Could George Bush Be Right About Lebanon?

In crazy times like these I find myself thinking crazy things. One of the craziest is the possibility that George Bush may be right about a few things in Lebanon. It gives me the shivers.

To his credit, George is right on many counts:

  • Hezbollah is a group of ululating thugs who can't even manage to get along with other members of their own religion, much less anyone else.

  • Hezbollah kicked off this latest round of violence when it kidnapped the Israeli soldiers and it keeps it going by lobbing rocket after rocket into Israel.

  • The Israelis are perfectly within their rights to defend themselves against the constant incursions of terrorists. Regular skirmishes and suicide bombings punctuated by the occasional outright war is no way to live and they deserve to be free of it.

  • There is little doubt that Iran and Syria are eyeball-deep in fomenting the current troubles. Their tiresome, "who me?" posture doesn't fool anyone, including other Arab states.

  • And foremost, the Middle East would be a far better place if a lasting peace were attained. A step back from the constant threat of WW (fill in the blank) would be a welcome change indeed.

But being right on many counts isn't the same as being right on all accounts.

While the Israelis are entitled to defend themselves, their current elephant-gun-to-kill-an-ant approach does nothing but stir up more stink than usual. Stink that lands on them in the form of additional rockets. The lopsidedness of the fighting and the fact that it's done little to dampen Hezbollah's rockets is proof of its folly. As often happens with Israel, they are so bent on avenging legitimate wrongs, they fail to see they are cutting their nose off despite their face.

Their claim that leveling southern Lebanon is a "surgical" campaign designed to weed out Hezbollah may be true on one level, but it's so much more at another. The last time Israel decided they needed to take out the local terrorists du jour they stayed in Lebanon for six years. This "limited" campaign has all the earmarks of following suit and we can all expect a tenser world full of more terrorists as a result..

The Condo-Israeli faction is making that mistake so much worse. While they're happy to plink diplomatic rocks at Syria and Iran for being meddlesome (a bit of the pot calling the kettle black, I think), they are unwilling to take them on in a meaningful way. Instead of going to the international community to impose sanctions or work out some other suitable means to calm things down, they allow a war to rage that only increases Iranian and Syrian Arab street cred. Meanwhile, the alarmed international community - already soured on the Bush doctrine - is less trusting than ever that Mr. President can control the issue safely. The end to this debacle is not via more Israeli bombs nor Katyusha rockets.

It's also not through the fantasy that George will be able to broker a lasting peace.

First, there's his track record. In the wake of the good ship George lies at least two broken countries - Iraq and Afghanistan - and other leaky diplomatic lifeboats ready to sink - Iran, Syria, North Korea, and other Axi of Evil. While he is a legend in his own mind, no one other than he and the most addled-brained would call his handling of Iraq and other international trouble spots rousing successes. If they were, we'd all be wearing a lifetime supply of victory flower-garlands and attending the Iraq Independence Day Fireworks and Texas Bar-B-Que.

There's also that annoying reality thing to consider. Muslims, Christians, and Jews have been steeping in a toxic brew of hatred for thousands of years. At worst, the region has been embroiled in deadly wars that last for years. At best, suicide bombers and other religious maniacs keep the pot simmering with a well-timed terrorist act, a kidnapping, or the occasional artillery shell.

George claims to speaks to God and I'd sorely like to believe him, because it'll take the intervention of a supernatural power to set right that which has been broken for so long. George may believe he's the chosen one who will bring peace to the Middle East. He may believe this is a golden opportunity to turn the place around so everyone can live in harmony. He may believe that not talking to the parties involved in the conflict will resolve it somehow. He may even believe that allowing unrestricted warfare for a few weeks to stomp out the fires of Hezbollah is the way to go.

Me? Not so much.

So God, if you're talking to George, could you give me a sign that everything will be all right?

Perhaps your image in a toasted pita would be appropriate.

Bring it On!

The Poobah also appears at Bring it On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, July 31, 2006

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