"Only if we remember that the core values of this White House are
marketing and political expediency, not principle and substance, can we fully grasp its past errors and, more important, decipher the endgame to come. The Bush era has not been defined by big government or small government but by virtual government.
No wonder (Congress') approval rating, for Republicans and Democrats together, is even lower than the president's. It's not only cowboy diplomacy that's dead at this point in the Bush era, but also functioning democracy as we used to know it. "
"This kind of unbalanced coverage of the civilian death toll has been generally, although not entirely, true since this thing started. I've seen any number of feature stories on Israeli civilians in Northern Israel hudding in their bomb shelters while the missiles fall, but few on-the-ground accounts of the devastation and death in the slums of southern Beruit."
"For many Israelis, even those on the left, admitting that the war is at its core a struggle between two communities inhabiting the same piece of land opens up too many cans of worms. It calls into question the artificial distinction between Israel "proper" and the occupied territories, which in turn casts doubt on the justness and feasibility of the two-state solution -- that sacred political icon which all right-thinking people are supposed to kneel before and worship. It also tends to reduce the Israeli Army to the same status as the Bosnian Serb militia (albeit with much better hardware) and nobody, least of all the proud officers of the IDF, wants to look at themselves that way.
But discounting the inter-communal conflict as something other than "real" war also requires that those fighting it be discounted as something other than "real" soldiers. If Pappe is right, this seems to have begat a peculiar mixture of loathing and self-loathing in the minds of many Israeli officers -- not the best psychological state for accurately estimating the enemy's capabilities and intentions.
If this revulsion (and painful memories of past misadventures in South Lebanon) have carried over into similar attitudes towards Hezbollah, then the Israelis have made a very big mistake, and are paying for it now.
The IDF may not like fourth generation war, but not liking something isn't a strategy for fighting it."