Thursday, August 3, 2006

Future History: A Glimpse of What U.S. Lebanon Policy Could Spawn

"It is very likely that the world will look back at the summer of 2006 as a seminal moment in Middle East history.
We may well be seeing, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says, “the birth pangs of a new Middle East.” But it is also quite possible a monster will be born.

The last time a U.S. administration tried to isolate and marginalize Syria and Iran, the result was the birth of Hezbollah, the dawn of suicide bombing and the humbling of a superpower. Now, America is at it again.
“Folly,” wrote historian Barbara Tuchman, is “the pursuit of policy contrary to self-interest.”
The Bush administration set out to redraw the map of the Middle East. Instead, it has set it on fire. Three weeks ago, Hezbollah was a militia/political party engaged in a domestic struggle to survive on the new Lebanese political landscape reshaped by the withdrawal of Syria’s forces. Today, it is the inspiration for a generation. Meanwhile, Iraq is becoming the new Afghanistan.
This is, President Bush tells us, “a moment of opportunity.” The question history will decide is, for whom? "

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