May you live in interesting times.
–Supposed ancient Chinese curse
“Watching” the events in Lebanon unfold on the newswires, I ran through an extremely odd combination of feelings at work today. I felt detached, almost entirely removed from the world as I watched Israel escalate their offensive against Hizb’allah in the south of Lebanon; I felt anger at the psychopaths responsible for the kidnappings of Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldvasser and Eldad Regev; I felt hope that Israel might finally strike mortal blows against not only the Islamists in south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, but also against their exiled leaders operating openly in the streets of Damascus; I dearly wished that Bashaar Assad be next on the list for his part in this affair.
Most of all, though, I felt anger, not with the parties currently involved in the conflict, but with the U.S. government. I felt anger most specifically towards the Office of the President and those who have held it over the past 30 years – most especially the detestable Jimmy Carter, but also Reagan, H.W. Bush, Clinton and W. Bush. Each and every one of them failed to take action[s] that could have prevented the current conflict. I fumed at Carter’s ineptitude, his waffling, his undermining of the Shah, his latent and unhidden anti-Semitism and his handling of the Embassy hostage crisis. I raged against Reagan’s refusal to take definitive action against Hizb’allah for the slaughter of 241 brave U.S. Marines in Beirut in ’83. I nearly retched over H.W.’s disgusting near-obeisance to the House of Saud, his craven refusal to push to Baghdad and his abandonment of the Kurds and Shia that his administration encouraged to rise up against Hussein. Clinton’s cut-n-run from Somalia, his pressuring of Israel for concessions to the detestable Arafat-lead P.L.O. and his flubbing of the USS Cole attack elicited more than anger. W.’s continuation of his father’s Saudi butt-kissing and his willingness to listen to the careerists-gone-native in the State Department cautioning against “destabilizing action” infuriated me.
Each and every Israeli soldier that dies in this current conflict can be traced back to the US kicking the can of Middle Eastern terrorism down the road. The blame for the attacks themselves are obviously the fault of the perpetrators – Iran, Syria and their Hizb’allah attack dogs in this case – but we have allowed for this sort of thing to creep in for fear of being labeled, well, I don’t know what. I can tell you what all of our avoidance and dissembling has labeled us in the eyes of the Arab Islamic world: the weak horse.
I hope that the U.S. government bites its collective tongue this time around and lets Israel finally do some much-needed terrorist house cleaning. Heck, it appears as if even the other Arab governments think Hizb’allah has gone too far this time, so the gloves might actually come off this time. Maybe the IDF will finally have the guts and the wherewithal to finish at least some of the jobs that we should have finished long ago.