The Middle East QuagmirenIt seems that Mr. Reagan’s Waterloo isnsomewhere in the Levant. To pleasen”Arabists,” both in the State Departmentnand in his own entourage, he stubbornlyndisregards what some wiser Americans,nand experienced Israeli experts, believenshould not be done there. Under the influencenof people who adore Saudi Arabianand its giant accumulation of dough, henapparentiy has decided that it’s up to thenU.S. to decide the fate of the region; thatnis euphemistically called serving America’sninterests. A tiny crumb of knowledgenwould have told him that—except fornthe Prophet Mohammed himself—no onenhas ever accomplished such a feat, neithernthe Romans, nor the Crusaders, nor thencolonial powers of the last century. ThennIsraelis tried to establish a Western presencenin Lebanon and have succeeded inndoing that. Mr. Reagan seems to wish tonturn Lebanon into Vermont, where townnmeetings determine the sociopoliticalnexistence of a coherent community.nRarely has a foreign-policy concept appearednmore inept, if not grotesque, to anreasonable observer of the internationalnscene. DnLogicnThe momentous and impressive eventntook on so much of the left-of-centerncoloring that its impact has all but vanishednin the haze of shrill radicalism:n250,000 people marched in Washington,nDC, invoking the name of Martin LuthernKing and carrying placards with the wordsn”Jobs, Peace, and Freedom!”nThe first demand seems to us quitenlegitimate. The second is Ul-addressed:nwe know litde of a potential threat tonpeace looming in the environs betweennthe Lincoln Memorial and PennsylvanianAvenue. The same can’t be said aboutnother political disposition centers in thenworld, which are more maniftsdy bulgingnwith evidence of thinly veiled bellicosity.nClearly, the American marchers’ ordernwas only used for perverse propaganda.nWhat worried us most was the call fornfreedom, which somehow impairs ournperception of the marchers’ honorablenintentions. Our sense of coherent interrelationnbetween feet and word tells usnthat Dr. King’s worshippers have all thenfreedom im^inable. They can assemblenfreely, express opinions, demonstrate,ncongregate, form organizations, vote,nvoice their requests, democraticallynelect their representatives to a politicalnbody, openly denounce whomever theynwish to denounce, set standards, andnraise challenges without any restraint.nThey are free to create any reality theynbelieve will serve them better. Whatnother liberty is denied to the marchers?nPerhaps only one: the freedom to coercenothers to accept what they and theirnleaders nonnegotiably want to extractnfrom society through the most antidemocraticnmeans possible. Is it thatnfreedom they clamor for? DnTwisted NotionsnThe opposition to Reagan, the firstnconservative President since CalvinnCoolidge, is relying of late on a prodigiousnand spectacular concept: turning half ofnthe U.S. population against him. This isnexacdy what the so-called political “genderngap” amounts to. The entire anti-nReagan media spectrum—^from the liberalnWashington Post, New York Times,nand all the oudets of corporate radicalismnin the TV industry, to the overtly procommunistnand pro-Soviet “journals” onnthe order of Mother/ones and The Nationnm.mmnnn—blast at the highest possible intensitynand volume a fectitious, spurious, utterlynunproven slogan that “women arenagainst Re^an.” Shady pollsters whoncan produce any kind of “mass attitude”nor “widespread public opinion” by manipulatingnquestionnaires, forms, andnad-lib utterances, work mostiy for thenliberal cultural establishment, and theyngleefully support the grandiosely structurednsham. No one seems to remembernthat the ERA was defeated by women;nno one takes any pains to analyze thensituation from the point of view of socioideologicalnsynergy. What’s most astounding,nhowever, is Reagan’s and his closenadvisers’ ineptitude in dealing with thencrudely devised scheme.nOne might suppose that the Presidentnwould have enough imagination andnsense of efficient polemics to stand upnand state dearly that there is no—or verynlitde—evidence that the women of Americanare gainst him or his policies. Therenis, admittedly, ample proof that Americannfeminists and feminism as a politicalnmovement are after him, his hide, hisnvery survival. He could also declare thatnthere’s small wonder at this circumstance,nsince contemporary feminism is one ofnthe firmest fixtures of the American politicalnleft—^whose agenda is to undermine,nsubvert, and ultimately destroynthe social and cultural institutions uponnwhich rest America, its democracy, itsnfreedom, its promise, and its hope fornmankind. And that because a conservativenPresident is a formidable obstacle tonthe elimination from this land of thenAmerican concept of freedom, any latentn^]owemberl983n