Monday, August 21, 2006

The Israeli-Lebanese Denouement

I have no desire to pile on Israel for what can fairly be called a disastrous one-month campaign against Hezbollah in Lebanon. I supported Israel's right to go after the terrorist group while believing it overreacted in some respects, notably an air war that had little impact except to kill civilians, and made no bones about where I stood on Hezbollah in this fiery post.
But in a world of winners and losers, Israel is the loser and Hezbollah is the winner, and the Olmert government is doing a pretty good imitation of imploding.
Of the many analyses that I have read of why this is so, I'd recommend Greg Djeregian's commentary at The Belgravia Dispatch. Remember that it was written before Israeli stepped on its wee wee bigtime over the weekend with a ceasefire-busting raid deep into Lebanon in which it took many casualties.

While we're on the subject, the superb Michael Totten, who is blogging at The Daily Dish while Andrew Sullivan chills, makes an appropriate comparison between Israel at war and the U.S. at war:
Israelis are far quicker to criticize their government during and immediately after a war than Americans are. Perhaps this is natural since Israel’s parliamentary system allows the people to change the political leadership without having to wait for the next scheduled election that could be years away. Maybe George W. Bush would no longer be president if Americans were able to pick someone else before 2008. It’s also possible that Israelis are just more self-critical for cultural reasons.

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