There is nothing that you can’t do to someone in the Middle East today, and there is no leader or movement — no Nelson Mandela and no million-mom march — coming out of this region, or into this region, to put a stop to the madness.On the Eve of Madness - New York Times
And I mean madness. We’ve seen Sunni Muslims in Iraq suicide-bomb a Shiite mosque on Ramadan; we’ve seen Shiite militiamen torture Sunnis in Iraq by drilling holes in their heads with power tools; we’ve seen Jordanian Islamist parliamentarians mourning the terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, even though he once blew up a Jordanian wedding; we’ve seen hundreds of Palestinian suicide bombings of Israeli cafes and buses; and we’ve seen Israel retaliating by, at times, leveling whole buildings, with the guilty and the innocent inside.
Now we’ve seen the Hezbollah leader, Hasan Nasrallah, take all of Lebanon into a devastating, unprovoked war with Israel, just to improve his political standing and take pressure off Iran.
America should be galvanizing the forces of order — Europe, Russia, China and India — into a coalition against these trends. But we can’t. Why? In part, it’s because our president and secretary of state, although they speak with great moral clarity, have no moral authority. That’s been shattered by their performance in Iraq.
The world hates George Bush more than any U.S. president in my lifetime. He is radioactive — and so caught up in his own ideological bubble that he is incapable of imagining or forging alternative strategies.
P.S. Plenty of places to read Captain O on the Web if you don't have TimesSelect.