This incessant horseshit spewing from from the mouths of Bush and his surrogate/sockpuppets, that "a ceasefire is meaningless, stopping for the sake of stopping would be bad, we are not going to call for a ceasefire until it is part of a permanent solution..." has got me just a tad irate.
I doubt that he's noticed, but could somebody please point out to him that that particular part of the world has not had a "permanent solution" to conflict for at least 2000 years and probably more? Geography alone guaranteed that crossroads would be fought over, then the joker in the deck of oil in the neighborhood turned up.
There is no "permanent solution" this side of the grave. Most of us over the emotional age of 10 or so know that that's where we're all going to wind up anyway, so the point of the game is to make that point as far in the future as practicable. One way of doing that is to stop fucking shooting one another...just for right now.
Here's where the real cost of Bush's dry-drunk status shows up. Any rehab program of any sort has just one basic rule, a mantra to be chanted in moments of stress, something you try real damn hard to make a habit: You do not worry about giving up drink for the rest of your life. You just follow the rule that you are not going to drink today. Get through this one day and it's sparklers 'n' confetti time, you're a winner! Worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
Y'know George, it's a shame you never learned just how important one success for one day can be. Be it not drinking, be it not trying to kill anybody, one day is a triumph you can be proud of.
Or you could be, if you had ever learned this lesson. As it is you're a monster and a(n abetter of) (to be charitable) murder. You're not protecting anybody in America or Israel for that matter. You don't want the killing to stop until everybody loves everybody and they all have been given ponies, is that it?
Yeah, we elect Republicans for their military and foreign policy expertise. Somebody explain this to me again.
Anybody notice on the news that yet another Lebanese soldier was killed, by Israeli gunship fire, today? This was not the first such incident I've heard of, but it doesn't seem to be getting any attention. And this was a regular-Army Lebanese, mind you, the very people who are supposed to be "spreading the legitimate government's influence all through the country" and chasing off subnational militias (term iirc from Billmon*) such as Hezballah.
Just like the bombings of ambulances "because they might be used to sneak Hezballah fighters/munitions in". Or out.
Israel apologized. But announced no change of policy. Has anyone, anywhere, been noticed by any media whatever as saying that "LEBANON has a right to defend itself"? "LEBANON has a right to secure borders"? "LEBANON has the right to protect its people from rocket fire and external attacks"? The next time I hear anybody say any of those things will be the first time. Just sayin'.
*Wasn't Billmon, although I leave that link there because he's always worth reading anyway. The "sub-nationalism" thing was from Juan Cole in a post that, well, you simply must read. Click now, dammit, or I will have to come to your house and bang on your door and make loud noises and annoy your neighbors until you open up, after which I will sit and drink your liquor while you are reading. So go already. A brief intro:
Western and Israeli pundits keep comparing Hizbullah to al-Qaeda. It is a huge conceptual error. There is a crucial difference between an international terrorist network like al-Qaeda, which can be disrupted by good old policing techniques (such as inserting an agent in the Western Union office in Karachi), and a sub-nationalist movement.
Al-Qaeda is some 5,000 multinational volunteers organized in tiny cells.
Hizbullah is a mass expression of subnationalism that has the loyalty of some 1.3 million highly connected and politically mobilized peasants and slum dwellers. Over a relatively compact area.
I take sub-nationalism as a concept from Anthony D. Smith. It would be most familiar to Western readers under the rubric of the Irish Catholics of North Ireland, or even the Scots of the UK. Subnationalism, like the larger, over-arching nationalism, is a mass movement.