I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Friday, August 18, 2006

It's not the ideology but the execution

As the Iraq war started going south Bill Kristol was one of the first to blame Donald Rumsfeld and demand his resignation. According to Bill it wasn't the neocon ideology and strategy that was wrong it was Donald Rumsfeld's execution. The brutal bomb them back to the stone age tactic recently failed once again in Lebanon. The US is weaker because of Iraq and now Israel is much weaker because of it's Lebanon debacle. From the other side of the pond Gerard Baker continues the it's the execution meme; it wasn't the strategy or the tactics but a lack of resolute leadership.
But as the world contemplates the nervous breakdown of American policy in the Middle East, it is something President George Bush should surely be asking himself, or at least his fellow Americans. How’m I doin’?

Let’s see. You invaded Iraq because you argued you would be able to bring about a peaceful, democratic society in the heart of the Arab world, a step vital to the eradication of modern terrorism. Many of us supported the project because we believed the stakes were so high that you would not stint in committing the resources necessary to achieve it.

But you tried to do it on the cheap. If many of us miscalculated the scale of the threat Iraq posed, there was no excuse for the woeful lack of preparation by your Administration for the task of pacifying the country.

The outcome? A broken nation on the verge of civil war, prey to the avarice of tyrannical regional neighbours, violently immolating itself and nurturing new generations of terrorists.
Here again we see the argument that Rumsfeld simply didn't send enough troops ignoring the fact that the social, political and religious factors in Iraq were simply not understood. It also ignores the real political reality that the troops were not available and more troops would have required a draft which would not have been politically acceptable.
Well, you supported and perhaps even encouraged Israel to invade Lebanon last month, after repeated provocations by terrorists. The aim — a good one in principle — was to crush Hezbollah, weaken its Syrian and Iranian sponsors and put Lebanon on a path to long-term, terror-free stability. But when the largely aerial campaign predictably failed and equally predictably led to the world’s media reaching their one-sided conclusion about Israel’s “aggression” , you quickly backtracked. You encouraged Israel to accept a ceasefire that amounts to the country’s most serious defeat in its 57-year history.

The result? A strengthened Hezbollah and a new Arab hero, Sheikh Hassan Nasrullah; a reprieve for the beleaguered Assad regime in Damascus and a further fillip to Iranian ambitions; a strategic setback for Israel and the condemnation of Lebanon tragically to replay the turmoil of the 1980s.
Well I'll give Mr Baker credit here for recognizing that the bombing campaign was destined to fail. Perhaps he's really not a neocon after all. What he does seem to ignore here though is that the strength of Hezbollah was drastically underestimated. An initial large ground assault would have resulted in massive Israeli casualties. Keep in mind they had 24 deaths in one day. That would be equivalent to the Americans losing about 1500 troops in Iraq in a single day.

So why it's good to see the neocons attacking the Cheney/Bush cabal the fact remains they are attacking it for the wrong reasons. The neocons thought they got what they wanted when Bush/Cheney were elected. They supported them until it became all of their adventures were failing and then attacked the execution - not the ideology.

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