Jewish World Review June 24, 2013/ 16 Tamuz, 5773
'We win, they lose'
By Paul Greenberg
Here we go again. The most impressive, or maybe just depressive, aspect of the current debate over what to do about
There was something decidedly 20th century about the images out of this G8 meeting. Update the photographs and the technology used to transmit them, and they could be old black-and-white halftones of Distinguished Leaders meeting on the verge of World War Act II at
There's also quite a difference between the Kissingeresque calculations of these leaders' Realpolitik and the bloody realities on the ground. The millions who have been endangered and uprooted by the spreading crisis in
Back in the summer of 2012 there was an unforgettable photograph in the news -- a picture of a Syrian mother carrying her wounded boy, a Pietà for our time. Compare that image it to the group picture of the Movers and Shakers at the G8 summit this week. There you have the difference, the big difference, the yawning gap, between those who make policy and those who pay its price. It's the difference between those who make the decisions and those whose fate is determined by those decisions. Or rather the decisions an apathetic American president fails to make. The effect of his indecision? He only prolongs the pain and suffering there, which grow ever greater.
This gap between words and deeds can't be filled with the glib talk of the Charlie Rose Show or the Sunday morning Week in Review specials. Or the articles in Foreign Affairs that speak of the struggle over
The catch phrases of the strategists and Big Thinkers, the George Kennans and Walter Lippmanns of our time, may have changed slightly since Korea and
Will this administration's decision to arm the rebels in
There is now talk of Limited No-fly Zones in
The difference in terminology may be only verbal, but the dying is the same. The late unpleasantness in Korea wasn't officially a war either, but the Korean Conflict -- as if that made any difference to the grunts and refugees. In this war by another name, candor would seem as absent as direction in American foreign policy.
It's all enough to take some of us back to the Nixon years, when the object of all that fighting and dying in
Or think back to the Carter years, when it would never do to call an evil empire evil. It would have been too accurate for comfort. Equivocation was considered the safer course. The blunt words of an old soldier destined to fade away had long ago been forgotten: "In war there is no substitute for victory." (General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, 1951.)
It was in 1977 that a defeated presidential candidate who didn't even get his party's nomination the year before met with an adviser who was going to give his foreign policy some sheen and sophistication. Over the course of a long day,
At the end of the lecture, Gov. Reagan said only, "My idea of American policy toward the
We win, they lose. That was the idea behind the policies that led to the end of the Cold War during the Reagan years, not to mention the end of the
The world before and after
At this week's G8 Summit, there could be no doubt about what Vladimir Putin, that old KGB agent, was up to: saving
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