Thursday, August 17, 2006
Max Sawicky has a nice follow up to a conversation me and Haggai had recently in this comment thread. The discussion centered around the ignorance of President Bush that was revealed by his surprise at, and "frustration" with, the fact that Iraqi Shiites demonstrated in large numbers - chanting anti-Israeli and anti-American slogans - in opposition to Israel's military actions vis-a-vis Lebanon. Observed "Haggai":
Gee, that's a tough one. A massive show of Arab public support for Hezbollah in the midst of fierce fighting with Israel--and from Shiites, no less! Who'da thunk it? [...]
...[Bush] doesn't even understand that whenever Arab-Israeli fighting erupts, public opinion in the Arab world is immediately going to be inflamed against Israel, and that the US in this context is always treated as Israel's enabler (or stooge, depending on the particulars of the rhetoric at hand).
I responded by pointing out that a person who didn't know that there were two main branches of Islam might be ignorant of this basic and well known dynamic as well. Unfortunately, that person also happens to be our President, and the head of an administration that is undertaking an enormously risky, radical and audacious policy of destabilization and political reordering in the very region of the world which the President seems to know so little about.
From Sawicky, we see even more evidence to confirm the frightening degree to which Bush fails to understand the players and policies involved. From a press conference with Bush:
Please refer to the above map* of the border between Lebanon and Syria, and the primary location of the UNIFIL troops. And then say a prayer.
QUESTION: How can the international force, or the United States if necessary, prevent Iran from resupplying Hezbollah?
BUSH: The first step is -- and part of the mandate in the U.N. resolution was to secure Syria's borders. Iran is able to ship weapons to Hezbollah through Syria. . . . In other words, part of the mandate and part of the mission of the troops, the UNIFIL troops, will be to seal off the Syrian border.
(* Map borrowed from Max Sawicky with the utmost of gratitude)