Saturday, July 15, 2006

Mutually Assured Destruction In Middle East?

Probably. Until someone steps in, anyone with a cool head, there's no way for this current conflagration to resolve itself well at all.
ISRAEL’S air, land and sea blockade of Lebanon, which includes jet fighter strikes against the airport in Beirut, presages a new era in the Middle East, one in which the center has collapsed and Muslim and Jewish extremists, capable only of the language of violence, determine the parameters of existence. These strikes, like the suicide bombings carried out by Islamic militants in Iraq or Israel, expose the Ahab-like self-immolation that now inflects the region. And unless it is halted soon, unless those fueling these conflicts learn to speak another language, unless they break free from an indulgence in collective necrophilia, the Middle East will slip into a death spiral.

This has been a long time coming. The Bush administration never had any interest in helping to broker Middle Eastern peace agreements. This willful negligence was seen as befriending Israel, along with the bizarre demands of the Christian right. In fact, the administration befriended only an extreme political wing in Israel that, since the death of Yitzhak Rabin, has done a pretty effective job of endangering the Jewish state by dismantling all mechanisms for peace and turning Israel into an international pariah. As the machinery of Middle Eastern diplomacy rusted shut with disuse it was gleefully replaced by harsher Israeli closures, curfews, shelling and airstrikes. Palestinians have, since Bush arrived in office, been reduced by Israel to a subsistence existence matched only by Africans’. And the tools of repression against Palestinians now match those once imposed on South African blacks by the apartheid regime, with the exception that the South Africans never sent warplanes to bomb the townships.

Two more things. Isn't that image above similar to the description of Hell? And I hope you appreciate the service I don't supply. Believe me there are much, MUCH more horrific images out there I could post. Even this ugly picture of an area of Lebanon in flames is nothing.

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