Sep 19, 2011

Blind-Date Diplomacy

Elwood McQuaidBy Elwood McQuaid
The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry

Twitter Facebook Google+ Contact Amazon

The comment was made during a television news interview about ongoing military assaults to oust Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. U.S. and European NATO forces had cast their lot with the insurgents, training them and pouring money and weapons into pulverizing the dictator’s forces in support of the rebels.

The foreign policy expert being interviewed finally admitted that two of the unknowns in the conflict are (1) what, beyond their freedom, the insurgents are wanting and (2) who actually is calling the shots for them. He said no one knows if a new regime will be friendly to the West and inclined toward democratic principles or fashioned in the Islamist mold.

One would expect that a country’s policy would be washed by common sense and reliable intelligence and that the leadership would grasp the identity of those it is helping before assuring victory for forces that may turn out to be its worst nightmare. The spin that the rebels were a small, kaffiyeh-clad band of fed up zealots rising up to vanquish a mad “Goliath” in Tripoli was hardly worth putting on the air. The U.S. and Europe provided the means and military power to pummel the Libyan despot with all the West could throw at him until there was little left for his forces to defend.

Whether or not a regime change in Libya was a positive objective is not the point. At issue is America’s ongoing blind-date diplomacy that sees nothing past the first flirtation and romances the illusion that the future will be a long walk into a garden of peace, prosperity, and civility. U.S. Foreign Policy Advisor Lawrence Eagleburger, who died in June, solemnly observed that current foreign policy is being conducted like “amateur hour.”

High expectations based on insufficient evidence may be commendable in the world of “hope so” and “good intentions” that appeal to the “better nature” in all parties. But the rub comes in assuming that all parties actually possess a better nature and that their expectations and intentions mesh with those of their benefactors.

Mahmoud AhmadinejadFor example, how can we assume that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, despite his genocidal ranting, can be wooed into becoming a contributing member of civil society? Or worse, that Israel and the world can live with a nuclear Iran?

After Ahmadinejad declared his intent to bomb Israel into a cloud of gray dust, how can we infer that he “doesn’t really mean it”? Such thinking is beyond absurd; it is insane. Iranian fingerprints are reportedly on every infamous plan, plot, and operation designed to win Iranian hegemony over the region, destroy Israel, and bring down the West.

Consider the fact that, since the fall of Hosni Mubarak and his government in Egypt, things have heated up on Egypt’s border with Israel. Hamas has been emboldened to attempt to pick a fight with Israel or cause Israel and Egypt to go at each other.

And as the West softens, Islamic Sharia law, astonishingly, is being accepted as okay for Muslims who dislike living under the legal systems of non-Muslim countries.

Furthermore, the Muslim Brotherhood, along with Hamas and Hezbollah, is increasingly spoken of these days as having both a political and military wing. The military wing is said to be used for self-defense, and the political wing for rational negotiations with other governments. They both are touted as being quite benign, well-intentioned, and ready to join hands in the international circle of civil camaraderie. Seriously?

In this climate, Israel is number one on the hit list for radical Muslims; and incitement against the Jewish state and Jewish people is approaching a fever pitch in many quarters.

Furthermore, the “Arab spring” has generally brought a winter-like chill over Christians who have not yet joined the exodus from the lands “liberated” by the new wave of insurgencies. The future is very much up for grabs; and, as is frequently the case, the guys with the most guns, most organization, and most ideologically driven political machines win out — at least in the short run.

Blind-date diplomacy isn’t the way to go. To ensure survival in the international jungle we inhabit, it is imperative to know your enemies, support your friends, and be strong enough to say by word and muscle to those with bad intentions toward you, “Don’t try it!” In such a format, they won’t.

Related Links

Libya delays forming a government; fighting continues in 2 cities - Los Angeles Times
Protests to greet Ahmadinejad in New York - AFP
Libyan militias amass weapons - Washington Post
Gallup: Obama's Approval at All-Time Low Among Liberals - CNS News
The Arab Spring and Christian Persecution - FrontPage Magazine