August 19, 2003
Foreign policy senior fellow: Undermines the administrations rosy portrait of a rapidly improving situation in Iraq.
OAKLAND, CALIF - Ivan Eland, senior fellow for foreign policy at the Independent Institute, issued the following statement today regarding the car bombing in Baghdad and the bus bombing in Jerusalem:
The tragic bombing of the U.N. compound in Baghdad undermines the Bush administrations rosy portrait of a rapidly improving situation in Iraq. Opposition forces are now using terror-style bombings of soft (non-military) targetssuch as the U.N. headquarters and the Jordanian embassyto convince Iraqis that theyll be on the wrong side of history if they support U.S. troops. The guerillas are demonstrating that the U.S. military cant protect ordinary Iraqis. When combined with the recent bombings of oil and water pipelines, the opposition is clearly trying to turn the ambivalent Iraqi people against their occupiers. If this effort is successful, the American occupation is doomed.
The devastating bus bombing in Jerusalem may cause the Israelis and Palestinians to veer off from President Bushs Middle East Peace roadmap and back onto the highway of death. Both parties currently have little genuine interest in the peace process. Responding to the prodding of a superpower, they are both pretending to negotiate--hoping the other side will trash the ceasefire. President Bush should suspend efforts to help mediate a peace for the region until both sides really want peace and are willing to negotiate in good faith. Unfortunately, they will only do so when they are exhausted by war. The Israelis and Palestinians are not yet at that point.