David Brooks admitted everything yesterday. Monstrous column. Who will call him on these belligerent attitudes? He said that the peace process is in essence the pacification of Arab countries. And so it required the invasion of Iraq and, prospectively, getting rid of Qaddafi, Assad, and Hamas. Not a word about the occupation, not a word about 25-to-1 ratio of water used, Jews to Palestinians in the West Bank. This is the neoconservative mind: the only issue is Israel’s dominance in the region, and our support for it. Be thankful to Brooks for admitting it.
In fact, the current peace process is doomed because of the inability to make a categorical distinction. There are some countries in the region that are not nice, but they are normal – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia. But there are other governments that are fundamentally depraved. Either as a matter of thuggishness (Syria) or ideology (Hamas), they reject the full humanity of other human beings. They believe it is proper and right to kill innocents. They can never be part of a successful negotiation because they undermine the universal principles of morality.
…There won’t be peace so long as depraved regimes are part of the picture. That’s why it’s crazy to get worked into a lather about who said what about the 1967 border. As long as Hamas and the Assad regime are in place, the peace process is going nowhere, just as it’s gone nowhere for lo these many years.
That’s why it’s necessary, especially at this moment in history, to focus on the nature of regimes, not only the boundaries between them. To have a peaceful Middle East, it was necessary to get rid of Saddam’s depraved regime in Iraq. It will be necessary to try to get rid of Gadhafi’s depraved regime in Libya. It’s necessary, as everybody but the Obama administration publicly acknowledges, to see Assad toppled. It will be necessary to marginalize Hamas. It was necessary to abandon the engagement strategy that Barack Obama campaigned on and embrace the cautious regime-change strategy that is his current doctrine.
This is unreconstructed neoconservatism, transplanted to the Arab spring, and signalling that the Palestinians must never have self-determination, unless it’s in Jordan. Notice the “universal principles of morality” — which Brooks, who has visited Israel a dozen times and was raised as a Jew to be “gooey-eyed” about the place– fails to apply to Israel’s occupation. No, the neoconservative principle is that Arabs must be bludgeoned by a superpower into accepting the presence of Israel. As Ed Koch used to say, How’m I doing??
Note as well that Brooks says “cautious regime change” is Obama’s policy. Well Brooks is a favorite of Obama, and it’s hard to imagine him saying anything like that without a signal from the White House. So Obama is pushing for the removal of Assad and Gaddafi.