah is a consequence of the misguided foreign policy America has been using in the past half-century (and more) in the Arab world. Yes, I'm blaming American foreign policy for the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. And when evangelicals in the US are doing things like allowing for such disgusting displays of nationalism in the sanctuary of a holy place (I mean, they couldn't even leave the weapons behind?) -- like what we saw in the Baptist Church in Kentucky -- then a compounded hypocrisy prevails.
Religion and Politics should be separate. American foreign policy has got to change if there is to be any hope for a safe future and the preservation of liberty and freedom. Terrorism feeds terrorism. Until we realize there is such a thing as state terrorism, then we're only fooling ourselves. And when you fool yourself, you're only hurting yourself.
I am for a free Lebanon. I am for a free Iraq. I am for a free America.
Again, pardon my idealism.
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