On the Neiman Watchdog we see Lieutenant General William E. Odom, U.S. Army (Ret.) writing this:
Cheney has it exactly backwards. Our continued entanglement is what is destabilizing the region. The escalating conflict between Israel and Hezbollah and Hamas could become a new Arab-Israeli War. And it is precisely our actions in Iraq that have opened the door for Iran and Syria to support Hezbollah and Hamas actions without much to fear from the U.S. Cheney’s assertion is a new version of the old domino theory which was invented to justify the U.S. military involvement in Vietnam … the larger U.S. aim, the containment of China, was achieved, in spite of the United States, by Soviet and North Vietnamese actions against China. And the dire consequences of the domino theory that were so widely proclaimed by hawks at the time never came to pass. We should have learned a number of things from the Vietnam War, but most of all that unintended consequences are often the most significant outcomes. Our well-intended policies in Vietnam soon rendered the United States incapable of accomplishing anything positive in the region … Is the domino theory valid for the Middle East? No, not any more than it was in Vietnam. But a reverse domino theory is. The longer the U.S. stays in Iraq, the more likely the collapse of the secular regimes in those Muslim nations, and the more likely a full-scale war between Israel and its neighbors. It’s American departure from Iraq that could prevent it.
Amanda was watching Condi Rice on ABC’s This Week so we didn’t have to:
STEPHANOPOULOS: But before the war in Iraq many argued that going into Iraq would stir up a hornet’s nest. The administration strongly disagreed and here’s what Vice President Cheney had to say in August 2002.
CHENEY (VIDEO): I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region, extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad, moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli/Palestinian peace process would be enhanced.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Extremists now appear to have been emboldened. The moderates appear to be in retreat. There is no peace process. There is war. How do you answer administration critics who say that the administration’s actions have unleashed, have helped unleash the very hostilities you hoped to contain?
RICE: Well, first of all, those hostilities were not very well contained as we found out on September 11th, so the notion that policies that finally confront extremism are actually causing extremism, I find grotesque.
It’s a pity that our Secretary of State happens to be Clueless Condi.
Update: Another ThinkProgress post begins with:
In 1996, Richard Perle, Douglas Feith and David Wurmser (all later senior officials in the Bush administration) had a plan for how to destroy Hezbollah: Invade Iraq. They wrote a report to the newly elected Likud government in Israel calling for “a clean break” with the policies of negotiating with the Palestinians and trading land for peace … Now, with the U.S. bogged down in Iraq, with Bush losing control of world events, and with the threats to national security growing worse, no one could possibly still believe this plan, could they? Think again.
We have seen Newt Gingrich, William Kristol, and the National Review’s chicken hawks all giddy about World War III over the past several days. And if we go back to the 2000 Presidential campaign, recall Condi Rice was advising the government of Israel not to work with President Clinton as he attempt to have Israel negotiate with the Palestinians in terms trading land for peace. It is all making sense now – especially given that Karl Rove needs something to salvage the GOP majority in Congress in the upcoming 2006 elections.