While Congress marches in lockstep with our administration’s “Give War A Chance” logic, let’s just do a round-up of opinion:
Those who attack others, even in self-defense, must be prepared for the collateral damage that inevitably ensues. That damage is measured, not just in childrens’ lives, but also in damaged souls, on all sides of the conflict. But today, we must calculate a new form of collateral damage, which is the way that cynical terrorists capitalize on military mistakes. And whatever we learn about what really happened at Qana or at Haditha or at Abu Ghraib, there is little doubt that the terrorists will benefit.
srael’s gamble has not worked, and the Bush administration can best prove its friendship for Israel by insisting that it now agree to a cease-fire. The additional time that Israel wants to attack Hezbollah further could yield more Qanas and, worse, lead to an escalation in violence in the region.
For Americans who care deeply about Israel, one of the truly nightmarish things about the war in Lebanon has been watching Israel repeat the same mistakes the United States made in Iraq. Itâs as if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been possessed by the deranged spirit of Donald Rumsfeld.
… Israel has the right to protect itself. If all-out war with Hezbollah becomes impossible to avoid, so be it. But bombing Lebanon isnât making Israel more secure.
I just got off the phone with some political folks in Israel, including a former advisor to the Prime Minister, and I thought you might find their take on the current crisis interesting. Basically they claim the Israeli leadership feels like theyâve dug themselves into a terrible mess and would be glad for a face-saving way out.
Senator Chuck Hagel, a Republican from Nebraska, broke with Bush on Monday and called for an immediate ceasefire. He intimated that Bush was jeopardizing the US relationship with friendly Muslim governments by trying to out-Likud the Likud (my phrase). He also called for the US to talk to Syria and Iran.
What does our MA congressional delegation think of that? Anyone? Anyone?
From Liberal Oasis, SF Chronicle says Israel did exactly what Hezbollah wanted them to do:
Hezbollah appears to have made a calculated decision to capture Israel’s soldiers 18 days ago.
In the weeks beforehand, in the aftermath of Syria’s withdrawal of troops from Lebanon, Beirut’s government was considering ways to implement United Nations resolution 1559, the 2004 mandate that called on all Lebanese militias to “disband and disarm,” [Hilal] Khashan[, an expert on Hezbollah who teaches political studies at American University of Beirut,] said.
He also said that Beirut’s leaders were negotiating with Syria about the status of Shebaa Farms, the disputed border region that Israel still occupies. Hezbollah says it needs its weapons to fight for this border area.
Were Shebaa Farms to revert to official Lebanese control, Hezbollah would lose a big reason for its existence, Khashan says.
“The Lebanese government, which Hezbollah sees as an American lackey, was very serious about the implementation of the resolution, and seeing that Hezbollah became a part of the Lebanon’s mainstream political process,” Khashan said. “Nasrallah knew that. He knew that the Lebanese government was determined to place Shebaa Farms in Lebanese territory. Israel has always said they were willing to pull out of Shebaa Farms if they got proof they belonged to Lebanon.
“Hezbollah did not want to see Israel withdraw from Shebaa Farms. So they pre-empted and created a huge problem for the entire country (of Lebanon)…”
And as I said earlier, the panelists on ABC’s This Week on Sunday were utterly baffled by Israel’s (and clearly the US’s) strategy.
Anyone want more of this? It’s easy to find — much easier than finding a politician who’s actually listening to folks who are supposed to know what they’re talking about.