Grasping the NettleIssue: Nov-Dec 2006
One can only look on at the ruination of the Bush Administration's Middle East policy with a sort of sick bemusement. In the past year the newly won gains of the Cedar Revolution in Lebanon have literally gone up in smoke. Israel has failed to destroy Hizballah in a short, nasty summer war; instead the rejectionist organization is the toast of the Arab world. Iran successfully flouts international will, moving ever closer to developing a nuclear weapons program. The Taliban is making a comeback in Afghanistan, and Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri are still at large on the frontier with Pakistan. And Iraq is . . . well, Iraq. The international standing of the United States is at its lowest ebb in memory, while radical Islamists have been the beneficiaries of colossal American blunders in the region. Everything looks very black indeed.