Sunday, January 04, 2009

Andrew Sullivan's neat and tidy world

Andrew Sullivan once supported the Iraq War, but went wobbly when he realized that war is a messy business of uncertainty that is won by the side that wants to win the most. Ever since then he's been in search of some neat, clean, "strategic" way of making foreign policy omelets without cracking any eggs or taking any risks. Now he is turning his wobbly sensibility on the Israelis and their ground invasion of Gaza:
I don't see how Israel "wins" in Gaza any more than I can see how the US can "win" in Iraq. Maybe this current leap into the asymmetric abyss is a necessary proof before neoconservatism really does commit suicide. The danger is: the neocons may take Israel down with them.

The only thing that will take Israel down is the perception in the Muslim world that Israel will no longer defend itself with whatever force is necessary. Hamas cannot be negotiated with, it must be destroyed, period. Gaza is not a very big place, there aren't that many places to hide. I don't see this being a very protracted affair. Round up or kill as much of the leadership as they can, find their underground hideouts and weapons stashes and destroy them. Then leave.

The Arab governments are making showy denunciations of Israel for local consumption, but secretly they want Israel to destroy Hamas.

Hamas may or may not be totally eradicated. It may grow again, or a new organization may take its place. But its cause will be set back. Israel will have re-asserted to the world that it will not allow its citizens to be attacked. That matters much more than "strategy". Israel's strategy is to outlast its enemies. In the end that is the only strategy that matters.


Blogger Barry Meislin said...

Well, yes, I'm with you, of course; but I'm not sure if you're aware of the lengths some of Israel's neighbor's are willing to go to achieve their ambitious and Godly goals. Um, that should be "goal."

So I'm not sure whether this post should be subtitled, "Duck's neat and tidy pond" or "Duck's pandemonic and disastrous slough"

(We're talking, alas, serious, serious C-A-R-N-A-G-E.)

January 05, 2009 4:25 AM  
Blogger Hey Skipper said...

I used to read Sullivan, until he became incoherent.

His support for the Iraq war was based upon the best available information at the time, plus a lot of reasons that weren't reliant upon WMD.

In real life, there are no do-overs.

Obama presidency is going to much less complicated because Saddam is gone.

Any chance of Sullivan acknowledging that, I wonder?

January 05, 2009 9:23 AM  
Blogger Anacher Forester said...

For one so smart, Sully is awfully fond of simplistic rationales. I so loathe it when "intellectuals" are so blatantly intellectually dishonest

It's no small reason why I call my blog Andrew Sullivan Is A Fraud

January 15, 2009 8:22 PM  

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