Friday, July 14, 2006

Israel mad dog.

Ok, correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Israel's insursion into Lebanon was intended to rescue two soldiers who were kidnapped by Hezbollah three days ago. Now all of a sudden, however, I read in the NYT that Brig. Gen. Ido Nehushtan, a member of the general staff, says:

“We want to put Hezbollah out of business. We want to force the Lebanese government to take responsibility and deploy along the border and dismantle Hezbollah, which if it is allowed, will prevent any stabilization and peace process in the Middle East.” (One wonders how the Lebanese army would do go about this deployment while Israel is bombing all the roads and bridges.)

The top military leader in Israel, Lieutenant General Dan Halutzm, has threatened to: "turn back the clock in Lebanon by 20 years," according to Beirut's Daily Star. (Why stop there, why not bomb then back to the stone age?)

Boy, talk about mission creep! What initially appeared to be a legitimate military response to attacks on Israeli military targets in Gaza and along Israel's nothern border has now turned into a full scale assualt; "imposing a blockade on Lebanon by land, sea and air, forcing its airport to close, cutting off ports and wrecking bridges and roads," according to the WaPo.

So much for Condi urging Israel to "exercise restraint, be concerned about civilian casualties, [and] be concerned of course about civilian infrastructure." [WaPo] Looks like Israel isn't much interested in listening to its largest foreign donar on this topic. Typically, W. came right out to say that "Israel has a right to defend herself," but then it must have dawned on him that what Israel was doing to Lebanon might lead to the collapse of the government he's been taking credit for since the Syrians left last year: Hense the panicked late-night appeal by Condi for "restraint."
Of course, what W. and Condi don't undertsand is that Israel does what Israel wants. Probably what they should consider is setting up an American lobby in Israel, then maybe we could turn the tables on them.

They'd better do something fast, because if this keeps up for much longer something really bad might happen, like, Israel might decide to take their fight ot Syria or even Iran. The FT reports in just three days the price of a barrel of oil has gone to $78 and that "traders said if the conflict between Israel and Hizbollah’s guerrillas in Lebanon became more intense, prices were likely to reach $80 a barrel soon.

Comon' W., midterms are coming up, think fast.


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