As he prepared to head out Tuesday night for a trip to Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, he said Americans should be concerned about incremental progress in the Middle East, even though a grand peace between Israelis and Palestinians continues to look distant.”
“Americans at home ought to care for the advance of free societies throughout the Middle East. After all, this is the center of anti-Americanism and hatred,” he said. “The big challenge in the 21st century is to advance freedom in the Middle East for our security."
---From an article in Politico.com about an interview with Pres. Bush by Politico.com and Yahoo News, May 14, 2008
Please read the President's quoted words above. The read them again. And again.
He captures the lunacy of the Iraq Intervention and the totally-refuted-by-reality strategic view his Administration has adopted and clung to since at least 2002:
The United States of America is going to liberate the Middle East from millennia of socio-political cretinism...whether they like it or not!
Not only is this policy hubristically presumptuous, it doesn't even address three central questions:
1. Does the USA have the capacity to accomplish this goal?
2. Do the inhabitants of the Middle East support this goal?
3. Would a democratized Middle East necessarily benefit the interests of the United States and its industrialized allies?
The quick answers: to (1) No; to (2) we don't know, but have seen no groundswell anywhere in the Middle East that its inhabitants consider democracy one of top priorities on their agenda; to (3) I don't think so. At least now we can negotiate with kings and sultans and emirs and whatever else "royalty" governs these Middle East oil producers and through whatever means persuade them to keep the Black Gold spewing our way. A democrat Saudi, for example, would have leaders ostensibly servile to the desires of the majority of their citizens---they would not rule by fiat. What if those citizens decided they wanted to reduce the rate of depletion of their only natural resource and cut production? There'd be no king to summarily overrule the public's will.
The goal for the US and its allies should be the continued flow of oil at a reasonable price. period. Invading Iraq REDUCED the flow of oil from that country.
As for terrorism threats, Al Qaeda had as much chance of establishing itself as a competing force for Iraqi rule against Saddam as Hillary does in snatching the nomination from Barack. And Saudi, Iran, Kuwait et al will do a better job of keeping Al Qaeda infestation out of their homelands than we can ever hope to do ourselves. Why? Because Saddam-like rulers are not bound by the ethics we adhere to, though, at times, even we slip.
The new presidency, be it Obama or McCain, would be committing suicide if it follows the underlying philosophy of Bush Middle East policy