In spite of Washington’s best efforts, events in the Middle East are diverting from the script. The recent Lebanese elections were most obviously another slap in the face for the Bush administration.
The seat formerly held by the Christian Phalange leader Amin Gemayel, has been lost to Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement, which is part of the opposition. Gemayel has responded by pouring vitriol on the Armenian Christians who may now have to contend with the violent pro-Gemayel ‘Lebanese Forces’, and by resorting to racist, sectarian arguments. The opposition seemed like it had pretty much pissed away its near-victory last year due to the conservative strategy of Hezbollah and Aoun, but this is an encouraging blow to the “March 14th movement” and its overseas allies.
Now, the UN are whinging that arms are flowing to Hezbollah, as if Lebanon’s big problem isn’t the pachyderm that keeps invading the room. As if the world’s biggest arms dealers aren’t threatening Lebanon all the time.
The Democrats’ decision to let the war run its course, while they frantically wash their hands of responsibility, means that it will sputter and stagger forward until the mission collapses. This will be sudden. The security of the Green Zone, our imperial city, will be increasingly breached. Command and control will disintegrate. And we will back out of Iraq humiliated and defeated. But this will not be the end of the conflict. It will, in fact, signal a phase of the war far deadlier and more dangerous to American interests.
What remains of the Iraqi government is poised to disintegrate. Mission accomplished.