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Paradoxes of America in the Paradoxical Middle East—
Feb 12, 2024 16:48:08   #
February 9, 2024—printed off 2/12/2024
Victor Davis Hanson
1. There have been some 170 attacks on American installations spread over Syria, Iraq, and Jordan. And while they are not always identical in mission and nature, our bases’ general agenda is to help governments in the Middle East resist the resurgence of ISIS, a Sunni-derived radical terrorist organization that during the Obama years absorbed nearly half of Iraq and sought to destabilize allied nations in the region, committing signature beheadings, incinerations, and tortures.
Yet now Americans are under attack by Iranian-surrogate, Shiite-dominated terrorist groups. Are not they also the existential enemies, we were told, of ISIS?
Note that ISIS-affiliated terrorists recently staged a terrorist attack inside Iran against the Shiite theocracy. And there were rumors that U.S. intelligence warned Iran of the ISIS-generated terrorist attack dangers.
So the questions arise. Is Iran trying to destroy U.S. deployments that were quite helpful to Iran’s surrogates in their war on ISIS?
Do the more we stand down from retaliating against Hezbollah-like terrorists, so all the more do we help—or hurt—ISIS?
Or to put it another way, is destroying a Hezbollah-like terrorist camp welcomed by ISIS or opposed by it on grounds of pan-Islamic solidarity? Does ISIS h**e Hezbollah or us more? Does Hezbollah h**e ISIS or us more? Do we h**e ISIS or Hezbollah more?
And what is the nature and attitude of the host governments of Syria, Iraq, and Jordan? Do they pro forma condemn U.S. retaliation in the way they did not condemn the prior terrorist attacks on Americans?
Why did some of our hosts criticize us, when we are there to protect them from terrorists? Do they want us to leave or stay, or stay and be criticized? EditEdit date and time
Are we not witnessing a The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly-Mexican triangular shoot-off/standoff between 1) Iranian-Hezbollah-supplied terrorists; 2) Sunni ISIS terrorists; and 3) autocratic Middle East governments—with the U.S. standing in the middle of the three-way fire and h**ed by all?
Is this mess analogous to the 1980–88 Iraq-Iran war when Henry Kissinger rightly once quipped “It’s a pity both sides can’t lose”?
2. The Biden administration has been for weeks currently lecturing Israel on its devastating retaliatory strikes against Hamas terrorists—even as it now plans to conduct a comprehensive missile and bombing attack on the terrorists who have attacked American bases.
That stance begs the following questions:
1. Are the 170 attacks on U.S. forces that have k**led 6 Americans and perhaps wounded 90 a more serious provocation to the United States than the October 7 Hamas invasion was to Israel, when more than 1,200 Israel civilians were either slaughtered, raped, dismembered, tortured, or taken hostage?
2. Is America dropping leaflets or texting those living around our targets to minimize collateral civilian casualties in the manner attributed to the IDF?
3. Is Israel warning the U.S. of the dangers of escalation and urging them to be “proportionate” in responding to the terrorist attacks (i.e., try to k**l no more than 6 terrorists and wound less than 100)?
4. Will pro-Hamas protestors in the U.S., often violent in nature, now turn to pro-Hezbollah protests? That is, will student visa holders from the Middle East t***sform their wrath from anger at U.S. support of Israel to direct anti-American protests in empathy with Iran and Hezbollah terrorists? Will we witness large-scale protests on our campuses and in our cities on behalf of terrorists who are murdering Americans? And if so, would we deport foreign nationals on temporary visas who openly are trying to aid and abet those k*****g American personnel and undermine the efforts of their hosts? Are these protests becoming similar to the Vietnam-era demonstrations when radicals went beyond protesting the idea of a foreign war to openly siding, Jane Fonda on the anti-aircraft gun-style, with the enemy?

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