Mr. Flipflopper has no clue what he’s doing. He’s just taking mulligans. Washington Post editorial on Wednesday:
THE BUSH administration’s announcement of new Middle Eastern arms sales and aid is as much a political as a military initiative. Only Israel is likely ever to use the additional weapons in its own defense; Egypt faces no conventional military threat, while Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states will continue to depend on American power to deter Iran. The real point, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice put it at the beginning of a regional tour, is “to affirm the importance of this region to the United States . . . in what is a complicated time.” Though Ms. Rice didn’t spell it out, one of the complications is the likelihood that the United States will draw down forces or retreat altogether from Iraq in the next year or so. The military packages can be seen as part of an effort to contain the resulting damage to U.S. influence in the Middle East.
the administration’s initiative amounts to an unblushing return to the regional strategy that President Bush and Ms. Rice herself explicitly repudiated two years ago. Once again, the United States will use military aid to bolster autocratic Arab regimes in the name of regional “security and stability.” Remarkably, Ms. Rice used those very words on Tuesday, in direct contradiction of her previous statements. “On September 11,” she said in a June 2005 appearance in Cairo, “we realized that our policies to try and promote what we thought was stability in the Middle East had actually allowed, underneath, a very malignant . . . form of extremism to grow up.”
That criticism is even more applicable to the administration’s new approach than it was to U.S. policies of the 1970s and 1980s. In those years, Saudi Arabia and Egypt were, at least, supportive of U.S. security objectives. Now Ms. Rice has made a point of saying that there will be no trade-off between the new arms sales and Saudi behavior in Iraq, even though Riyadh is all but openly working against U.S. interests there. The Saudis also have refused to cooperate with U.S. policy on Hamas or to commit to participating in an upcoming Middle East peace meeting. Egypt will get a 10-year renewal of the $1.3 billion a year in military aid it receives, even though both U.S. and Israeli officials say it has not made a serious effort to stop the smuggling of weapons from its territory to Hamas’s army in Gaza.
Bush worshipper Fred Hiatt must have been on vacation.