Saturday, July 22, 2006


According to the British NATO commander in Afghanistan, that country is "close to anarchy".

The U.S. is speeding up bomb deliveries to Israel. They claim that they are delivering more accurate, guided bombs. But what does that say about their diplomacy angle? No worries:
"He thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians," said the former official, who spoke anonymously so he could discuss his views candidly. "The tacticians would say: 'Get an immediate cease-fire. Deal first with the humanitarian factors.' The president would say: 'You have an opportunity to really grind down Hezbollah. Let's take it, even if there are other serious consequences that will have to be managed.' "
In other words, there really is no diplomacy happening at this point. Not that we're surprised. Kindasleazy Rice's visit on Sunday has no stops in Syria, Lebanon, Palistinean territories, or Iran. In other words, none of the other major players besides Israel. What must be her reason for going there, then? Probably to demonstrate U.S. support for the actions the Israelis have taken and to coordinate what the next steps should be for the public face of the strategy. Which makes the following line from the same link above rather interesting:
"We don't want the kind of truce that will lead to another conflict," said this official, who added that, when the time comes, "you will see plenty of diplomacy."
See the time has not come and it won't come by Sunday. Hell, it probably won't come for at least another week, perhaps more. Meanwhile, that bit about "...truce that will lead to another conflict"? As usual the Bush administration is only viewing this as a conflict with Hezbollah and, by proxy, Iran. Perhaps they are thinking of Lebanon and Syria as well, but they are considering the wider implications. This position will not sit well with either our allies nor those in the Islamic or Arab worlds. Take for example this article in the NY Times:

“Our brothers are being killed in Lebanon and no one is responding to their cries for help,” said Sheik Hazzaa al-Maswari, an Islamist member of Yemen’s Parliament, in his Friday sermon at the Mujahid Mosque in Sana, the country’s capital.

“Where are the Arab leaders?” he said. “Do they have any skill other than begging for a fake peace outside the White House? We don’t want leaders who bow to the White House.”

The tone of the sermons suggests that the fighting in Lebanon is further tarnishing the image of the United States in the Arab world as being solely concerned with Israel’s welfare and making its allied governments look increasingly like puppets.

“What is creating radicalism in the region is not authoritarian regimes,” said Mustafa Hamarneh, director of the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan. “Mainly it is American policy in the region — survey after survey shows that.”

The attacks against Arab leaders from the pulpit were all the more surprising because so many governments have exerted some manner of control over sermons in recent years. Dictating the content of the weekly themes is one means of preventing prayer leaders from launching into the kind of political discussions that could inspire extremists.

...By not working harder to stop the deaths of scores of Lebanese women and children, he said, the United States is abetting the recruiting efforts of the likes of Osama bin Laden and the late Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

“The United States is creating more Zarqawis, more bin Ladens in the Mideast every day,” Mr. Habash said.

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