Maureen Dowd of the piquant but small, small and one-track mind is once again hurling spitballs at President Bush. In her column “Animal House Summit” in The New York Times, she pelts him for his remarks overheard in the recent open-microphone cause episode at the G-8 gathering in St. Petersburg.
Dowd bombards him for making important events look like “a kegger” in “a comfortable frat house.” Oh, the gaucherie of his “swearing, swaggering, talking to Tony Blair with his mouth full of buttered roll, and giving a startled Angela Merkel an impromptu shoulder rub.”
And, of course, how indicative is his “loosey-goosey confidence” of “his own headlong, heedless actions in the Middle East [that] have contributed to the deepening chaos there”, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
When it comes to the Middle East crisis, and currently the hostilities between Hezbollah and Israel, Dowd and her ilk can’t stop Bush-badgering long enough even to peek at the large strategic picture. According to bigger minds than theirs, as described in Report #585 from JINSA, at present “we may have a screaming, red-letter, poster-sized, bells and whistles, mega-super-duper paradigm shift.” Hence:
[T]he most important change may be in the Arab world–Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and others have incontrovertibly woken up to the problem. The (Saudi) Arab Times editor wrote, ‘The angry response from Saudi Arabia has politically isolated Hezbollah and Hamas. Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of ‘these irregular phenomena’ is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.’
Wadi Batti, an Iraqi columnist, wrote, By initiating the confrontation with Israel, Hizbullah has made a mockery of the Lebanese government and leaders, who are now seen as pawns in the hands of Nasrallah. How long will the Arabs continue to fight on behalf of Iran?
It is a long way from acknowledging that sponsorship of terrorist organizations can come back to haunt the sponsors to halting one’s own support for terrorist organizations (the U.S. military finds that Egyptians and Saudis, not Iraqis, comprise nearly all of the suicide bombers in Iraq), but without such acknowledgement, change is impossible.
Any day we find the media, the American government, the Russians, the Europeans and the most influential members of the Arab world on the same page regarding actions taken by Israel, either Israel is in big, big trouble or we may be watching the paradigm shift.
The Leftist Drones will carry on with their picayunish, ritualized, partisan carping against the President, such as, further Dowd’s petty denunciation of him at the summit for ‘insularity’ and having ‘not bothered to prepare any closing remarks.’
But in fact, as JINSA notes, the President did take the lead:
[I]n his denunciation of Syria and the UN’s call for an immediate cease-fire, which would save Hezbollah.
The other members of the G-8 under the clear influence of the President, blamed Hezbollah and Hamas for the violence and said, ‘those that support them cannot be allowed to plunge the Middle East into chaos and provoke a wider conflict.’
Moreover, according to the New York Post, after the FBI indicated it is looking for Hezbollah terrorists in the U.S., and after Israel said it needs two more weeks to neutralize Hezbollah (which Syria has begun to rearm), the President stated he believes Syria is attempting to re-establish its dominion in Lebanon. “It’s in our interest for Syria to stay out of Lebanon and for [Lebanon’s] government to survive,” he said in Washington.
President Bush has also forthrightly charged Iran, in addition to Syria, with sponsoring Hezbollah, although, as The New York Sun reports, “he has stopped short of identifying the presence of Iranian troops in Lebanon.”
Adding somberly to the big picture, Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute warns in The Wall Street Journal against believing “that acceptance of Israel is in the air.” Although the broader Arab universe has not gathered behind Hezbollah and recognize it as “[a]n arm of Iranian influence waging a sectarian battle in the heart of the Middle East.”
The rarified air of the big picture is bracing, invigorating, albeit sobering. The murmuring of the Little Drones is getting more monotonous by the day.