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Thursday, October 27, 2005 

Brent Scowcroft's Orwellian peace

James Taranto at Wall Street's Opinion Journal sums it up correctly in response to a laughable interview with former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft published in the New Yorker, quoted in the Wash. Post (Hat tip: Don Surber). As the WaPo notes here:
Scowcroft, in his interview, discussed an argument over Iraq he had two years ago with Condoleezza Rice, then-national security adviser and current secretary of state. "She says we're going to democratize Iraq, and I said, 'Condi, you're not going to democratize Iraq,' and she said, 'You know, you're just stuck in the old days,' and she comes back to this thing that we've tolerated an autocratic Middle East for fifty years and so on and so forth," he said. The article stated that with a "barely perceptible note of satisfaction," Scowcroft added: "But we've had fifty years of peace."
Ahem. Is this what you call fifty years of peace, Mr. Scowcroft?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

Or this?

Or even this?

To which we might even add this?

As Taranto says in repsonse:
Now let's see. Between 1953 and 2003, here are the Mideast wars we can think of off the top of our head: the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the Iran-Iraq War, the Gulf War, the two Palestinian intifadas against Israel, the Algerian Civil War, the Yemen Civil War and two Sudanese civil wars. That doesn't even count acts of terror against non-Mideastern countries, from the Iranian invasion of the U.S. Embassy to the attacks of 9/11.

What do you call someone who describes this as "50 years of peace"? A "realist."
Or, a Don Quixote.

Scowcroft is yet another in a seemingly infinite line of people who act as if nothing is happening, or could happen. In this day and age, that kind of act is simply worn out.

The New York Sun's got a good editorial on him today (Hat tip: Intelligence Summit), and at the end, they say:
There are those of us to whom General Scowcroft, the former insider, looks like a tragic figure now operating in league with the Middle East's autocrats. Maybe for business reasons, maybe for other motives, maybe for some failure of analysis. We don't question his honor. But the fact is that for years the House of Saud, the Baathists, and the Hashemites have been telling us that they are the only defense against terrorism. They have tried their best to channel real discontent with their corrupt family-owned regimes on Israel. America bought into this logic for 50 years only to get attacked. The aging general can rattle on for the old approach, but it strikes fewer and fewer as realistic.
Well said.

Also available at Jo's Cafe, The Indepundit, My Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, Point Five, The Political Teen, Stop the ACLU, Wizbang.

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I was actually surprised at Taranto when I read all the BOTW's earlier... He neglected to mention the one point that shows the largest flaw in Scowcroft's point: Saddam's murder of his own people. Scowcroft was happy with an autocratic Middle East as long as there were no wars with neighbors - which there were, as Taranto (and you) point out. But that also implies that he cares not one bit what happens within the countries themselves - which is just sick.

Excellent point.

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