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« Hezbollah and Arab Democracy | Main | Stockholm Syndrome »

Howard Dean Is Right

If the Democrats were in power, we might not be seeing an effective Israeli defanging of Iran's Catspaws-on-the-Med. We'd be seeing much more lethal displays by those catspaws five years from now. They had their chance with these exact players ten years ago.

The Center for Security Policy, at the time:

Rarely has there been a more brazen display of contempt for the President of the United States and his Secretary of State than has been evident over the past few days in Damascus: Hafez Assad kept Warren Christopher waiting for two hours on Tuesday while the Syrian despot met with his old KGB contact, Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Then Assad declined to meet with Mr. Christopher at all when the Secretary of State returned to Syria on the following day.

While the Syrian did deign to see the United States' top diplomat today, the message conveyed by his earlier conduct was unmistakable: The Clinton-Christopher team's pandering to a ruthless thug -- evident in the twenty pilgrimages Secretary Christopher has made to Damascus since taking over the State Department -- has only served to embolden Assad. Worse yet, if recent experience is any guide, Assad's behavior will likely be met with unjustifiable concessions on the part of the U.S. and its friends (in this case, Israel).


Meanwhile, events in Lebanon over the past fortnight have amply demonstrated the folly of the so-called Middle East "peace process" in which Messrs. Clinton and Christopher -- among many others -- have massively overinvested. Syria's direct complicity in the lethal operations of Hezbollah terrorists, a complicity made manifest by the U.S. shuttle diplomacy to Damascus, proves the error of relying upon one group of Arabs unreconciled to Israel's existence to curb another group. The denunciations of actions taken by Israel in self-defense that have been heard throughout the Arab world also serve to reinforce fears that there has been no real change in the attitudes of those considered to be the Jewish State's erstwhile enemies.

If Secretary Christopher does ultimately broker a cease-fire between Syria and Israel temporarily suspending Hezbollah's terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians, its impermanence will be a further reminder of the wisdom of America's traditional support for a free and independent Lebanon. As long as Syria calls the shots (literally) in Lebanon, Hezbollah will be able to resume hostilities at will. As long as Israel believes it can safely "contract-out" its security interests in Lebanon to Hafez Assad, its northern communities will know no peace.

The WSJ is reporting that when Condi Rice goes to the region, it will be to isolate the bad actors, not to put them on life-support. Let's hope she keeps the jet keys in the ignition.


Excellent post, this is the sort of thing that I wish the mainstream media would do from time to time. Hillary Clinton made similar comments and added a plea to "return to what worked in the past" as if her husband's record in the middle east was anything but abject failure.

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