Sunday, July 30, 2006

Anglo-Israeli alliance has committed both a crime and a mistake

* billmon:
"Most Americans like and support Israel, and dislike or hate Arabs and Muslims, but they don't want to actually go to war for the Jewish state. They also don't like it when their president openly abandons the traditional U.S. role of cease fire maker (I know, it's mostly for show, but in this case appearances matter) and actually urges the Israelis to go on bombing the shit out of Beirut.

This wouldn't be a problem if Israel were winning, but it's not. So now it needs even MORE support from Uncle Sam, at a time when the political and diplomatic costs of the war are getting astronomical. The little sisters of appeasement are finally choking on the bill.
So if the gang really wants World War III/IV, and expects the USA to be there in the trenches next to Israel, they'd better get a move on."

* billmon:
"It seems more likely that the Israeli cabinet's decision not to endorse the IDF's plan for a major invasion was the proverbial blink in this eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation. I don't even know if Olmert still has hopes of carving out a notional two-kilometer-wide DMZ along the border. I mean, it's easy enough to say such a buffer zone exists, but if the Israelis really want one they're going to have to fight Hizbullah for every inch of it. And as I said, it's pretty clear the Israelis don't have much of an appetite for that kind of fighting.

At this point, and until they show me otherwise, I have to assume the Israelis now would be very happy just to get back to the status quo ante.

There remains, however, the little problem of the steady steam (100 a day, give or take) of rockets falling on northern Israel, plus Hizbullah's still-unused long-range "Tel Aviv" rockets. Yesterday's strike on Afula (east and about 30 miles south of Haifa) was a reminder from Sheikh Nasrallah that he still has a few rungs left on his escalation ladder, and that the IDF hasn't been any more successful at missile "plinking" than the U.S. Air Force was in Gulf War I.
What is clear is that the failure of Israel's blitzkrieg (and at the moment, it looks like a catastrophic failure, at least politically) will have enormous repercussions in the Middle East, just as the downfall of Louis Napoleon had in late 19th century Europe. By betting the ranch on a quick, decisive victory, the Anglo-Israeli alliance has committed both a crime and a mistake. The architects may escape punishment for the former, but I think the latter is going to come back to haunt them, and probably very soon."

* NYT:
"[The New York Times, in an editorial published on Sunday, endorsed Mr. Lamont over Mr. Lieberman, arguing that the senator had offered the nation a “warped version of bipartisanship” in his dealings with President Bush on national security.]
(The Times has endorsed Mr. Lieberman for the United States Senate only once in his four campaigns. A 1988 editorial endorsed the incumbent, Lowell Weicker. In 1994, The Times endorsed Mr. Lieberman. In 2000, The Times endorsed the Gore-Lieberman presidential ticket but made no endorsement in the Senate race in Connecticut.)
(Chris) Dodd recounted telling Mr. Lieberman that he needed to embrace his Democratic roots — explicitly and repeatedly. Friends described Mr. Lieberman as indignant at the challenge from liberals to his Democratic credentials.

“I said, as painful as it is, the first words out of your mouth and the last words out of your mouth every time you speak have to be ‘I’m a Democrat,’ ” Mr. Dodd recounted on Thursday. “You can say whatever you want after that.”"

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