Britain’s deputy PM has called the White House’s performance on the Middle East road map “crap” (as well as Mr Bush a “cowboy with his Stetson on” — sigh). So, taking John Prescott’s lead, it’s time to wheel-out…
…the headlife Crap-o-Meter. Let’s give the War on Terror(TM) the crap test.
The Israel-Palestine Road Map: Blair is right to see the Palestine question as central to securing a lasting peace in the Middle East. So far Bush has been less than enthusiastic about the whole thing in real terms (despite being the first President to call for a two-state solution). The march of democracy in the Middle East brought us Hamas, with whom the White House refuses to deal. The result? Zero progress.
Crap Factor: 9/10
Israel-Lebanon: A year after heralding Lebanon as the bright beacon of hope in the Middle East (despite Hezbollah’s activity in the south), Bush saw fit to encourage Israel to extinguish that same beacon. The result? 1000 dead, Muslim anger, Hezbollah feted as heroes, Israel cowed.
Crap factor 10/10
Iraq: Before the war, Saddam was contained and posed no threat to the West, and Al Qaeda was a dirty word in Iraq (being religious nutjobs, not something the Baath secularists were too fond of). After the war and a botched “reconstruction,” Iraq is in tatters, on the brink of civil war; tens of thousands have died; the world is mightily pissed; Iran is emboldened; Al Qaeda have set-up camp and are having a field day.
Crap factor: 9/10
Iran: We won’t talk to you. Nah-nah-na-nah-nah. Meanwhile, Iran spreads its tenticles in the region and proceeds towards the bomb. Will Bush allow diplomacy to solve this one? Time will tell.
Crap factor: 7/10
Security: No attacks in the US since 9/11 is a triumph of law-enforcement (as Kerry categorised the War on Terror). This is small comfort to London, Bali, and Madrid, however.
Crap factor: 2/10
America’s moral high ground: The Land of the Free suspends habeas corpus at Gitmo, tortures detainees, and illegally spies on it citizens. The march to war in Iraq is seen as American hubris writ large. America has never been more unpopular, more unable to secure the support of other countries.
Crap factor 8/10
Overall crapness? 75%. Just how crap that is, and whether “Two Jags” Prescott was right, I’ll leave up to you.