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Peter Wehner deconstructs George Will:

It’s worth asking Mr. Will: does he believe what is needed in the Middle East is more repression, more violence, more mass graves, more Saddam Husseins, more Hafez al-Assads, and more Yasir Arafats? Would these things lead to more “stability” in the Middle East? Would they advance American interests? Would they advance human rights or human liberty or the common good?

2. Here is some of what Mr. Will wrote about the Middle East during those peaceful, sedate, tranquil “years of stability” he now longs for:

“The existence of Israel, and of ‘the Palestinian question,’ usually has precious little — and often, as in this case, nothing — to do with the largest and most dangerous doings in the Middle East. Today it is especially apparent that Israel is the all-purpose but implausible alibi for the various pathologies that convulse many Arab nations and relations between them.” (August 3, 1990)

“There are 21 nations in what is called ‘the Arab world,’ but no real democracy. In recent years, political pluralism and popular government have been sprouting green shoots in previously stony ground from Latin America to Eastern Europe. But the Middle East has remained a region riven by political primitivism that is fueled by religious fanaticism and tribalism masquerading as nationalism. A sense of falling further and further behind other modernizing nations exacerbates Arab feelings of cultural inferiority. Those feelings are deepened by the sterility of the truculence and militarism that are supposed to assuage such feelings.” (January 18, 1991)

“The Palestinian Authority has comprehensively violated the Oslo agreements, including the undertaking to stop antisemitic propaganda. On Friday, Palestinian Authority television aired a Gaza imam’s harangue telling the faithful that it is their duty to kill Jews wherever they find them. In President Clinton’s final months of office, the Middle East is more aflame than when he began ministering to it.” (October 19, 2000)

The Middle East is one coup (in Egypt or Jordan) away from a convulsion radically inimical to Israel. However, as Netanyahu said Wednesday by telephone from Jerusalem, Islamic radicalism regards Israel as Nazi Germany regarded Belgium — as a small steppingstone toward a much larger conquest.” (September 14, 2001)

Will must have a short memory.

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