Our President is a loon:
President Bush’s unwillingness to pressure Israel to halt its military campaign in Lebanon is rooted in a view of the Middle East conflict that is sharply different from that of his predecessors.
When hostilities have broken out in the past, the usual U.S. response has been an immediate and public bout of diplomacy aimed at a cease-fire, in the hopes of ensuring that the crisis would not escalate. This week, however, even in the face of growing international demands, the White House has studiously avoided any hint of impatience with Israel. While making it plain it wants civilian casualties limited, the administration is also content to see the Israelis inflict the maximum damage possible on Hezbollah.
As the president’s position is described by White House officials, Bush associates and outside Middle East experts, Bush believes that the status quo — the presence in a sovereign country of a militant group with missiles capable of hitting a U.S. ally — is unacceptable.
The U.S. position also reflects Bush’s deepening belief that Israel is central to the broader campaign against terrorists and represents a shift away from a more traditional view that the United States plays an “honest broker’s” role in the Middle East.
In the administration’s view, the new conflict is not just a crisis to be managed. It is also an opportunity to seriously degrade a big threat in the region, just as Bush believes he is doing in Iraq. Israel’s crippling of Hezbollah, officials also hope, would complete the work of building a functioning democracy in Lebanon and send a strong message to the Syrian and Iranian backers of Hezbollah.
“The president believes that unless you address the root causes of the violence that has afflicted the Middle East, you cannot forge a lasting peace,” said White House counselor Dan Bartlett. “He mourns the loss of every life. Yet out of this tragic development, he believes a moment of clarity has arrived.”
One former senior administration official said Bush is only emboldened by the pressure from U.N. officials and European leaders to lead a call for a cease-fire. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan demanded yesterday that the fighting in Lebanon stop.
“He thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians,” said the former official, who spoke anonymously so he could discuss his views candidly. “The tacticians would say: ‘Get an immediate cease-fire. Deal first with the humanitarian factors.’ The president would say: ‘You have an opportunity to really grind down Hezbollah. Let’s take it, even if there are other serious consequences that will have to be managed.’ “
Having been proven completely wrong about Iraq where “freedom on the march” made a quick right onto “anarchy in the streets”, George Bush now wants to swat a hornets nest just to see what happens. This reminds me of the old Steven Wright joke about picking up hitchikers and telling them, “Put on your seat belt. I want to try something. I saw it once in a cartoon, but I think I can do it.”
It is truly stunning to survey how much damage this shallow stupid man has done to the world in six short years, and to realize that we will be picking up after his mess for generations to come while he and Laura go back to Crawford and drink their dullwitted selves into oblivion.