Saturday, August 05, 2006

Batting a thousand

from McClatchy Washington Bureau:
When Syrian troops left Lebanon in April 2005, ending a 29-year occupation, the Bush administration was quick to call their departure and the events that followed a victory in its campaign for democracy in the Middle East.

"Any who doubt the appeal of freedom in the Middle East can look to Lebanon," President Bush said in March 2005, as anti-Syrian protesters crowded Beirut's streets and squares in what became known as the Cedar Revolution, after Lebanon's national symbol.

With Lebanon now convulsed by its worst violence since the 1975-1990 civil war, that assessment, like much of the Bush administration's rhetoric about spreading democracy in the Middle East, appears to have been too rosy.
The criticism that the Bush administration failed to think through its policies is similar to that leveled against it in Iraq, where the White House and the Pentagon failed to plan for the aftermath of the U.S. invasion, and in the Palestinian territories, where the administration pushed for elections that brought the terrorist group Hamas into government.

"Just getting Syria out (of Lebanon) was a narrowly focused policy," said Daniel Benjamin, a top counter-terrorism official in the Clinton administration who's now at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"There was a lot of merit in that," Benjamin said. "But we only went half the distance."

"We did nothing, we did absolutely nothing" to bolster the weak Lebanese government after the Syrian withdrawal, said a State Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the comments contradict official policy.

There's that taste of vomit again.

Sane, high-functioning adults simply cannot produce such consistently tragic results -- even pure evil cannot produce results with this kind of consistency.

The complete inability to project ten minutes into the future is evidence of profound mental deficits. It is like the country is being run by the man who mistook his wife for a hat.


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