Neoconservatives are preparing the groundwork for far-reaching and interminable U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Neoconservative leader Norman Podhoretz makes the case in the current issue of Commentary, the influential magazine of the American Jewish Committee, that it is not enough for the U.S. to attack only Afghanistan and Iraq.
Podhoretz argues that
"changes of regime are the sine qua non throughout the region."
The challenge that President Bush faces, says Podhoretz, is
"to fight World War IV—the war against militant Islam."
He identifies the enemies:
"The regimes that richly deserve to be overthrown and replaced are not confined to the three singled-out members of the axis of evil [Iraq, Iran, North Korea]. At a minimum, the axis should extend to Syria and Lebanon and Libya, as well as 'friends' of America like the Saudi royal family and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, along with the Palestinian Authority."
Unlike the Bush administration, Podhoretz realizes that to overthrow the Taliban and Saddam Hussein is merely to stir a hornets' nest, while leaving in place multitudes of anti-Israeli and anti-American militants.
President Bush must own up to the true task, says Podhoretz, and find
"the stomach to impose [original emphasis] a new political culture on the defeated"
Middle East, just as we did unapologetically to Germany and Japan.
There is logic to Podhoretz's argument. But do President Bush and the American people understand that the imposition of secular democracy on Afghanistan and Iraq are merely beginning steps in the forceful political reconstruction of the entire Middle East by U.S. might?
Americans are indebted to Podhoretz for making it clear that a U.S. invasion of Iraq is the beginning of World War IV. President Bush and his strategic thinkers should ponder this carefully and be upfront with the American people.
Getting rid of Saddam Hussein will not solve the Israeli-American conflict with militant Islam. On the contrary, it will widen the conflict.
How many sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, grandsons, uncles, cousins and friends are Americans willing to give to a war, the object of which is the social and political reconstruction of the Middle East?
Are the American people prepared to bear the tax and economic burden of such a prodigious undertaking?
Indeed, with significant portions of its manufacturing and high tech capability now located offshore, can the U.S. economy bear the burden?
Would such a struggle leave us exhausted, unable to confront the rising power of an ambitious China?
A more critical question is whether open borders have turned "the American people" into an abstraction. The Washington Post has always favored massive immigration because it builds Democratic voting rolls. But on September 15 the newspaper called the U.S. a "Tower of Babel" whose sense of community has been shattered by the rise of ethnic media. ["The Meaning of News in So Many Voices" By Margaret Engel, Washington Post, September 15, 2002]
The Post reports that the penetration of what we are accustomed to call the major media is down to 43 percent of the U.S. population and dropping. Increasingly,
"people in key metropolitan areas now get their news from ethnic newspaper and broadcast outlets."
California has 500 ethnic newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and online publications. The Post reports that there are
"15 Thai-language newspapers in Los Angeles, several 24-hour radio stations for Pashto and Dari Speakers."
Orange County has 30 Vietnamese publications, and California has 7 major ethnic dailies and flourishing Spanish-language TV networks.
The Post asks:
"If you can't understand what your fellow subway rider is reading, if you can't follow the opinions he or she listens to each night, how can you hope to hold a discussion about national politics? Aren't our opinions and national discourse likely to become ever more Balkanized?"
President Bush should ponder this question before he undertakes to reconstruct the Middle East. He must face the fact that his own country has been reconstructed by massive immigration from the third world.
Are these legions of hyphenated-Americans in sympathy with the neoconservative goals that control U.S. foreign policy?
Before the U.S. finds itself embroiled in a Middle East conflict for which it lacks both economic means and popular support, I propose a different solution: Terminate the Middle Eastern conflict by inviting the 5 million Jews in Israel to settle in the U.S.
The entire population of Israel amounts to no more than two years of illegal Mexican immigration. The Jews can function here, if they wish, as an autonomous ethnic enclave just like all the other enclaves created by our shortsighted immigration policy.
Despite extreme measures, Israel is unable to defend itself from Palestinian terrorists. The U.S. will not be able to defend Israel or itself from one billion Muslims.
Why not recognize the mistake, evacuate the Jews, leave the Muslims to themselves, and focus on saving our own country?
Paul Craig Roberts is the co-author with Lawrence M. Stratton of The Tyranny of Good Intentions: How Prosecutors and Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name of Justice.
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