John on February 18, 2008 at 5:15 pm
From Der Spiegel, a surprisingly even-handed interview with Henry Kissinger:
SPIEGEL: The Democrats have promised a rapid withdrawal. Is this a realistic option?
Kissinger: The issue is: Are American forces withdrawn as part of a political settlement? Or are they withdrawn because America is exhausted by the war? In the latter case, the consequences of an American withdrawal would be catastrophic.
SPIEGEL: Do you think there would be another eruption of violence?
Kissinger: There would be a high possibility of killing fields. Radical Islam won’t stop because we withdraw. A rapid withdrawal would be a demonstration in the region of the impotence of Western power. Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Qaida would achieve a more dominant role, and the ability of Western nations to shape events would be sharply reduced. The virus would have huge consequences for all countries with large Muslim populations: India, Indonesia, and large parts of Europe.
I thought this exchange was particularly insightful:
SPIEGEL: Isn’t German and European opposition to a greater military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq also a result of deep distrust of American power?
Kissinger: By this time next year, we will see the beginning of a new administration. We will then discover to what extent the Bush administration was the cause or the alibi for European-American disagreements. Right now, many Europeans hide behind the unpopularity of President Bush. And this administration made several mistakes in the beginning.
I’m betting alibi.
Category: Islamic Jihad |