Friday, July 21, 2006

A cease-fire on talks about a cease-fire

The United Nations is strongly urging a cease-fire to be declared between Israel and Lebanon. The United States, however, is standing firm against the notion, even while claiming that they would like to see the fighting stop. Given that the US is one of the few nations who has the ability to override a UN resolution with a veto (and hey, GDub just learned how to use his after five years), any amount of dragging of heels on our behalf can quickly squelch any talks.

But why is the United States so resistant to allowing this way of thinking to carry through? In the immortal words of Tony Snow, "at this point, there's no indication that Hezbollah intends to lay down arms." Which is technically true. But given that Israel has responded to Hezbollah's actions with force that most of the world views as excessive, there's not a whole lot of reason for them to lay down their arms. For their part, Hezbollah doesn't recognize Israel as a state, which, up until the mid-1940's was completely accurate. Meanwhile, Israel has aggressively waged campaigns with the intention of trying to dismantle and destroy opposing nations, even while being forced to defend its own borders.

Ultimately, it should come as no surprise that the United States is throwing its support and weight behind Israel in the current conflict. After all, the Israeli state was largely supported and bolstered by the United States ever since its inception, and the US knows that, if Israel falls completely, they will lose footing and face in the Middle East.

Now I am by no means condoning the actions of Hezbollah, nor am I decrying Israel as purely the enemy and the evil face of this war. One cannot justly deny that Hezbollah brought Israel's wrath down upon itself by kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and holding them hostage. One also cannot deny that Israel has mounted a far more aggressive campaign than is justified, and has had little concern for the casualties they are causing. After all, there is evidence that Israel not only encouraged people to evacuate Beirut, but that they then bombed the caravans leaving the city.

Of course, through this conflict, we've had GDub swearing into microphones, acknowledging racism in his first appearance at the NAACP (after multiple invitations), and improperly groping the German Chancellor. If that isn't an acknowledgement of a cowboy who's intent on leading with bravado and not reason, I'm not sure what is.

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