"Maronite Christian cabinet minister Pierre Gemayel was assassinated in Beirut. Needless to say, all blame immediately falls on Syria, despite the fact that such an assassination, particularly at this time, makes no sense from the Syrian point of view. Syria’s position in Lebanon hasn’t been this strong in years – it’s even stronger than when Syria still had troops in Lebanon - with the Lebanese government falling apart, and Hezbollah about to take the position it has earned as a result of its successful defense of the country (as opposed to the useless official government). Why would Syria pick this of all times to get rid of a fly speck of a botheration?* I "show no discernment or logic." apparently.
At the same time that Syrian influence is at a peak in Lebanon, Syria is about to be invited back into the world community by the American ‘wise men’, who feel they need Syrian influence to extract the United States from its Zionist-caused quagmire in Iraq. Why would the Syrians pick this, of all times, to screw themselves out of being ‘Gadhafied’ (i. e., brought back from being an international pariah; speaking of Gadhafi . . . .)? On the other hand, the Zionists are terrified that Iraq will mean that both Syria and Iran are returned to the fold.
The Lobby could use a PR hand, and what better hand would there be than to assassinate a Lebanese anti-Syrian leader, and blame the whole thing on Syria? The Israeli spy rings in Lebanon are certainly capable of the assassination, and Israel, unlike Syria, has a good motive."
"Under these circumstances, democratization -- the shared passion of many Republicans and Democrats alike -- is doomed to fail. Any political opening will only bring to power forces we don't like and will try to bat down, further increasing resentment of the United States and only ensuring things will be even worse the next time around. This is not to say that we should be blithely unconcerned with internal political developments elsewhere. Rather, the point is that, whatever we hope to accomplish, the only way we can do anything constructive is to begin draining from the American approach to the Middle East the overwhelming stench of imperialism that's surrounded it for decades. We need to operate through legitimate mechanisms, establish rules of the road that we and our allies will actually follow and, most of all, operate with a sensitivity to the actual desires and priorities of people who live in the region. Faced with a disaster the scale of our current policies, saying "sorry" and then trying the same thing over again isn't good enough."
* digby points to the article about how much of a nuisance for bizfolk to get into the states, and she adds:
"But now our terrible image and rude tactics are really starting to interfere with business --- and that's a problem that's going to get some attention. I'm sure Karen Hughes is out there feverishly chatting up all the soccer moms on the planet telling them they shouldn't hate us for our freedom, but somehow I don't think it's going to help. Being hated all over the world is not just bad for our physical security it's bad for our economic security too.
I'm wondering if there's any aspect of life in America (or the world, for that matter) that hasn't been adversely affected by the Bush administration's blunderbuss approach to governance. The American big money boyz were very short-sighted when they backed these people. But then, that's one of their trademarks, isn't it?"