Saturday, December 27, 2008

'Tis the Season
Nice to see the Christmas spirit is inspiring some brotherly love between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza.
Waves of Israeli airstrikes hit Hamas security facilities in Gaza on Saturday in a crushing response to the group’s rocket fire, killing more than 200 — the highest one-day toll in an Israeli military operation against Palestinians in decades.
Since Hamas took over Gaza, they've been launching rockets into southern Israel, and the Israelis have had enough. But not wanting to risk a repeat of the battle with Hezbelloh - when the survival of Lebanon's organization increased their stature - Israel is going with a Bush-style Shock and Awe approach. Of course, that means it's having Bush-style consequences: killing civilians (including children) and offending allies.
Governments that dislike Hamas, like Egypt’s, Jordan’s and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, are in a delicate position. They blame Hamas for having taken over Gaza by force 18 months ago and oppose its rocket fire on Israeli towns and communities. But the sight of scores of Palestinians killed by Israeli warplanes outraged their citizens, and anti-Israel demonstrations broke out across the region.
I'm no expert, obviously. But I blame Bush-Cheney for this. If not for the Iraq War, and the policy of isolating Arafat, angering Arab citizens across the region, would Hamas have still re-surged, and won legislative elections in Palestine? (The democracy we demanded at work...)

For 8 years, American foreign policy has been designed to demand cooperation by compelling either submission or conflict. I don't begrudge Israel, I suppose, deciding to use force to stop rockets flying into their country. They're in a tough spot. With each side accusing the other of breaking the cease-fire, who knows how to place blame for this newest wave of violence. But it seems to me that in the bigger picture, the fact of the conflict reaching this level of escalation at this time is all part of the plan. It's the Bush Doctrine in action. (as well as, it's worth saying, the Bin Laden plan...)

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