Saturday, August 12, 2006

Thinking Small

The Bush Administration thinks small and uses one tool, the computer guided bomb, when it comes to foreign policy. The new phrase trotted out by Administration officials is solving the root causes of conflict in the Middle East. This stock phrase, like other stock phrases used by the Administration, masks intentions and actions to do no such thing.

The current root cause is supposed to be the occupation of southern Lebanon by Hezbollah, a militia intent upon destroying Israel. The Bush Administration claims waging war against Hezbollah by proxy via Israel will solve the root cause. Once again, as in Iraq, we see the notion—a limited military action fueled by laser guided bombs will solve political problems—has failed. Once again, we see a so called limited military action turn into a bigger war with much collateral damage and global implications. Just as with the Invasion of Iraq, it has galvanized world opinion against the US and Israel.

Many conservative and liberal foreign policy experts agree that the current conflict is futile in attaining its objectives and could lead to more and larger military actions in the Middle East and around the globe. The US is stretched too thin to effectively win these military conflicts that can’t attain their stated political objectives in the first place. The US won’t have Israel to stand proxy in the fight.

The root cause of the current Lebanon conflict is the failure to achieve a serious negotiated peace agreement between Palestine and Israel. Given the think small nature of Bush foreign policy, the current situation was inevitable. The notion that the US was spreading democracy and freedom about the world was given the lie when many in the newly and duly elected Palestinian Parliament were rounded up and arrested.

I know what you are thinking? Lynn, you are taking sides when you said wouldn’t. Wrong. I am not choosing sides between Hezbollah and Israel. I am taking a strong and emphatic stand against the think small foreign policy of the Bush Administration.

The current situation in the Middle East is so bad I almost feel sorry for Secretary Rice. Don’t worry, she’ll have to commit a true act of atonement for me to feel sorry for her. I don’t expect that to happen in her current position.

Many conservatives claim that those who oppose the current Administration’s foreign policy have no alternatives to offer. The alternative has been there since the beginning of the Bush Administration—negotiate a meaningful peace settlement between Israel and Palestine. The Bush Administration has had other priorities though. They have been too busy thinking small.

I leave it to your imagination as to their motives for following one mistake with the same mistake. Are they really slow learners?

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