Welcoming Israel to the Club

Now, the greatest
military power in the world and the greatest military power in the
Middle East have both come to grief against hotheaded, angry, religious
martyrs, brandishing the weapons of our cold-war policy.

Israel spent five weeks pounding Hezbollah, which pretty much meant
knocking hell out of the whole of Lebanon. Infrastructure, private
business, personal property, lives and states-of-mind were well
crushed. The physical damage will take decades to put back in shape, at
a cost to the international community in the hundreds of billions. The
costs in terms of human anguish, lost lives, limbs and shattered
families is uncountable.

It showed Hezbollah it couldn’t kidnap two Israeli soldiers without
cost, right? Power follows power, into the valley of darkness. Israel
has by far the most powerful military in the Middle East and they broke
up a hell of a lot of furniture. We don’t put faces on ‘furniture,’ the so-called collateral damage that insurgents, who hide their weaponry and themselves in neighborhoods, inflict.
But they have faces, not all that unlike our own.
Israel has just become a member of the club and it’s a grand thing
for America to no longer be a majority of one. Now, the greatest
military power in the world and the greatest military power in the
Middle East have both come to grief against hotheaded, angry, religious
martyrs, brandishing the weapons of our cold-war policy.
The game has changed. The killing is the same, but the game has
changed. National militaries are in trouble across the world. They were
made for fighting other national armies and we don’t do that kind of thing all that often in the new world order.
The new world order is disorderly, chaotic and not understandable to
the Donald Rumsfelds. They keep blundering into the same old can of
worms in different decades. They are old men, with old solutions, these
Nixon retreads, and as irrelevant as a chess-players at a video-game
competition. Smart-bombs and stealth aircraft are no match for
household cleaner dumb-bombs.
Hitler had an army. So did Napoleon and Genghis Khan, America,
Britain and Japan, proving that even the French were once a power.
Armies met on the fields of battle. They were glorious extensions of
the drama of nations and we will miss them for their pageantry and the
glories of massed troops in the smoke and terror of resplendent chaos.
But, as America and Israel are valiantly trying to grasp, those days
are as distant as the dodo, as defenseless against what serves for
warfare today as the dinosaur.
The world will not become more peaceful for it’s lack of May-Day
parades. Not a chance. It will remain a smoldering, seething, volcanic
state of misery and death until some sense of personal justice comes to
its rescue. Brief periods of peace were the fruits of victorious
armies. National power subsumed its enemies and brought them to heel,
or at least dispersed their insolence. Who is there now to disperse the
insolence of Muslim clerics who sell themselves as saviors?
Saviors? Dictators. Iran’s top cleric is known as and called ‘Supreme Leader.’ The Iranian elected president makes no move without clerical approval.
They kill to overturn what is. It dims their hopes not a
moment to reflect upon an Iran in shambles since throwing out the Shah.
Theocracy overthrows dictatorship and becomes what it has overthrown. There’s not been a revolution in the world, save one, that brought with it a sense of the value of the freedoms and justice it proclaimed.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert;

“There have been failings and shortcomings,” Olmert, with deep circles under his eyes and a haggard look on his face, told a special session of the Israeli parliament. “We
need to examine ourselves in all aspects and all areas. We will not
sweep anything under the table, we will not hide anything. We must
ensure that next time things will be done better.”

Which is an old man’s expression of dismay in a new man’s game.
Dick Cheney made the idiotic supposition that voters who supported
Ned Lamont’s antiwar campaign against Joe Lieberman in the Democratic
primary were giving “the Al Qaeda types” exactly what they wanted
and as a result, the Democratic Party now stands for “a wholesale
retreat in the broader campaign against terror.”

Which is another old (and vicious) man’s blindness in a world he no longer understands.
Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice:

people in Lebanon, in Israel and across the Middle East have suffered
long enough at the hands of extremists. It is time to overcome old
patterns of violence and secure a just, lasting and comprehensive
peace. This is our goal, and now we have laid out the steps to achieve
it. Our policy is ambitious, yes, and difficult to achieve. But it is
right. It is realistic. And ultimately, it is the only effective path
to a more hopeful future.

Beautifully said. No
old man there, but perhaps a woman too much dependent upon old men.
Still, more analogous to the ending of a war of nations than a war of insurgencies.
Lots of media, making lots of comment and not much sense:

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