Showing posts from July 14, 2006

Another historical analogy: 1973 Mideast War/2006 Mideast War

Billmon advances it: Punching Above Its Weight Three days in, and it looks like Israel is losing the war. Not militarily, of course -- The IDF could turn Lebanon into a parking lot if it wanted to, and if it's willing to take enough casualties it can probably push Hezbollah away from the Israeli border and suppress the rocket attacks (or at least most of them.) No, Israel is losing this war the same way it "lost" the October 1973 War -- by not crushing its enemies swiftly and completely, and then rubbing their faces in their own impotence and humilation. Just the opposite: Today it was Israel that suffered the humilation of nearly losing one of its missile frigates to a warhead-carrying Hezbollah drone -- a threat the IDF apparently didn't even know existed. An explosives-laden drone, apparently launched by Hezbollah, hit an Israel Navy warship off the coast of Beirut, causing serious damage to its steering capability . . . Several hours after the vessel was hit, an I

On Mideast Mess and Invite to Book Forum

I was sitting down to write something about the topic (and it's starting to feel a bit undignified making once again the same point, that "I've told you so"). But then I read E. J. Dionne's Big Bang Theory In Ruins in the Washington Post who has basically written the commentary for me. So now I can go to the pool... Here is Dionne's item with some added comments by moi (in bold): The most intellectually honest case for the war in Iraq was never about Saddam Hussein's alleged stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction. It was the Big Bang Theory. [why do social scientists like to compare themselves to real scientists?) Not to be confused with theories about the origins of the universe, the Middle East Big Bang idea was simple and seductive. [simple, yes; not very seductive] Unlike other arguments for the war, it was based on some facts, though also [almost all] on some wishful thinking. The point was that the Middle East was a mess. A nest of authoritar