Monday, January 15, 2007

Peace In Our Time...Again?

It seems a mathematical certainty that intellectuals on the Left not only don't pay attention to the lessons of history, they seek to actively flaunt them at every turn. So goes Robert Rotberg's editorial in the Boston Globe yesterday. He initiates his piece with a bevy of choices for U.S. policy makers.

Only by accepting Iranian hegemonic pretensions, odious as they are, can the United States extricate itself somewhat honorably from Iraq.

I scarcely know where to start, there are so many options. This op-ed could just as easily have been written by Neville Chamberlain with Germany substituted for Iran. It is no secret that the Persians have wanted to regain political, economic and military dominance in the Gulf. They've been smarting over that ever since the armies of Mohammed rolled over them and forced them to convert to Islam. Arabs have dominated the region ever since. You can imagine what a blow to cultural pride all this has been. The Persians were masters of the region in one form or another for thousands of years before the arrival of Mohammed. To be in the subordinate position for so long has to have been distasteful.

This historical need, combined with the modern fusing of radical Islam with traditional Marxism by Khomeini back in the 70's has created a dangerous force in the region and one of the principle sponsors of world terror against the West. This doesn't stop Rotberg from wanting to cozy up with them, though.

If Iran, accused of funding and fomenting the Shi'ite militias, could dampen its enthusiasm for mayhem, so Saudi Arabia and the other Sunni powers could be prevailed upon to assist in reducing the Iraqi Sunni militancy. Any reduction in sectarian clashes should enable US and Iraqi forces to focus on the less dangerous Al Qaeda-related insurgency that now runs beneath the growing sectarian violence. Then we could slowly reduce US troop levels and leave. No "surge" would be required or desirable.

How this 'convincing' of Iran to do these things would be orchestrated, Rotberg obviously has no idea. You have a government in Iran that advocates the destruction of Israel and the United States. Is that what Rotberg is proposing to get Iran to come from the table? This is no run of the mill political pundit, by the way. This is the director of Program on Intrastate Conflict at the Kennedy School of Government. His leftist credentials (president of the World Peace Foundation) get mentioned also, but I mention his scholarly credentials for one reason. This is the prototypical example of a Leftist college professor in a position of extreme authority using that position to further his agenda, that we should treat with tyrants so that we may have some imagined peace.

How we do it is not his problem. Cookies and milk or the annhilation of entire nations may be required, but if it humiliates the U.S. and props up a world nightmare, then so be it! At least the ivory tower will have been listened to and thus we will all lead happier lives. I wonder if he has a book deal coming up.

No matter. The amusing thing about this editorial is that it shows a distilled version of the American Left in their natural habitat, that of assuming that the United States is the problem with the rest of the world, and that if we just would flagellate and humble ourselves before the world, the rest of the planet would play nice and live in peace and harmony.

It ignores the reality that the world is a dark and nasty place where most countries would rather rip out the throats of every last citizen of their neighbor country than ever tolerate their existence. It ignores that there are dangerous men with dangerous agendas and the money and weapons to back them up, with only the thin red line of governments like the U.S. who will stand up to them and thwart those agendas. Yet people like Rotberg demonize us and lionize the oppressors of the world. This editorial in the Globe should serve as a reminder of what we strive not to become, a nation of quislings, like Mr. Rotberg and his ilk would have us be.


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