What is it about so-called Mideast analysts, especially Israelis, who willfully misremember the member nations of George Bush’s Axis of Evil? Michael Oren is only the latest to stumble in this fashion. Writing an otherwise surprisingly open-minded (for an Israeli nationalist-rightist) New York Times column on Syrian-Israeli relations, he writes:
All that was before Sept. 11, however, and Syria’s inclusion, alongside Iran and North Korea, in President Bush’s “axis of evil.”
Iraq, did I hear anyone say: “what about Iraq?” Yes, Iraq was the third member, not Syria. Syria is certainly one of the members of the Israeli axis of evil, especially the rightist axis of evil. But let’s get our historical facts right please.
Maybe he figured that now that we’ve whupped Iraq and decapitated Saddam that Syria automatically was promoted to the pantheon like when the vice president moves up if the president dies.
Or maybe Oren read this piece of satire and got confused:
Bitter after being snubbed for membership in the “Axis of Evil,” Libya, China, and Syria today announced they had formed the “Axis of Just as Evil,” which they said would be way eviler than that stupid Iran-Iraq-North Korea axis President Bush warned of his State of the Union address.
Or maybe he got hold of John Bolton’s Greatest Hits speeches:
The United States has added Cuba, Libya and Syria to the nations it claims are deliberately seeking to obtain chemical or biological weapons.
In a speech entitled “Beyond the Axis of Evil”, US Under Secretary of State, John Bolton said that the three nations could be grouped with other so-called “rogue states” – Iraq, Iran and North Korea – in actively attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction.
Geez, even Frontpagemagazine got it right (“Syria: Axis of Evil’s Junior Partner“), and anytime David Horowitz or his shmate get ANYTHING right it’s one helluvan amazing feat. So if Horowitz could do it, why can’t Oren?
Maybe I’m being too hard on the fellow. After all, here’s an entire book written on this false premise: Inventing the Axis of Evil: The Truth About North Korea, Iran, and Syria.
All of this begs the question: who cares about the axis of evil anyway? It was just another of Bush’s lame attempts to demonize nations least likely to bend to American will and power. Any differences we have with any of those nations needs to be addressed without the type of bellicose sloganeering exemplified by that phrase.