A Disturbing Comment

General Petraeus is a brilliant military tactician and strategist, but he doesn’t seem to understand much about politics in the Middle East:

You can tell a lot about a person’s views (and values) by the way he answers the following question: “Would a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict solve the problems of the Middle East, or would solving the problems of the broader Middle East — namely, Iran — one day bring about a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?”

Someone should ask him to elaborate on his views.

4 thoughts on “A Disturbing Comment”

  1. These public statements by senior government officials, especially the more ambiguous ones, have an indeterminate truth value.

  2. “Hezbollah’s justifications for existence will become void,” Petraeus said, “if the Palestinian cause is resolved.”

    Seems pretty clear to me. I parse that to mean, “If the Israel / Palestine mess is resolved, Hezbollah will no longer be able to use that mess as an excuse. Hezbollah will have to change its tune, and (potentially) loose recruits in so doing.”

  3. Mr. Gerrib-

    Hezbollah has indeed been loosing its recruits quite a lot in recent years. We need that to stop. “Loosing” as in “loosing an arrow”, that is.

  4. “Resolving the Palestinian issue” means different things to different people. For the point of view of Hamas (and in a similar sense, Hezbollah), for instance, the only resolutiont hat they are going to accept is the elimination of Israel. The notion that either of these organizations are going to embrace some sort of compromise is only viable to those who don’t pay a great deal of attention to what these groups say.

    I have enormous respect for the general as a military thinker and as an expert on counterinsurgency. His understanding of the dynamics of Middle East politics seems less comprehensive.

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