On Israel, Lebanon, Hizbollah
I've been busy working on several projects and haven't had the time to write a long item on the "situation." But Tony Karon has been reading my mind, so to speak, and has raised some of the arguments I've been discussing for quite a while. In "Is Israel Fighting a Proxy War for Washington?" he stresses that Bush and Condi have not only given a "green light" to Israel in Lebanon; that they have encouraged that (“Don’t hold back on our account, in fact, make sure you finish them off…”"). And he points out that:
I’ve always maintained that the “pro-Israel” position of the Bush administration, formulated and influenced by hardline American Likudniks (whom, it must be said, are hardly representative of mainstream Israeli thinking) is actually fundamentally bad for Israel. Its infantile, aggressive maximalism precludes Israel from doing what it will take to live at peace with its surroundings, instead demanding a confrontational approach in keeping with Jabotinsky’s “Iron Wall” in which Israel’s survival depends on crush and humiliating the Arabs. Bush may talk the language of “Arab liberation,” but his contempt for Arab democracy is plain — just look at his response to the Hamas election victory. His administration appears to be dedicated to a remaking of the Middle East on America’s terms through violent social engineering. The depth of their failure in Iraq appears not to have deterred them from another adventure in Lebanon, this time using Israel as their agent of “change.” (read the rest)
And Karon writes:
I can’t help thinking that for all of the enthusiasm of the neocon Likudniks, the Bush administration’s “New Middle East” policy is not only bad for the Arabs; it’s bad for Israel, too.
Also recommended is Karon's "Six Fallacies of the U.S. Hizballah Campaign." Here are the six fallacies:
Flawed Assumption #1: Hizballah Can Be Militarily Eliminated
Flawed Assumption #2: If Lebanon is Made to Pay a Heavy Price, It Will Turn on Hizballah
Flawed Assumption #3 (My personal favorite!): The Crisis Offers an Opportunity for the U.S. to Rally Arab Support Against Hizballah and Iran
awed Assumption # 4: Syrian Cooperation Can Be Acquired Cost-Free
Flawed Assumption #5: The Middle East’s Crises Can be Addressed in Piecemeal Fashion
Flawed Assumption #6: Israeli Interests are U.S. Interests ((and read the rest.)
I'm beginning to consider the possibility that contrary to the predictions by Tom Friedman and other Nasrallah will emerge from this crisis more like Sadat after the 1973 war and not like Nasser after the 1967 war.