The rest of the world has watched the defection of some of Mr. Bush's congressional supporters. China's topsiders have heard from their close ally Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf -- "a major non-NATO ally" -- that he doesn't think the U.S. can avoid what the world will perceive as a defeat in Iraq. And perception trumps reality the world over.This is further evidence supporting Ayn Rand’s idea that a half-battle is worse than none at all. Much of the world is hoping we fail in Iraq, and just the prospect of American failure is already emboldening our enemies. We have not even failed, and our enemies are already moving to exploit the possibility of weakness.
The global newspaper Financial Times wrote, "As authority drains from Mr. Bush, so Washington is losing its capacity to determine outcomes elsewhere. Iran is the principal beneficiary."
A defector from Mr. Musharraf's camp has informed U.S. authorities the Pakistani leader's "agonizing reappraisal" about Afghanistan's future stems from his perception the U.S. cannot pull a victory rabbit out of the Iraqi hat. Hence, his perception that neither the U.S. nor NATO can muster what it takes to complete their mission in Afghanistan. Hence, in turn, Mr. Musharraf's decision to authorize his all-powerful Inter-Services Intelligence agency to assist the bid of Taliban "moderates" to retake power in Kabul. ISI greatly assisted the original victory of Taliban in 1996.
If this is true, how will the pragmatists at Foggy Bottom respond? Will they argue, “Well, Musharraf is not supporting the Taliban extremists, only the Taliban moderates, so we should not destabilize the region by treating Pakistan as anything but a good ally”?
Why is America failing in the Middle East? Because we are not pursuing the goal of destroying our enemies, but are trying to establish democracy in Iraq in the name of altruism. No other power is stopping us, only our morality is stopping us from asserting our power in our self-interest. Our foreign policy of self-sacrifice weakens us before the rest of the world. This is not an accident; altruism by definition demands that the strong sacrifice for the weak. We are pursuing a policy of American weakness on principle.
The neoconservatives are achieving what the anti-American left could not do: they have America committing suicide for the rest of the world.