Monday, I saw this headline:
“The future of the Middle East, certainly the future of Lebanon may well be decided in the next several days,” U.S. envoy to the United Nations John Bolton told BBC radio.
Bolton is not a man given to hyperbole. To say that he is direct is probably an understatement. His assessment of the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East in general is significant: he understands that the Democrat majority will most likely not allow him an opportunity to continue in his present position. He has nothing to lose by speaking frankly.
Yesterday, I read this assessment a The Adventures of Chester:
The next few days may be decisive in Iraq. Things to look for are:
-a collapse of the national government
-a mass exodus from Baghdad (Westhawk’s post points to evidence that 150 Baghdad residents are entering Fallujah daily)
-de facto partition lines in the city (geography would indicate the Tigris, but you never know)
-the declaration of shadow or oppositional governments…
Chester isn’t given to hyperbole either.
Here is how Michael Freund at Jerusalem Post sees it:
Without realizing it, we are standing at a defining moment not just for the Bush presidency, but for the future of the entire Jewish people and the Western world itself.
Enormous pressure is being brought to bear on the president to embrace diplomacy as the means for resolving the various crises in the Middle East. In recent months, the president has come under harsh criticism for the conduct of the war in Iraq. The results of the midterm elections earlier this month gave control over both houses of Congress to the Democrats, who will surely push for a more conciliatory approach.
And as The New York Times reported on Monday, the bipartisan Iraq Study Group headed by former US secretary of state James Baker will recommend that Washington engage rogue states such as Iran and Syria and open a dialogue with them. In other words, it is sounding more and more like 1940 all over again.
The daily tally of treasure is enormous, as are the sacrifices being made by our military and their families. And even though the number of days in this struggle has now exceeded that of WWII, the future uncertainty and the increasing sense of impending conflict makes me believe that we are much closer to the beginning of this struggle than to the end.