-- Two of three Pakistanis have a negative opinion of the United States, a figure that rises to 71 percent among citizens of NATO ally Turkey and an astonishing 89 percent in Saudi Arabia.
-- Two-thirds of all Saudis, Turks and Pakistanis believe those mocking cartoons of Muhammad printed in the Danish newspaper and reprinted across Europe reflect Western hostility toward their faith.
Did isolationists create such animosity toward America among our closest allies in the Muslim world? How? And who are they?
Answer: No such beasts exist. The people who have produced such results for America are the decision-makers themselves -- Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice -- and their advisers, the neoconservatives.
To understand who is truly responsible for a situation where a U.S. secretary of state has to go before a convention of religious conservatives to try to hold their support for a president they put in office, Rice might ask herself some questions.
Is it the isolationists who cannot end a column or commentary without howling for new pre-emptive strikes on "Islamofascists"? Was it isolationists who reveled in those Danish cartoons, reprinting them and declaring them to be a fine expression of Western values?
Was it isolationists who sent an army storming into Baghdad in search of weapons of mass destruction that did not exist, resulting in tens of thousands of Iraqi army and civilian dead, three bloody years of "collateral damage" to Iraqi women and children, and the inevitable horrors of guerrilla war, such as Abu Ghraib and Haditha?
Is it isolationists who are supporting Israel's strangulation of aid-dependent Palestinians, the purpose of which was wittily described by Sharon sidekick Dov Weisglass: "The idea is to put the Palestinians on a diet, but not to make them die of hunger"?
Presumably, the hungry Palestinian children are to pressure Hamas to recognize Israel. One wonders. Do the good Christian folks gathered at Greensboro, N.C., think what we are doing to these people is a Godly thing to do?
In Afghanistan, the Taliban are making a comeback. In Iraq, the new democratic government Bush celebrated in his surprise visit is considering amnesty for Sunni insurgents who only killed Americans.
Why did Condi rip into isolationism at the Baptist convention?
Because it is a less daunting task than defending the fruits of a foolish interventionism that are now lying right in front of us.
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