So long, Kos

by Steve, July 17th, 2006

politicsI’ve never been a huge fan of Markos Moulitsas Zniga, but I’ve tried to like his mega meta blog. I’ve even posted a diary entry on his site. I’ve had Daily Kos linked from here since I started this blog, but today I’ve removed the link.

Today, under the title Why I won’t write about Israel/Lebanon/Palestine fighting”, Moulitsas writes:

It’s clear that in the Middle East, no one is sick of the fighting. They have centuries of grudges to resolve, and will continue fighting until they can get over them. And considering that they obviously have no interest in “getting over them”, we’re stuck with a war that will not end in any forseable future…. It doesn’t matter what the President of the United States says. Or the United Nations.

This is, of course, ahistorical bullshit. Of course it matters what the POTUS says. With Israel as the single largest recipient of US military aid, the president has enormous influence over the Israeli war machine. We don’t have to pay for this!

I’ll leave it as an exercise for the reader to read a little history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, but suffice it to say, Moulitsas is taking the easy way out and showing his stripes as a main-stream Democratic Party operative, unwilling to take a stand on issues that really matter. “I just hope that war-fatigue sets in at some point,” writes Moulitsas, washing his hands of the whole matter. Tell that to the children dying by bomb, bullet, and lack of clean water. If you can’t take a stand against war, what can you stand for?

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Arrested development

by Steve, July 17th, 2006

politicsWatch as our President smacks his lips, talks with his mouth full and tells Tony Blair “What [the United Nations] need to do is to get Syria to stop Hezbollah from doing this shit.” Syria, which the U.S. pushed out of Lebanon, has little or no sway on the ground there now. Is our leader really this ignorant? It would seem so.

Israel’s attacks are destroying civilian infrastructure and human life at a sickening pace. Hezbollah is responding with its own barbaric escalation, led by the evidently criminally insane Hasan Nasrallah. Israel seems bent on pushing Lebanon back into civil war and Gaza back into the stone age. Your tax dollars at work, America! Hezbollah has nothing to lose, and in fact has gained popular support in Lebanon.

Please read Juan Cole’s blog. He has daily reports from the Arab press rarely reported in the west, as well as expert, well-reasoned analysis. Also, the Nation has a good summation of the folly of “the Israeli doctrine of absolute security and massive retaliation–the notion that any attack or threat of attack on Israel will be met with a disproportionate response”.

Lest we forget what the victims of war look like, read this story in the Guardian about children murdered by bomb while trying to flee the violence. The vast majority of the 150+ killed in Lebanon since Wednesday have been civilians. Lebanon is one of the few democracies in the Arab world (and a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic one at that). What happened to Bush’s policy encouraging democracy in the region?

This is a critical time in the middle east. What is happening now will ripple outward across the entire region, indeed the entire globe. And the one man who could actually do something about it sits around stuffing his face, flaunting his geo-political ignorance and duplicitiousness. Shame.