Friday, July 21, 2006

When Life Gives You Lemons

Say they're limes, and to prove your point, make a big-ass pitcher of margaritas, pass it around and make sure everyone has a drink.

After 10 days of escalating war, the Bush Administration finds reason to be optimistic about the Israel/Lebanon situation: this is America/Israel's chance to flatten Hezbollah. Israel has the best trained military in the world, an endless supply of high tech weaponry courtesy of the US, and unequivocal US support. The US can't get into another war right now, not in an election year. And not while they're already losing one in Iraq, and arguably, Afghanistan. But they see the current situation as a wider threat since Hezbollah has support in Syria and Iran as well as Lebanon. Not only that, but in this conflict, Hezbollah also has the support of Shi'ite Iraq, who make up the majority of Iraq's new "America-friendly" government. So the white house wants Hezbollah gone before the Iraqi Shia become any more Hezbollah/Iran-friendly than they are already.

Not surprisingly, the Bush administration is taking the simplistic approach that if the "terrorists" are gone, all will be well, hearts and minds will be won, and democracy will flower throughout the Middle East. It doesn't occur to them that even those mid-easterners not friendly to Hezbollah would see this war as a war against Arabs, against Muslims, by Israel and the West. It seems obvious that a lot more arab hearts and minds by could be won by telling Israel to cool it, and moving decisively to solve Lebanon's humanitarian crisis. But the bottom line is, it's not really about winning hearts and minds, is it?