Mideast 'peace' a mirage
By Pat Buchanan
Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012, 8:57 p.m.
Barack Obama is being prompted by the right and left to re-engage and renew U.S. efforts to solve the core question of Middle East peace. Before he gets reinvolved in peacemaking, our once-burned president should ask himself some hard questions.
Is there any treaty that could be agreed to, or imposed, that would be acceptable to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank, let alone to Hamas, which has emerged from its defiance of one of the most intensive bombardments of modern time with new prestige?
Would Bibi Netanyahu agree to a treaty that required removal of scores of thousands of Israeli settlers from Judea and Samaria, when he opposed Ariel Sharon's withdrawal of a few thousand settlers from Gaza?
Would Bibi agree to Jerusalem becoming the capital of Palestine as well as Israel, a non-negotiable demand of Arab nations?
A second roadblock is the correlation of forces in Washington.
Should Obama pressure Israel to remove settlers from the West Bank and accept a Palestinian capital in Jerusalem, he would ignite a firestorm among evangelical Christians, the Israeli lobby, the neocons and a Congress that, not long ago, gave Bibi 29 standing ovations after he dressed-down Obama.
Another impediment is the altered environment between Israel and a newly radicalized Middle East.
Israel now looks north to a Lebanon where Hezbollah possesses more and better rockets than the metal-shop jobs Hamas fired off. Beyond lies a powerful Turkey, whose prime minister just declared Israel a "terrorist" state.
To the northeast lies Syria, where the 40-year truce on the Golan is unlikely to last after Bashar al-Assad falls and is replaced by a Sunni regime rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood.
To the east lies Jordan, wracked by riots, a monarchy that looks to be a candidate for an Arab Spring uprising.
To the south and west are Hamas, a Sinai that is a no man's land and an Egypt dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, millions of whose people would like to see the Israeli peace treaty trashed.
Israel is as isolated as she has been in a region that is more hostile to her presence than perhaps at any time since the war of '48.
And what does the U.S. have to show for decades of involvement in the Middle East?
Despite our "liberation" of Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya at a cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, despite plunging hundreds of billions into foreign aid, America's influence has never been lower.
We tie our own hands and wonder why we cannot succeed.
Today, as Obama is being pushed toward another futile round of peacemaking in the Mideast, prodded to intervene in the ethnic-civil-sectarian war in Syria and goaded to draw a "red line" for war on Iran, he should ask himself:
How would America's vital interests be imperiled by staying out of this particular quarrel, conflict or war? Why are all of these crises somehow ours to resolve? What are the odds that we can resolve them?
We are out of Iraq and leaving Afghanistan by 2014. Should we go back in or, as Obama pledged, do our "nation-building" here at home?
Pat Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?"
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Keisel might be at end of Steelers career
- Father-son funeral directors lead community
- Penguins’ leads evaporate in loss to Sharks
- Clairton Meals on Wheels puts new van in immediate service
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Google barge departs San Francisco to new home
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Neighbor in East Liberty sisters’ slayings may be part of murder-for-hire case
- New Pirates pitcher Eppley brings special delivery to team’s staff
- McKeesport middle school student struck by dump truck dies in hospital
- Sharks praise ex-teammate, newest Penguins player Goc