Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday Morning Kristolism.

In our return to regularly scheduled programming, I recommend you go read today's column from Bill Kristol. 

Personally, I can't blog about Israel/Gaza.  There are too many things I don't know and too many people I don't want to offend by broadcasting my ill-informed half-baked opinion.  I also almost wrote that besides, it is none of my fucking business .. but seeing that my tax dollars are indirectly funding this war, that's not quite true, but I will let that go.

That mechanism, however, doesn't prevent Mr. Kristol from voicing his opinion.  Consider this: 
But Israel — assuming it succeeds — is doing the United States a favor by taking on Hamas now.
The huge challenge for the Obama administration is going to be Iran. If Israel had yielded to Hamas and refrained from using force to stop terror attacks, it would have been a victory for Iran. If Israel were now to withdraw under pressure without accomplishing the objectives of severely weakening Hamas and preventing the reconstitution of a terror-exporting state in Gaza, it would be a triumph for Iran. In either case, the Iranian regime would be emboldened, and less susceptible to the pressure from the Obama administration to stop its nuclear program.

But a defeat of Hamas in Gaza — following on the heels of our success in Iraq — would be a real setback for Iran. It would make it easier to assemble regional and international coalitions to pressure Iran. It might positively affect the Iranian elections in June. It might make the Iranian regime more amenable to dealing.

With respect to Iran, Obama may well face — as the Israeli government did with Hamas — a moment when the use of force seems to be the only responsible option. But Israel’s willingness to fight makes it more possible that the United States may not have to.
Even though he's no expert on the Middle East or anything remotely close to it, he has some pretty strong views about the current conflict.  I want to envy him his certainty; however, I suspect that in this case certainty is almost surely a sign of ignorance.  

Finally, just one more thing from the column:
An Israeli success in Gaza would be a victory in the war on terror — and in the broader struggle for the future of the Middle East. Hamas is only one manifestation of the rise, over the past few decades, of a terror-friendly and almost death-cult-like form of Islamic extremism. 
A manifestation.  So basically, we are treating a symptom..  Am I the only one who sees something wrong with this logic?

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