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Where’s The Senate? Where’s the Debate?

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The House will debate and pass a resolution in support of Israel and its right to defend itself.

The Senate needs to follow suit, and then to take up the resolution it promised to produce post July 4 recess on the publication by the New York Times and Los Angeles Times of the stories detailing the operation of the Swift program which may have assisted terrorists in eluding capture.

And then it needs a debate –a genuine, sustained and careful debate– over the Iran-Syria threat.

George Will today looks back to history to argue against the use of any force against Iran/Syria:

“Why wait?” Perhaps because the U.S. military has enough on its plate in the deteriorating wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which both border Iran. And perhaps because containment, although of uncertain success, did work against Stalin and his successors, and might be preferable to a war against a nation much larger and more formidable than Iraq. And if Bashar Assad’s regime does not fall after the Weekly Standard’s hoped-for third war, with Iran, does the magazine hope for a fourth? 

Will is so engaged in harumpphing about the Weekly Standard neocons –he denounces their “radicalism”– that he confuses the situation today with that of post-war Europe rather than pre-war Europe.  Stalin could be deterred from the use of nukes (though never proxies).  Hitler could be deterred from nothing because of his messianism, a messianism he shares with Ahmadinejad along with a hatred for Jews.

Will’s indifference to this unrestrained evil, his casual assumption that “containment” will work with Iran is the sort of gambling associated with the left, but not with President Reagan, to whom George Will often turns when the going gets tough.  Nor would Reagan have ignored the fruits of the Iraq war –including the disarmament of Libya and the freedom of the Iraq people, however difficult its birth– from a homicidal maniac.

Will’s dropped out, then, of the Reaganite GOP when it comes to foreign policy  –“We win.  They lose.”– and others may as well.  The Buchanan caucus welcomes him and them.

But I don’t believe a majority of the American electorate will agree on a “wait and see/do nothing” foreign policy, dressed up in U.N. half-resolutions.

Which is why the Senate ought to be debating this very topic, as well as the leak resolution.
 
Instead it is chewing up time on a bill that will be vetoed. 

President Ahmadinejad returned to one of his favorite themes yesterday: questioning the historical reality of the Holocaust:

“Some of the Western countries had for centuries followed the aim to dominate the region (Middle East) and used the pretext of the Holocaust for preparing the grounds to realise this aim,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

“Why do you claim that six million were killed in the Holocaust? Let us make a research – maybe ten million were killed,” he said sarcastically during a meeting with high school students.

“Not allowing any research proves that there is a problem and something is fishy,” added the president.

Perhaps in a future column, George Will can expand on the Kennan argument as applied to President Ahmadinejad, and of the consequences if he is wrong.  Reread the Long Telegram.The Soviet Union Kennan considered appropriate for “containment” was radically different from the Islamist jihadis of today.

“The theory of the inevitability of the eventual fall of capitalism has the fortunate connotation that there is no hurry about it,” Kennan wrote. “The forces of progress can take their time in preparing the final coup de gr

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