Time well spent

by Steve, August 8th, 2006

politics“…this has been time that’s been well-spent over the last couple of weeks.”Condoleeza Rice August 7, 2006

Yes, over the last few weeks, entire villages in Lebanon and neighborhoods of Beirut been bombed to dust. All major highways have been bombed in all parts of the country. The economy is crippled, the environment despoiled. Fully one quarter of Lebanon’s population is displaced. A fourth of a nation! As Juan Cole points out, this would be like 70 million Americans displaced. The US and Israel are wilfully destroying a nation, against all reason (strategically, this is breeding more support of the extremist and criminal Hezbollah, not isolating it).

The Bush administration, fronted by the offensively pugnacious John Bolton and the dangerously incompetent Rice, refuse to talk to any party to the conflict save Israel. They call it a breakthrough when they manage to negotiate an absurdly pro-Israel plan… with France! Memo to Bolton and Rice: France is not a party to this conflict! You need to negotiate with Hezbollah by way of Syria or the Lebanese government! They want to talk to you! They are willing to agree to a cease fire!

But their mission really seems to be the destruction of Lebanon, the only multi-ethnic democratic bastion in the Arab world. I thought neocons were all about spreading democracy, not destroying it.

Meanwhile, I continue to be disappointed by the so-called “left” in the US, and their tepid response to the rape of Lebanon. Take, for example, Norm Ornstein’s harsh words for the UN online and on the air with Al Franken yesterday. He’s sounding an awful lot like a neocon apologist for Israel. He takes great pains criticize Hezbollah for their civilian attacks (as do I), but then dings the UN for saying nothing of it. Well, the UN has had plenty to say about atrocities on both sides. Ornstein gets in a tizzy about Katyushas packed with ball bearings (these are anti-personnel weapons, designed to inflict maximum carnage in a small package), but he’s got little or nothing to say about Israel’s wholesale destruction of towns and villages, except that Israel warned the people to leave first. (Franken at least pointed out that many people are too old, sick or poor to leave, and that many have been killed trying to flee.)

It is useful to note that we (the US) stand alone in the world in backing Israel.

Subject for another day: evangelical Christians, the apocalypse, and Israel.

Edited 8/8/06, 3:04 Pacific:I forgot to mention, while Condi and Bolton fan the flames of Israeli aggression, Bush plays war at his ranch. Steve Holland, who accompanied the president on a bike ride writes, “Bush does not ride quietly…’Air assault!’ he yelled as he started one of two major climbs….” Shit. This is our president?