Straight to Hell

Posted: July 14, 2006 in Foreign Policy, National Security

Photo from the Sydney Morning Herald.

So the situation in the Middle East is escalating, and the whole region could be at war with itself if local and international leaders don’t play their cards right to defuse this highly volatile situation.

I’ll write more about this later, but in the meantime, (even though I don’t necessarily agree with everything he writes) check out these comments by Steve Gilliard:

Ehud Olmert, like many new leaders, seek to establish his bona fides by using force. The problem is that the use of force has been disproportionate to the issue at hand. Attacking Beirut Airport? Ginning up some claim Iran ordered this?

The Israelis could be setting the stage for the collapse of the Iraqi government with this, and that means Americans die. This is reckless beyond words. Olmert is playing tough guy politics, but this time, he’s got a two front war going and the possiblility of the American Army paying the price.

Israel has gotten widespread support in the US because the cost has been minimal. If the Iraqis decide to up the stakes by going after the US, what does Olmert do then? If Israeli subs take out Iran’s reactor, are they going to accept another oil boycott?

Israel has a right to defend itself. But this is reckless behavior with the US on the hook. The Israeli government has been allowed to treat Bush and Rice like equals, and they are not. We pay for their economy and Army, like we do Egypt. Their actions can directly hurt Americans in Iraq if they don’t ratchet down their actions. A blockade? Bombing the airport? It wasn’t the Lebanese Army attacking Northern Israel.

There is more than a little contempt for Arabs among Israelis and that was transmitted to the US to our detriment. Make no mistake, the Iraqis hate Israel. Israel attacks Syria or Iran and US troops could pay the price.

I know Olmert is trying to show he can’t be bullied, but he’s way out of control here and Bush is sitting on his hands.

The Israelis need to realize that if US troops catch it in the neck because of their actions, the American public will be quite unsympathetic

One of the things that also changed after 9/11 is that Arabs can’t be bullied as they were in the past. Iraq shows that you can fight the west.

This needs to scale down into talks and quickly. Israel could be buying more trouble than they think they are and may well drag the US into it.

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