Sunday, August 21, 2005

Time To Go

Condoleezza Rice has become the Carly Fiorina of the Administration. The President should replace her.

Here's her comment on the agonies Israel has suffered to hand Gaza to the Palestinians.

"Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing," she said, but added, "It cannot be Gaza only."


If this woman really empathized with Israelis, she would give Ariel Sharon time to repair the awful fractures in the only democratic MidEast state caused by this withdrawal. And to determine if Israel's security situation has been improved or damaged by giving terrorists a sea coast and a state to operate from. And to build the weapons he'll need to protect a country that would be as little as 9 miles wide if she has her way. And to comfort the people who have seen their synagogues desecrated and their homes destroyed.

Israel is essential to the defense of the West. It's what the historians call a Marches state - it provides the barrier of a civilized but warlike people against barbarians - like the Russian Cossacks who held off and then destroyed the mongol hordes. The Arab states are today's hordes - they create no intrinsic wealth, living off oil and handouts; they produce no new art or literature; no technology and no science. Their contribution to the world has been the head-hacking snuff movie and the suicide bomber.

As Mark Steyn has suggested, Islamic societies most resemble the collapsed culture of the Canadian Innu, who live subsidized but brief and squalid lives, fueled by alcohol and resentment.

Like the Innu, they’re a dysfunctional amalgam of traditional and Western culture, fundamentalist Islam filtered through an old-school European fascist movement. Like the Innu, they’re hooked on welfare and the glorification of self-destruction. Like the Innu, they’re the creations of Western largesse — from the firebrand imams bilking the British welfare state, to the bananaphobic imams of taxpayer-funded Aussie schools, to Osama bin Laden himself, who took his pa’s dough from the US-fuelled Saudi construction boom and sunk it into a hole in the ground in Tora Bora.

I'm sure that Ariel Sharon will face Rice off and the Israeli withdrawal (or advance) will stop exactly where Israelis decide it best suits their interests. And the US will thank heaven that it has such a stalwart and competent ally in the GWOT.

The biggest damage Ms Rice is inflicting is to people's respect for women as managers - like Carly Fiorina, she's soft on adversaries and hard on allies - a terrible role model.

Now, Meg Whitman, CEO of eBay, would make a great replacement.


Here's what a decent Secretary of State would have said (my ellipsis).

In the coming months, Mr. Abbas (Palestinian Prime Minister) may seek to deflect attention from his government's shortcomings by demanding further Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank. (Israel already intends to remove four small settlements in the northern West Bank.) If history is any guide, his plea will find sympathetic ears in European capitals and probably some pockets of the U.S. foreign policy establishment.

But Israel cannot be expected to make further wrenching withdrawals if the message from the international community is that they are never enough. And Palestine will have no hope of becoming a functional and civilized state if no serious demands are made of it to reform its institutions and eliminate its culture of terrorism and hooliganism.

The problem with Palestine today isn't the absence of land--Singapore isn't much larger than Gaza, and is four times as populous--but the poverty of expectations as to what it ought to be and might become. Israel has now done what it had to. It's time the Palestinians follow suit.