Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fiddling While Rome Burns

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli warplanes rained more than 100 tons of bombs on security sites in Hamas-ruled Gaza Saturday and early Sunday, killing at least 230 people in one of the Mideast conflict's bloodiest assaults in decades. The government said the open-ended campaign was aimed at stopping rocket attacks that have traumatized southern Israel.
The U.N. Security Council held emergency consultations Saturday night and early Sunday and debated whether to adopt a statement urging Israel to halt its military operations "without delay."

Again, I have always supported Israel's right to exist and defend itself, but since the days of Sharon, they have acted as an outlaw state. The summer war against Lebanon was Bushian in its illegality and in its poor execution. What Americans miss so often is how important this issue is in the eyes of seemingly the rest of the world but us. This goes a long way toward explaining the radicalization of young Arabs and other Muslims.

The shoe thrower in Iraq and the Gaza debacle are the exclamation points on these years of Bush failure. He came into office, looked at the volatile mix of explosive forces that was the Middle East, and asked "Condi, what the hell does vola--vola-volltilititty mean--oh hell, I've got brush to clear."

Inaction would have been criminal, but inaction and indifference would have been a rosy dream compared to what he did do. The invasion of Iraq was not only an affront to human decency and the sensibilities of people throughout the region, but the not-even-veiled neocon rationale to "re-engineer" the region to make it more "Israel-friendly" could not have been more ill-conceived and damaging. In addition, our totally one-sided "whatever Israel wants to do is fine with us" approach has destroyed any hope of having credibility as an honest broker in the region. The blame is not all Israel's, but they have cooperated in the Bush network of failure and escalation.

[Editor's Note: To American Jews and supporters of Israel, the warm fuzzy embrace that the fundamentalist neocons give to Israel is part of their desire to see their twisted view of prophecy fulfilled to bring about the rapture and have the blasphemous Israelites who reject Jesus be tossed in the lake of fire. Have a nice day.]

Shoes, bombs, death and failure. THAT is the Bush legacy.

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