Sat
Jul 22 2006
02:54 pm

Senate Democrats, wanting to reopen debate on Iraq on the Senate floor, are being rebuffed by Tennessee's very own [retiring] Bill Frist, stating that another debate in Iraq would be "another bad summer rerun." This, on the heels of what Jack Cafferty reminds everyone: that while we are mesmerized by the proceedings in Israel and Lebanon, over 100 people a day are dying in Iraq as the country descends into the heart of a "sub-human nightmare."

"Bad summer re-run," huh?

This sort of glib talk hearkens back to the run-up to the Iraq war when, in a moment of surprising candor,

Andrew Card told The New York Times last week, ``From a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August.''

Maybe the fact that Israel chose now to begin its campaign against Hezbollah is really screwing with the administration because they haven't figured out how to effectively market their message. Condi Rice has stated flatly that

“I could have gotten on a plane and rushed over and started shuttling, and it wouldn’t have been clear what I was shuttling to do,” she said.

Folks, this is the official, beautiful mind whose job and charter it is to be the voice of diplomatic reason. What, did she have no idea that she might be called upon to formulate a response? Did she somehow miss the memo about the war between the Arab world and the land of Israel? I'd think that if I was Secretary of State, I'd have a ready response.

I'm still waiting to hear something on our side of the Atlantic which inspires confidence. Between Frist's trivialization of having a dialogue on the Senate floor regarding Iraq and Rice admitting that she has no idea what her job is in Israel/Lebanon, we're not off to a good start. (Full disclosure: I didn't expect much in the first place, but even this fails to meet my low expectations)

[more]

As for the President? This analysis provides an interesting summary of the discussion caught on open mic between Bush and Blair at the G8. Never mind that he uttered an expletive. Far more offensive (at least to Juan Cole) was the thought process at work:

...Bush thinks that Nasrullah of Hizbullah takes direct orders from Damascus. And he thinks that if Bashar al-Asad orders Hizbullah to stop firing its little katyushas and give back the two Israeli soldiers, everything will suddenly settle down.

It is an astonishingly simple-minded view of the situation, painted in black and white and making assumptions about who is who's puppet and what the Israeli motivations are. Israel doesn't appear as a protagonist. It is purely reactive. Stop provoking it, and it suddenly stops its war.

Since Israel is just being provoked and has no ambitions of its own, in this reading, it is useless to begin with a ceasefire. That treats the two sides as both provoking one another. Here, only Hizbullah matters, so you lean on Syria to lean on it, and, presto, peace breaks out.

It is a little window into the superficial, one-sided mind of the man, who has for six years been way out of his depth.

I come away from it shaken and trembling.

You and me both, Professor Cole.

Israel may hold the right to defend herself (as does Lebanon, for that matter). Yet, as we watch our leadership stand flat-footed, it is becoming painfully obvious that we have no coherent message to send, nor even to market.

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Crimsnnape's picture

Idiotic commentary

"Maybe the fact that Israel chose now to begin its campaign against Hezbollah..."

It's amazing how Israel got Hezbollah to kidnap their soldiers in order to start this conflagration. Yep, Israel and its constant string of terroristic acts is the problem. Yep, Israel has been just itching to attack the dozen or so countries that want to exterminate it and all its citizens. Yep, Israel gave back Gaza, Golan Heights, etc. just to provoke another war.

You're a genius.

Andy Axel's picture

Considering the source

Considering the source, I'll take that as a compliment. So thanks.

Look, that was meant as sarcasm. Get it? The US should know by now that there's issues in that region going back to, oh, the time of Christ.

The fact that there hasn't been a coherent response is shocking. The US has been caught flat-footed. Condi Rice doesn't know what her job is? How utterly repugnant.

If you want to focus on the choice of one word in that whole post, go right ahead. Again, considering the source, ignorance is your stock in trade anyway.

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Eleanor A's picture

More of the same

Yeah, Axel, but you forget ignorance is Republicans' stock in trade. They're proud of it; they think it makes their penisii appear larger.

Whatever. You know it's gotten interesting when the MSM mouthpieces of official Washington start reporting insider-Republican outrage over Administration actions. Guess it's finally occurred to them the GOP has squandered pretty much all our resources over in Vietnam, Part 2, and that we pretty well don't have anything available to deal with any new conflagrations.

Historically, the US has risen to meet such challenges. However, Bush is widely held to be the most craven puppet of corporate interests ever to hold the Oval Office. Here's hoping our luck holds.

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