Monday, July 31, 2006

There's no need to post a history lesson here: we all know that the Middle East is a complex place with complex problems. There's plenty of grievance to go around, as well as plenty of blame. I'll simply note that Abraham had two sons, Isaac and Ishmael, and it's been trouble ever since.

But one has to wonder: right or wrong, what was Israel thinking? Border skirmishes with Hezbollah have been going on for some time now; why was it suddenly the right time for Shock and Awe? I'm sitting here listening to Fresh Air, where Christopher Dickey, Middle East editor for Newsweek, is trying to figure out what the goal was. Israel has no hope of defeating Hezbollah, in any traditional sense of the word. Hezbollah is a guerilla movement, and the conventional thinking is that if a guerilla movement is able to remain standing, that is a de facto victory. Israel can and likely will continue fighting with air power, but history shows us that an enemy is rarely defeated in this way. Iraq would be the most recent example of this, where it could be argued that our aerial bombarment did little except trash the infrastructure and inflame the insurgency.

So Israel finds itself, very quickly, in a terrible position; "staying the course" offers little chance of success, while negotiating a ceasefire will have the sheen of a Hezbollah victory.

It's quite amazing that Israel, having had a ringside seat as the US ran the ship onto the rocks in Iraq, has now charged down a similar path. Let's remember, we supported Saddam in the '80s solely to prevent the type of Shiite government that is now in charge in Baghdad. Now Lebanon, the great hope, the Cedar Revolution, is poised to meet the same fate as Hezbollah's popularity soars.

Where, oh where are the statesmen, the diplomats, the Churchills, the Adlai Stevensons? It should be obvious to any thinking person that diplomacy offers the only hope. But BushCo is not given to talk, and so the bullets fly.


Anonymous said...

Yep, we have helped to create the Shiite Crescent from sea to shining sea (Mediterranean to the Gulf of Arabia). Mission Accomplished! The blowback from this will haunt us for generations, if we are lucky enough to have generations. This middle eastern shitstorm has the very scary potential of expanding, igniting WWIII, and pretty much ending everything.

I was almost distracted from my paranoia about just what exactly Cheney/Rove want to do to us for our October Surprise.

Well, at least there hasn't been much talk lately of President Condi Rice. I think she has been a grossly incompetent Secretary of State and needs to be fired. But who in this administration has not been grossly incompetent? I still think Condi's recent performance has killed or at least diminished her presidential chances.

I am discouraged, disgusted, pissed, and embarassed by the actions/inactions of my government.

Nice blog! Great place to vent!

Nice attempt at getting the collapse of the Cantarell field out there too. This is a big story that is slipping under almost everybody's radar. Peak's a coming!

John in Costa Rica

montysano said...

I still think Condi's recent performance has killed or at least diminished her presidential chances.

Well at least there's that. I had been worried about a Condi run at the presidency, although others thought i was nuts. But I think she would have been a formidable candidate. But you're right, Johns: she's screwed the pooch.