“Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight,” he said at the end of his speech. “Nothing is inevitable here. We’re Americans, and we never give up. We never quit. We never hide from history. We make history.”
Isn’t that precisely what’s wrong with American foreign policy? We don’t study history. We don’t read history. We don’t learn from the past. We don’t consider our options cautiously. Goddamn, we make history. That can be said to be the Bush position on Iraq in a nutshell.
Did McCain ever stop and consider that you can make history by stepping back from precipitous action and considering whether a big stick is the right or only approach? When Jimmy Carter negotiated peace between Israel and Egypt he stood up and fought for peace. But I don’t think that’s the kind of “standing up and fighting” McCain had in mind.
If Barack Obama becomes president he has a golden opportunity to normalize U.S relations with nations like Cuba and Iran, which have been our longtime enemies. He will have a chance to make an indelible mark on the prospects for Middle East peace by championing a deal among Israel, the Palestinians, Syria and Lebanon. That’s certainly making history, though of a different sort than Bush or McCain consider appropriate or advisable.
I say let’s make history by making peace, not by making war. Not by continuing a disastrous policy of disengagement from, and isolation of our supposed Middle Eastern enemies.