Apr 17, 2006 10:51 am


Headline blares:US bars business with Hamas

But the text includes:

The U.S. Treasury Department made exceptions for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the United Nations, authorizing"activities and transactions with the PA that are for the conduct of ... official business."

The result? Islamists and leftists are presented with another cause célèbre. They can heap scorn the administration's" callous treatment" of the poor Palestinians who merely exercised their democratic right to elect a terrorist organization that refuses to abide by past PA signed obligations and is dedicated to the destruction of its neighbor.

At the same time, the chances of securing the quick collapse of the Hamas led government will be seriously diminished by the exceptions.

Last night C-Span reared an April 2003 discussion of American foreign policy at the AEI. It is worth listening to. Charles Krauthammer urged immediate exploitation of the victory in Iraq by increasing pressure on Syria and Iran. Matters are in a flux but in a few months, he predicted, matters will stabilize and the opportunity to bring about positive change will be lost. It was.

Newt Gingrich analyzed the failure of the pre-war American foreign policy and urged a serious revamping of the State Department. The insurgency has not yet started but the problems were obvious and they remain so and half measures are at their root.

During the same few days there was another panel discussion on the future on Iraq. Amongst its participants was Admiral Zini who did not speak for himself but for the region (I suspect for the Saudis) and recommended that the US focus on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process (this at the height of the second intifada) and forget about exerting any pressure on Syria or Iran.

Much more worthwhile was the talk of the former Chief of the U.S. Marine Corps training, Paul Van Riper. He said that it was too early to make post war plans for as far as structure was concerned. If things remain relatively peaceful (as he expected), the US would need to keep about 50,000 troops in Iraq for a few years. But if an insurgency developed, about 200,000 troops would be needed for a period of 3-5 years. In other words, McCain was right. More troops were needed to win. With the troops we have we are barely managing not to lose provided ZAL and company remember on whose side we are on.

Mark Stein worries that W. will follow in Bubba's footsteps and kick the can down the lane. I agree. This time the price may not be a"mere" 3000 dead Americans.

comments powered by Disqus