The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Michael Young on provoking a sectarian war in Lebanon: merely a “Shortsighted” idea

This is of course michael young’s moment: the war he has been itching for over the past decade to remove Assad and strike a major blow against Hizbullah – he calls the approach a “liberal” war since it uses massive violence to clarify freedom – is almost here.

In his euphoria, he demonstrates his “Neo-LiberalCon” love for using violence as the main way to achieve freedom with this very unfortunate phrasing:

“…Some may speculate that the best way to neutralize Hezbollah and Iran would be to push the Lebanese into a sectarian war that diverts their attention and depletes their resources. But that view is shortsighted. Worsening Sunni-Shiite conflict spreading outward from Iraq, Syria and Lebanon would only exacerbate religious extremism everywhere, engulfing or threatening key American allies, and perhaps America itself.”

Michael I know of course loves lebanon, especially since he is comfortably placed to live well in beirut and leave with another passport: but how could he have the detachment to call provoking sectarian war as a “shortsighted” strategy rather than the 1) stupid 2) morally reprehensible 3) plain evil?

Anyway, his Wall Street Journal piece yesterday is the culmination of his analysis and demonstrates how intensely illiberal he is at his core, first as champion for the Iraq war and then as champion of strategies to use violence and force throughout the region to advance his version of freedom.

BUT – he also serves up the best, over used and just illogical analysis which summarizes the neo liberalcon position:

“…Mr. Obama never seemed to appreciate that the uprising in Syria provided an opportunity for him to reduce Iranian power in the Levant. In failing to exploit that opening by assisting the Syrian opposition, he allowed the Iranians to regroup after early gains by the rebels and, with Russia, prop up the Assad regime. One result is that any U.S. intervention today would be vastly more complicated than it might have been when the uprising against Assad began in 2011.”

As many of us have long argued, the idea that it would have been better, easier, smarter, less bloody etc to start a hotter war early on is really not serious. The US military laughed this idea out of the room in 2011 and 2012 FOR VERY GOOD REASONS. It is simply illogical to think more violence earlier on WITH A MANIFESTLY STRONGER REGIME AND ALLIES would have yielded better results. But they keep saying it anyway…


Written by nickbiddlenoe

September 5, 2013 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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