"Sixty-three percent of Israelis reportedly want Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign in the wake of what's perceived to be a failed operation in Lebanon. They're outraged that Israel's revered military somehow faltered in dislodging Hezbollah's leadership and securing the return of two captured soldiers.
One interesting point of comparison is to President Bush - we've now been in what a majority of Americans have perceived for some time to be a failed military operation, yet no majority has coalesced in favor of the President's stepping down. In fact, Bush was reelected nearly two years ago despite serious signs that the Iraq mission was going poorly.
Why the differences?"
* norman mailer from 2003 (via digby's):
"The real subtext may be that if America becomes again a military machine that is huge in order to oversee all its new commitments, then American sexual freedom, willy-nilly, will have to go on the back burner. Commitment and dedication will become necessary national values (with all the hypocrisy attendant on that.) Flag conservatives may see all this as absolutely necessary. In the last decade, there have been many blows to the psychic integument of conservatism. And the last half-year has been horrific. We have all had to recognize the outsize chicanery and economic pollution of the corporations, we have had to deal with the great blow the Catholic Church took, not to mention 9/11, which was a shock, if not an outright chasm at our feet. I think Americans took a hit that is not wholly out of proportion to what happened to the Germans after World War I when inflation came and wiped out the fundamental German notion of self, which was that if you worked hard and saved your money, you ended up having a decent old age. It is my belief Hitler could never have come to power ten years later without that runaway inflation. By the same measure, I think 9/11 did something comparable to the American sense of security.read the rest
Flag conservatives are not Christians. They are, at best, militant Christians, which is, of course, a fatal contradiction in terms. They are a very special piece of work, but they are not Christians. The fundament of Christianity is compassion, and it is usually observed by the silence attendant on its absence. Well, the same anomaly is true of the Muslims. Islam, in theory, is an immensely egalitarian religion. It believes everyone is absolutely equal before God. But the reality, no surprise, is something else. A host of Arab leaders, who do not look upon their poor people in any way as equals, make up a perfect counterpart to the way we live with Christianity. We violate Christianity with every breath we take. So do the Muslims violate Islam. Your question, is it a war to the end? I expect it is. We are speaking of war between two essentially unbalanced inauthentic theologies. So, it may prove to be an immense war. A vast conflict of powers is at the core and the motives of both sides are inauthentic which, I expect, makes it worse. The large and unanchored uneasiness I feel about it is that we may not get through this century. We could come apart—piece by piece, disaster after disaster, small and large."