Friday, July 21, 2006

Responding to Buchanan

What is there to be said about his latest comments?

Time to fisk... and without remorse.

Pat says:
On American TV, former Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the ruination of Lebanon is Hezbollah's doing. But is it Hezbollah that is using U.S.-built F-16s, with precision-guided bombs and 155-mm artillery pieces to wreak death and devastation on Lebanon?

No, Israel is doing this, with the blessing and without a peep of protest from President Bush. And we wonder why they hate us.

Why did they need F-16s, precision-guided bombs, and 155s in the firstplace, Pat? Could the maps in the Palestinian Authority be a reason? Sounds real neighborly, doesn't it?

Or maybe it's the calls for genocide from Hamas, along with attempts by various Arab countries to carry it out in 1948, 1967, and 1973.
"Today, we are all Israelis!" brayed Ken Mehlman of the Republican National Committee to a gathering of Christians United for Israel.

One wonders if these Christians care about what is happening to our Christian brethren in Lebanon and Gaza, who have had all power cut off by Israeli airstrikes, an outlawed form of collective punishment, that has left them with no sanitation, rotting food, impure water and days without light or electricity in the horrible heat of July.

Oh, and somehow, walking into a pizza parlor while wearing semtex is more acceptable? Or kidnapping people? Or blindly firing rockets into cities? Or the use of civilians as shields?
When summer power outrages occur in America, it means a rising rate of death among our sick and elderly, and women and infants. One can only imagine what a hell it must be today in Gaza City and Beirut.

But all this carnage and destruction has only piqued the blood lust of the hairy-chested warriors at the Weekly Standard. In a signed editorial, "It's Our War," William Kristol calls for America to play her rightful role in this war by "countering this act of aggression by Iran with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait?"

Ah, yes, the first cries of "blood lust" by Buchanan aimed against the neocons.

"Why wait?" Well, one reason is that the United States has not been attacked. A second is a small thing called the Constitution. Where does George W. Bush get the authority to launch a war on Iran? When did Congress declare war or authorize a war on Iran?

Answer: It never did. But these neoconservatives care no more about the Constitution than they cared about the truth when they lied into war in Iraq.
First of all, if we wait for Iran to attack, then options that involve restraint (even at the relative level of retstraint in war) may very well be eliminated.

Second, Buchanan trots out the BushLied meme commonly seen on the left. He must not have been paying attention to the news about discovery of 500 shells loaded with chemical weapons, nor the many documents showing Saddam was up to no good. Also, the precise point of taking out Saddam was to do so now, before he handed off weapons of mass destruction to terrorists who would use them.

Third, the same approach is equally applicable to Iran, which has been proven to have provided Hezbollah with C-802 anti-ship missiles. Saddam Hussein only wrote the families of murder-suicide bombers checks for $25,000.

Fourth, in the case of Gaza, the Palestinians elected Hamas. Their votes have made that terrorist group the government of the Palestinian authority. Are they really that innocent in the matter of a kidnapped soldeir, having made the organization responsible their government?
"Why wait?" How about thinking of the fate of those 25,000 Americans in Lebanon if we launch an unprovoked war on Iran. How many would wind up dead or hostages of Hezbollah if Iran gave the order to retaliate for the slaughter of their citizens by U.S. bombs? What would happen to the 130,000 U.S. troops in Iraq, if Shiites and Iranian "volunteers" joined forces to exact revenge on our soldiers?

What about America? Richard Armitage, who did four tours in Nam and knows a bit about war, says that, in its ability to attack Western targets, al-Qaida is the B Team, Hezbollah the A Team. If Bush bombs Iran, what prevents Hezbollah from launching retaliatory attacks inside the United States?

We are evacuatingthe Americans now. And as for preventing Hezbollah from launching attacks, that would be the job of our intelligence community - if the leaks by the New York Times have not crippled it to the point of paralysis.

In any case, by going after Hezbollah's safe havens in Lebanon, the Israelis will seriously degrade their ability to train new operatives.
None of this is written in defense of Hamas, Hezbollah or Iran.

Pat says this, but we look at the track record, and have to conclude differently. Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran are the good guys in Pat's vision. America and Israel are the villains.
But none of them has attacked our country, nor has Syria, whom Bush I made an ally in the Gulf War and to whom the most decorated soldier in Israeli history, Ehud Barak, offered 99 percent of the Golan Heights. If Nixon, Bush I and Clinton could deal with Hafez al-Assad, a tougher customer than son Bashar, what is the matter with George W. Bush?

The last superpower is impotent in this war because we have allowed Israel to dictate to whom we may and may not talk. Thus, Bush winds up cussing in frustration in St. Petersburg that somebody should tell the Syrians to stop it. Why not pick up the phone, Mr. President?

Perhaps he recognizes the thugs for who they are and prefers not to give them any courtesy which they have not deserved. In any case, I do think he should pick up the phone... and give Syria an ultimatum. If any Americans are killed in Hezbollah rocket attacks, or if Hezbollah takes one American hostage, it will be viewed as an act of war by Syria.
What is Kristol's moral and legal ground for a war on Iran? It is the "Iranian act of aggression" against Israel and that Iran is on the road to nuclear weapons – and we can't have that.

But there is no evidence Iran has any tighter control over Hezbollah than we have over Israel, whose response to the capture of two soldiers had all the spontaneity of the Schlieffen Plan. And, again, Hezbollah attacked Israel, not us. And there is no solid proof Iran is in violation of the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which it has signed, but Israel refuses to sign.

If Iran's nuclear program justifies war, why cannot the neocons make that case in the constitutional way, instead of prodding Bush to launch a Pearl Harbor attack? Do they fear they have no credibility left after pushing Bush into this bloody quagmire in Iraq that has cost almost 2,600 dead and 18,000 wounded Americans?

Kristol has explained he reasoning in his editorials. You just don't agree with it. At least you acknowledge Hezbollah attacked Israel, but you fail to note that Hezbollah has been declared a terrorist organization by the State Department. Thus, is it not in American interests to aid Hezbollah's sworn enemy?
No, Kenny boy, we are not "all Israelis." Some of us still think of ourselves as Americans, first, last and always

I think of myself as an American first... and I fail to see how appeasing terrorists - and regimes that support them is good for American interests. I am an American who has learned the lessons of Munich with regards to appeasing evil. I am an American who does not feel it is a good idea to trust this nation's security to the good will of a Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a Hassan Nasrallah, or a Saddam Hussein.

Thankfully, Republicans think the same way.

And, no, Mr. Kristol, this is not "our war." It's your war.

If we wait for this war to reach American shores, the costs will be higher and the victory harder, than it will be if we act now. Would stopping Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Kim Jong-Il, and Nasrallah only become beneficial to American security after we are attacked? I think we all know the answer to that question.

The failure of paleo-conservatism is shown with this head-in-the-sand approach to the threat posed by a number of these terrorist groups and the regimes that sponsor them. If we wait for the Iranian nuclear threat to reach our cities, then the inevitable result will be the nuclear destruction of Iran. I'll say again, if we wait for the Iranian nuclear threat to bite the United States of America, then the inevitable result will be the nuclear destruction of Iran.

The sane alternative is to act now, and to ignore the rantings of paleo-conservatives like Buchanan who seem to have far more in common with the far left than the sane center-right.

1 comment:

Ken Prescott said...

Pat Buchanan also ignores the fact that Hizbollah has committed multiple acts of war against the United States--acts that killed 243 of my brother Marines.

Then again, maybe Pat doesn't think those Marines were real Americans--after all, some of them had names like "Luis Nava" and "Juan Rodriguez."