Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Martin Kramer lays out the true "realist's" case for supporting Israel, and drops a hammer on various famous faux realists in the process. If you believe that the United States supports Israel because an "Israeli lobby" manipulates our foreign policy, you particularly owe it to yourself to read the whole thing.
My own argument on the subject is here. May I humbly suggest that Martin Kramer and I come to the same answer from slightly different directions: that Israel's value as an American proxy is greater today than it was even during the Cold War.
Of course, I think Kramer is quite right. But Iran has opened a distinct bit of instability into the equation by wedging Syria away from the rest of the Arab bloc. I think Syria must be brought back onside. I noticed that Iraq just reopened dialog with Syria. Perhaps that is the first step.
The hitting is most intense in the red zone...
Kramer's argument means that Israel has little choice but to soundly defeat Hezbollah next time around, else her usefulness to us will be severely diminished.
As for Syria, I'm not holding out much hope for talks. Assad seems to have hitched his star to Iran and to this point has suffered little as a consequence. Syria will likely offer help only in exchange for something that is not Iraq's to give: the Golan or Lebanese sovereignty. The message, relayed for Washington's consideration, will likely be: you help us, we'll help you.
We should send a countering message: No thanks. But you guys might want to watch your back. From where we sit, you look awfully exposed.
I buy it. Mr. Kramer manages to speak in more or less laymen's terms but maintain the integrity of his thinking. And he speaks of the grand scale that realists are usually fond of.
There are some devils in his details, but there always are.