Monday, July 24, 2006

Bush: A Failed Sinatra

When George Bush finally drives away from the White House in January 2009, he should place bumper stickers on the front and back of his limo. The front bumper sticker should say "I DID IT MY WAY" while the back reads "SORRY IT DIDN'T WORK."

Bush's way didn't work in Iraq, didn't work in New Orleans, didn't work on global warming didn't work on government spending, and won't work on stem cells and health care either.The Bush formula is act unilaterally, wreck the status quo, and dictate the terms of the new settlements. The whole idea was foolish, but it failed because Bush and his people thought that everyone would submit to American terms once we had shown our superiority. Bush's people were genuinely surprised when an insurgency coalesced in Iraq and blew any chance they had of making the occupation work by failing to commit enough troops and money. As a result, Iraq is a chaotic mess and a haven for global terrorists over which the Bush administration has little leverage.

Now the Israelis are trying the Bush formula in Lebanon to the same disastrous effect. Refusing to deal with Hezbollah, the Israelis decided to wreck Lebanon's civilian infrastructure in the expectation that they could render Hezbollah impotent in the process. Two weeks into the Israeli operation and its already clear that it isn't working. The Israelis showed how tough they were, but the show of force did not prove to be intimidating. Hezbollah has proven to be a surprisingly effective fighting force. Lebanese sentiment is starting to coalesce against Israel and the Israelis are looking for the fig leaf of a NATO peacekeeping force to serve as a buffer force between Southern Lebanon and Israel. That won't work because peacekeeping doesn't work if there are active antagonisms between the parties.

Having acted with Bush-like arrogance and recklessness, the Israelis are now facing a situation that is worse than the status quo ante. Like Bush, they've become failed Sinatras.

No comments: