"The Usual Undertow"
Readers know by now that I look forward to calling out reflexive, unjustified claims of anti-Semitism. Andrew Sullivan's been a great read recently. But here's a post of his in which he links to this piece in The American Conservative, of which Pat Buchanan was a founder:
Virtually the entire conservative movement is now disowning this administration and this Congress. I welcome every single one. Here's the latest bunch of right-wingers urging a vote for the Democrats:"The usual anti-Semitic undertow" evidently refers to this: "if securing Israel was part of the administration's calculation..." Now, here's President Bush in a radio interview last week:Faced on Sept. 11, 2001 with a great challenge, President Bush made little effort to understand who had attacked us and why—thus ignoring the prerequisite for crafting an effective response. He seemingly did not want to find out, and he had staffed his national-security team with people who either did not want to know or were committed to a prefabricated answer.Yes, there's the usual anti-Semitic undertow here. It's Buchanan's posse. At the same time, on the simple facts on the ground, is any of this even debatable at this point? Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal, we have to repudiate this administration's disastrous incompetence, or face even greater perils than we have been exposed to already. Tomorrow's the day. Do not be silent.
As a consequence, he rushed America into a war against Iraq, a war we are now losing and cannot win, one that has done far more to strengthen Islamist terrorists than anything they could possibly have done for themselves. Bush's decision to seize Iraq will almost surely leave behind a broken state divided into warring ethnic enclaves, with hundreds of thousands killed and maimed and thousands more thirsting for revenge against the country that crossed the ocean to attack them. The invasion failed at every level: if securing Israel was part of the administration's calculation—as the record suggests it was for several of his top aides—the result is also clear: the strengthening of Iran’s hand in the Persian Gulf, with a reach up to Israel’s northern border, and the elimination of the most powerful Arab state that might stem Iranian regional hegemony.
The war will continue as long as Bush is in office, for no other reason than the feckless president can't face the embarrassment of admitting defeat. The chain of events is not complete: Bush, having learned little from his mistakes, may yet seek to embroil America in new wars against Iran and Syria.
Meanwhile, America's image in the world, its capacity to persuade others that its interests are common interests, is lower than it has been in memory.
I am deeply concerned about a country, the United States, leaving the Middle East. I am worried that rival forms of extremists will battle for power, obviously creating incredible damage if they do so; that they will topple modern governments, that they will be in a position to use oil as a tool to blackmail the West. People say, "What do you mean by that?" I say, "If they control oil resources, then they pull oil off the market in order to run the price up, and they will do so unless we abandon Israel, for example, or unless we abandon allies.From the president's own words, we know that our troops fight in Iraq at least partially to defend Israel's interests. Say what you will about Buchanan's history here (and it's not clear who wrote the piece). But on this specific issue, either Andrew got caught in an undertow of his own or he's simply uninformed.