Surrealpolitic for surreal times.: They Gambled and Lost.


They Gambled and Lost.

It comes as no surprise that Washington has backed Israel from the start. We needed a client-state in the region and Israel needed a patron. They keep their mouth shut when we torture Arabs and we keep our mouth shut about their nuclear weapons. Everyone needs a pal who knows their most intimate secrets and who won't go blabbing to the press at every little indiscretion. So why did we gamble so freely with Israel's future?

While Israel was laying waste to Southern Lebanon, the Bush Administration waited to call for a cease-fire or as Ms. Rice claimed "... we have insisted that a truly effective cease-fire requires a decisive change from the status quo that produced this war." Meaning that the Administration won't do anything until Hezbollah is destroyed utterly. It's no secret that this is what they wanted. Can you imagine Bush waiting a month to call for a cease-fire if Hezbollah invaded Israel? He would have put on his unused Air National Guard flight suit himself to defend their borders. So when Ms. Rice referred to the "decisive change from the status quo that produced this war" I think she was hoping for a different change altogether.

What the neo-cons had in mind was a new Isreali supremacy over Southern Lebanon with a greatly reduced Hezbollah force. As the war raged on however, it became increasingly obvious that Hezbollah was a lot more trained and prepared (thanks in small part to the British) than anyone thought. The Administration once again gambled on a war and lost. Only this time, it's going to cost a lot more than anyone's letting on.

Israel, whether you like them or not, protect U.S. interests in the region. They may be the single greatest asset we have politically, intelligence-wise and militarily in the Mid-East and the Administration has almost single-handedly put all of that in jeopardy with their stupid "change from the status quo" policy. One of Israel's greatest bargaining chips was military force. Every year that Israel faced an Arab force (1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982) they won and this therefore allowed them to put pressure on their Arab neighbors to sit down and negotiate. After this last war, everything has changed. No, Israel did not lose, but neither were they able to destroy their opponent and that will be heard throughout the region. Anyone who has ever wished to spill Isreali blood (and by now there are multitudes) will be waiting in line to join the only force in modern history capable of doing so: Hezbollah. Right now Israel looks like a surfer to a hungry shark.

While Bush and Rice were waiting for what they believed would be the ultimate outcome, they should have been dealing with Iran and Syria to get Hezbollah to stop the war. Yes, it would have been hard. Yes, it would have meant talking to people the Administration disagrees with, but maybe it's time to gamble on diplomacy instead of a game that apparently Bush and Rice have no idea how to play.


At 7:13 PM, Blogger Doomu Rewmi said...

Hi there.

Just to say I read and enjoy your musings. Yeah .. that one you see on your stats connecting from Sénégal, West Africa.. that's me sitting there and clapping when you saluted Barbara Lee for standing for principles ad hard times, that's me laughting at how politics in congress went all subtle and muddy on the minimum wage bill, that's me chortlin when Joe Liberman stands for himself, ...

Yeah.. I really enjoy your readings.

I'd enjoy inviting you to Senegalese public affairs on my blog, but that may not be possible. I 'll only say : "Excuse the French".


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