THE ELEPHANT ROARED AND BROUGHT FORTH A TURD! …A Case Against Democratizing Middle East
The original vulgarity was bylined: …The Constipation of America’s Mid-East Peace Policy!
It is with some trepidation that I embark upon this discourse; for one, out of respect for elephants, but more so because within American framework of democracy I have so greatly benefited. Thus, to liken extension of America’s efforts to democratize civil administrations of Moslem states—even with caveat “considering cultural sensitivities”—to intestinal hardships of our beloved pacaderm is in itself cause for internal consternation, reflection, and a longing for interior relief.
“STUNT OMNES UNUM”
The current administration’s mascot bears some responsibility for chosen political metaphor; however, it must be duly noted, that this article could just as well be entitled: Asinus asinorum in saecula saeculorum! (Latin for: “The Jackass of Jackasses in Centuries of Centuries”, or “The Greatest Jackass in Eternity”—this, and other Latin expressions in honor of Pax Americana will be duly sprinkled throughout this missive)—giving equal honors to both dominate American political parties for their extended efforts at peace in Middle East, for: Stunt omnes unum . . . they are all one!
Indeed, by giving credit to where credit is due, we must keep in mind that commonality of purpose to secure America’s interests in Middle East and, ipso facto, West’s energy spicket, via proping up its Islamic dictatorships, or hastening democratization of region, is continuous policy of both Democratic and Republican State Departments—make no mistake about it.
The Democrats differ only in design of a better mouse trap and have no right to cast their stones of dispersion from their glass palace at failed policies of GOP—policies now garbed in democratic hyperbole.
WELCOME TO THE THEOLOGICAL CALDRUM
Peace in Middle East! Better yet: What is current administration’s Mid-East Peace Policy? Road Map to Peace? Peace Process? It is prudent, though policy makers would dearly extract this fixation from debate, theological implications—Moslem, Jewish, and Christian—from this canundrum of canundrums, and why, specifically, “Jerusalem (has become) a cup of trembling (i.e., “reeling” or “drunkeness”) to all surrounding peoples . . . a very heavy stone for all peoples . . . though all nations of earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3)?
The Biblical metaphor of “reeling” and “drunkeness” is actually physical reaction of a person who trembles after imbibing a poisonous potion. You drink of this venom, you immediately go into radical convulsions, with one destination in view: death!
Initially, so it appeared, our President’s so-called lack of a coherent Mid-East peace plan at commencement of his administration both mystified and concerned—sooner or later he too would be compelled to deal with this Middle East “tar” baby. Could you blame him—grasping this “cup of trembling” portends incessant disappointment and, worse yet, staggering political liability with purient involvement leading to—as we now bemoane—intractable conflict.
Yet, greatest “Consuming Nation” ever to countenance planet—fueled by mecurial petroleum molecule—would inevitably be sucked into this black hole whose exit strategies escape all nations.
EXTOLING OUR VIRTUES—PLAIN VANILLA
Nothing like pontificating—i.e., extolling our efforts at peace in region. This was masterfully accomplished by Council on Foreign Relations’ Aaron D. Miller at CFR’s “Transition 2005: Israel, Palestine, and Middle East Peace Process” forum in February. Dr. Miller—a former U.S. State Department official, having served six previous Secretaries of State by helping to formulate U.S. policy on Middle East and Arab-Israeli “peace process”—confirmed my original thesis regarding bi-partisan nature of our endeavors at formulating peace in Middle East; to wit:
“The three Americans that have made most compelling contribution in history of American diplomacy, and there are only three—two Republican secretaries of state, Henry Kissinger, James Baker, and one Democratic president, so it transcends party lines, Jimmy Carter—all combined those qualities, with an acute sense of knowing when to intercede. That is how to do effective American diplomacy. And if in fact we were to succeed again, that is an approach that we have to come back to. (Note: Apparently, Miller dismisses President Clinton’s endeavors.)
In any event, bi-partisan consensus was summed up by political think tank Seeds of Peace president Miller as follows:
(1)President Bush must make Middle East Peace Process a 24/7 top priority—working with a diverse team of “competent” advisors. (2)Policy must not neglect what’s happening on “ground” (i.e., realities on ground integrate with immediate policy). (3)The U.S. must remain in control of its own policy (i.e., don’t let either side, Israeli or Palestinian/Arab, dictate). (4)Beware of interim deals, but also beware of high-risk efforts to solve this problem quickly. (5)Combine empathy and trust, with toughness, to both Israelis and Arabs.
Furthermore, avoidance of black hole is useless—Miller concludes:
“If we want to supplement our war against terror, further cause of democratization, there is no other issue that would do more to enhance our credibility than pursuit of this one” (i.e., full engagement in so-called “Middle East Peace Process” involving Arabs and Israelis).
Safe, reasonable, intelligent, thoughtful—yep, just plain vanilla. But status quo of Dr. Miller’s world was about to be shaken with departure of one Collin Powell, and subsequent installation of National Security Advisor, now Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice.
“LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!”
“In this time of great decision, I have come to Cairo not to talk about past, but to look to future — a future that Egyptians can lead and define.
“Ladies and Gentlemen: In our world today, a growing number of men and women are securing their liberty . . .
“After all, America was founded by individuals who knew that all human beings -- and governments they create -- are inherently imperfect. And United States was born half free and half slave. And it was only in my lifetime that my government guaranteed right to vote for all of its people.
“Nevertheless, principles enshrined in our Constitution enable citizens of conviction to move America closer every day to ideal of democracy. Here in Middle East, that same long hopeful process of democratic change is now beginning to unfold. Millions of people are demanding freedom for themselves and democracy for their countries” (Excerpts from Sec. of State Rice’s speech at American University in Cairo, Egypt on June 20, 2005).
Naturally, Dr. Rice’s (later references) to democratic aspirations for region—addressing her audience as “ladies and gentlemen” to highlight Islamic suppression of women in general—blew Kaffiyeh off her Arab audience. Notwithstanding all cultural sensitivities to contrary . . . it is nigh impossible and absurdly ridiculous to fathom how Judeo-Christian Americana ideals and cultural backgrounds relate to Middle Eastern realities on ground (as we speak). Never mind—the President must opine: