Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Death of Linkage - Andrew Sullivan Sobs

Clearly, the story of the moment is the unauthorized Wikileaks release of hundreds of thousand of confidential US diplomatic cables. Much has been said, even more has been written, new revelations could come at any minute, but one thing is finally, totally, undeniably clear - Linkage is dead.

The one thing we’ve learned from this episode is that the Middle East still functions the way some of us always knew it did, which is to say, without a shred of “Linkage”. Apparatchiks like Andrew Sullivan who spent the last two years making a case that another townhouse in Gilo or a Jewish family adding a second story to their home in Elkanah were destroying the chance for Mid-East peace... Well, it’s kind of like in Jurassic Park, where the guy hides from the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the Port-a-Potty, and the dinosaur knocks all four walls and roof down. That’s where the “Linkage” pimps are now, crapping their pants and reaching for toilet paper, just as the jaws of reality close around their head.

Yes, just like that. Reality bites, hard.

Not incidentally, Andrew Sullivan has newly reframed our erstwhile Sunni Arab allies as "Arab autocrats". He's literally peppered the phrase throughout his posts today - Pwning Douthat, Goldblog's Straw Man 2, Ctd, Goldblog's Straw Man, Ctd. That's how he now describes our "moderate" Sunni allies, the ones we only recently desperately needed on our side, so much so that Andrew spent the last two years hyperventilating about the necessity of pressuring Israel into making all sorts of concessions detrimental to the Jewish state's security, in order to please what we now know are "Arab autocrats".

So, I decided to check exactly how long Andrew has been speaking "truth to power" to these terrible autocratic Arab leaders. It turns out, not that long. In fact, I couldn't find a reference to "Arab autocrats", or variations of the phrase, on Andrew Sullivan's blog, ever, until yesterday. He's made sure to make up for lost time, however, inserting this pernicious little phrase no less than four times in three blog posts, all the while assuring us that...
And, as you can readily see in the posts I have cited, I have long known and written about Sunni Arab autocrats' desire for Israel and the US to launch World War III against Iran for them.
Except if you follow that link, to an article he wrote just weeks ago, he writes nothing about the desires of "Arab autocrats", and instead despairs that stubborn Israeli policies are making it difficult (for Andrew, no less) to coral those peace-loving Arabs to confront Iran, avoid World War III and save Israel from itself.
Why, under those circumstances, would Netanyahu not be more willing to make concessions on illegal settlements, in order to bolster relations with the US and the Sunni Arab states that are crucial to Israel's strategy to isolate Iran and weaken Hezbollah and Hamas?
If the "Arab autocrats" are so desperate for the US and Israel to destroy Iranian nukes, as Andrew has "long known and written about", why would Israel need to make painful concessions to earn their goodwill in isolating Iran and its proxies? Can Andrew follow his own logic on this one, without reaching for more toilet paper?

Moreover, yesterday, these were "crucial" Sunni Arab states. Today, they're "Arab autocrats". Funny how that works, eh, Andrew? The man could teach Rumsfeld a thing or two about slimy realpolitik. And how is calling these "crucial" Sunni Arab regimes "autocrats" going to help "bolster relations"? Is Andrew now trying to sabotage President Obama's outreach to our Sunni Arab allies? Isn't that what he was accusing those of us who rejected Linkage from the beginning? It's a sad sight, to watch a grown man squirm around on a toilet seat, in real time. Linkage is dead and it's pimps are disgraced. When it comes to Israel, Andrew simply insists on embarrassing himself. Life goes on.

As for Iranian nukes, let's boil all the nonsense down to what those of us with heads on our shoulders have always known:
Zeid Rifai, then president of the Jordanian senate, told a senior US official: “Bomb Iran, or live with an Iranian bomb. Sanctions, carrots, incentives won’t matter.”
Sanctions, carrots, incentives… all that matters in the end is whether Obama pulls the trigger, and everyone knows it, including the Iranians. I don’t think he’ll do it, and I think you don’t think he’ll do it either. So then why punish 80 million Iranians with increasingly crippling sanctions, when the policy of this government - of the entire international community - is a farce? When did the Obama Administration make the wrong choice between starving Iranian children and destroying Iranian nukes? Has Iran become the world's largest open air prison yet? I'm just asking.

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