More is Never Enough

April 6, 2013

‘Humankind cannot bear too much reality.” – TS Eliot

Barack Hussein Obama finally went to Israel. Before the trip, America had a schizophrenic, yet constant, Mideast foreign policy; stroking autocratic Arabs and alienating democratic Israelis.

Indeed, the ‘Brennan’ doctrine took sides in the Shia/Sunni nuclear competition, the Ummah Armageddon that haunts every Semitic nightmare. American solidarity with Arabs, especially Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, has become a peculiar variety of national masochism.

Most Islamist terror originates with Sunnis. Irredentist Sunni theology originates in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and finds funding and sectarian solidarity in the Emirates, putative allies all.

And recall the first Islam bomb, a Sunni gift from another dubious ‘ally,’ Pakistan.  The Sunni nuclear threshold was breached 20 years ago while American Intelligence slept. This is the same Pakistan which harbored Osama bin Laden for ten years after 9/11. This is the same Pakistan which is always just a bullet away from dictatorship or theocracy too.

Ten years of South Asia weapons testing in the 1980’s hardly made a strategic ripple. Turning a blind eye to nuclear weapons in Pakistan is a little like ignoring a straight razor on a crowded playground.

Now the Islamic dystopia is converging on Mecca and Medina from two directions. And when Bashir Assad falls, the oil oligarchs will feel the heat from two sides. Shia theocrats and Sunni Islamists have the same target set. That over ripe Arab establishment is ground zero.

The ayatollahs of Tehran are buying time to build another bomb too. John Kerry, former anti-war zealot, is touring the Levant; threatening to intervene in Syria on behalf of Sunni Islamists – another US Secretary of State choosing winners and losers in the great minus-sum game.  America learned nothing from Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Tahrir Square, and Benghazi.

The nuclear dimension of Islamic politics is unique in the annals of death wishes; a fascination with improved ways to kill coupled with suicide theology and cultural decay. Child marriage, misogyny, homophobia, and martyrdom flourish side by side at the expense of education and social maturity. Beyond symptoms; the core pathology, the modern incarnation of fascism, is dressed in a burka of religion – a perennial toxin in Muslim culture. 

Why would any rational Western democracy – apostates or infidels –continue to throw dogs into this fight?

No matter.  Americans and Europeans press on into the dark night of tribal feuds and religious quarrels. The ancient wars between modernity and irredentism metastasize today under a variety of labels; revolution, regime change, civil war, insurgency, and terrorism just to name a few.

Rather than face the ugly truth about the contemporary face of fascism, western politicians have manufactured an elaborate set of political illusions, a kind of strategic transference, if you will. The most pernicious illusion is the “two-state” solution.

The binary formula, an Israel beside a Palestine, is underwritten by several flawed assumptions, not the least of which is poor arithmetic.   There is no single representative of Palestinian interests. Israel’s proximate enemies are three in number, Hezb’allah, Hamas, and Fatah. Only Fatah pretends to make a deal.

And the four Arab nation states bordering Israel have probably killed more Palestinians than the IDF. Palestinian militias have been purged from Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. Yasser Arafat was run out of Jordan, Lebanon, and Tunisia before Israeli indulgence allowed his return to the West Bank.  The terror vacuum in Lebanon was filled by Hezb’allah. Alas, all of those Arab states bordering Israel are capable of influencing Palestinian politics when it suits their needs.

Yet, who believes that a sovereign Palestine will be a good or pacific neighbor? Who believes that the UN, or the Arab League for that matter, needs another dysfunctional member?

Even if Israel could negotiate a settlement with non-state players, any agreement would have to be underwritten by four unstable, if not belligerent, Arab states. The likelihood of Israel accommodating one Muslim partner is slim; the probability of pleasing seven is near zero.

The Palestine dilemma has always been an Arab problem, but Arab governments have always preferred to let the refugees from lost Arab wars stew on the Israeli frontier in a pyric quest for sovereignty. Implicitly, that which could not be done by conventional force of arms, might be done by time, terror – and a poison pill like Palestine.

In sixty years, Israel has made numerous one-sided financial, humanitarian, and territorial concessions. Little of this is reciprocated at the borders where Arab state players, at worst, sponsor and, at best, ignore terror cells. Israel’s borders might be secured in a fortnight were it not for indifferent or duplicitous Arab neighbors.

Muslims within Israel live better than any minority in the Arab world, an Islamic world where Jews have been systematically purged. Twenty percent of Israelis are Arabs, living peaceably in Israel. The third holiest mosque of Islam survives in Jerusalem. How many synagogues stand in Mecca, Medina, or the Emirates? If Jews need to give more for peace; how much is enough?

Palestinians and Arabs are arguing for a Jew-free West Bank and Gaza; and ultimately a Jew-free Palestinian state. Where is the argument for Jewish human or civil rights in this edition of ethnic cleansing?

The two state formula isn’t a solution, it’s a symptom; a sign of moral cowardice and political charades. Israel is not likely to make a suicide pact with hostile neighbors and the Arab world is unlikely to give up the Palestinian cause; its favorite crutch, its favored excuse, and its favorite wedge issue.

And western political elites, right and left, can’t stop doing what doesn’t work either; endorsing a “two-state” chimera for example. Intemperate indulgence of Muslim rage prevails in America, Europe, and even parts of Israel. Social democracies, and their embedded dependencies, are the captives of fear – and excess. More of the same is always better.  Clear eyed candor is seldom an option.  Unfortunately, more is never enough when the threat is fascism underwritten by religious imperialism.


This essay appeared  in the American Thinker and the Iconoclast blog in early April.