Saturday, July 15, 2006

A Savage and Unwinnable Gambit

Pierre's Latest: As Lebanon burns, Israel and Hesballah tango in A Savage and Unwinnable Gambit

The irony is that Israel’s conditions for a cease-fire are nothing if not reasonable: Return the two Israeli soldiers. Quit the rocket attacks on Northern Israel. Disarm Hezballah. Any Lebanese worth his cedars would gladly set out those conditions himself. But in the meantime, this? A nation taken hostage? Thirty civilians a day slaughtered in the bombing? An economy finally on its feet, ruined all over again? A blockade? This isn’t just a matter of disproportion. It’s sheer madness, the result of an Israeli prime minister with something of a Kennedyesque inferiority complex (Lebanon as a Bay of Pigs, but without the benefit of invasion interruptus) enabled and just about applauded by an American president who wouldn’t know the difference between a self-defensive war and crimes against humanity if Saint Augustin shouted it in his ears, deafened as they’ve been by his predilection for shock and awe. Read the full essay...

And Candide Recommends:

BEIRUT BLASTS: It may be Bastille Day, but it’s bombing time all over again for Lebanon, where it’s as if the rewind button’s been pressed back twenty years. David Ignatius in the Washington Post (Ignatius covered parts of the Lebanon war for the Wall Street Journal in the early 1980s): “Watching the events of the past few days, you can't help but feel that this is the rerun of an old movie -- one in which the guerrillas and kidnappers end up as the winners.” Not to be outdone by the movie analogy, here’s Thomas Friedman in the Times: “When you watch the violence unfolding in the Middle East today it is easy to feel that you’ve been to this movie before and that you know how it ends — badly.”

DEFICIT-MAD: Paul Krugman reminds us that there's more to Bush failures than the Middle East in "Left Behind Economics."

See what bloggers are saying in Lebanon, a round-up here...

Check in with the Notebooks' front page for updates from Lebanon and beyond throughout the day.