We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
First, from this new piece by Jimmy Carter, a man who has always been in utter denial of evil and detructiveness in the world and the easiest con target on earth. He blames the war on Bush (wasn't it great the way the "Peace Process" worked before Bush?):
The general parameters of a long-term, two-state agreement are well known. There will be no substantive and permanent peace for any peoples in this troubled region as long as Israel is violating key U.N. resolutions, official American policy and the international "road map" for peace by occupying Arab lands and oppressing the Palestinians. Except for mutually agreeable negotiated modifications, Israel's official pre-1967 borders must be honored. As were all previous administrations since the founding of Israel, U.S. government leaders must be in the forefront of achieving this long-delayed goal.
A major impediment to progress is Washington's strange policy that dialogue on controversial issues will be extended only as a reward for subservient behavior and will be withheld from those who reject U.S. assertions. Direct engagement with the Palestine Liberation Organization or the Palestinian Authority and the government in Damascus will be necessary if secure negotiated settlements are to be achieved.
All I can say is this: if these terrorist guys were calm, rational, and humane, the problem would have been solved by Jimmy Carter himself - if not by Nixon. No need to read it all - the guy is in LalaLand. He had his chance, and he kissed Yasir Arafat. Decades later, he still wants to drop love bombs.
Second, Tracinski at RCP, asks "If the Iranian strategy is so clear, why can't we deal with it?" Damn good question.
Everyone knows that Iran is using Hezbollah's war in Lebanon to distract attention from its nuclear weapons program. The Iranians were given a July 5 deadline to suspend uranium enrichment or face "serious consequences." The contemptuous Iranians declared that they wouldn't reply for another six weeks, on August 22. Then Hezbollah--a wholly-owned subsidiary of Iran's Revolutionary Guards--initiated their war in Lebanon, and no one has paid attention to the Iranian nuclear program for the past three weeks. Now, finally, we are sending a new resolution to the UN Security Council--giving Iran until August 31 to agree to talks or face another months-long debate about whether we will impose sanctions against them.
The Iranian strategy to buy time is utterly transparent and not especially clever. It is simple to defeat: declare that Hezbollah's aggression against Israel is proof of Iran's evil intentions and that we don't require any further diplomatic justification to bomb Iran's nuclear sites and bring down its regime.
Instead, Western leaders fell for the Iranian strategy, and the Iranians have pretty much gotten what they wanted.
Sunday was a day of great triumph for Hezbollah. Its tactics had worked. By launching rockets at Israeli civilians within yards of a building filled with refugees, Hezbollah had induced Israel to make a terrible mistake. Its defensive rocket had missed the Hezbollah launchers and hit the civilian building. That was Hezbollah’s plan all along. As Israelis wept in grief over the deaths of the Lebanese children, Hezbollah leaders celebrated its propaganda victory.
Yes, Hezbollah was happy that an Israeli rocket had killed Lebanese children. The children were now in paradise, martyrs to Hezbollah’s cause. Israel was being condemned throughout the world for “killing” children—“massacre” was the most common word used in the Arab media. The Israelis apologized, but that was not enough to put out the flames of anger or to quiet the shrill calls for revenge.