There's a peace deal in Lebanon. Yay, peace in Lebanon! I guess those people who say bad things about Condi Rice are looking pretty stupid about now. After all, she brought peace to Beirut!
Wait, scratch that. The peace deal in Lebanon appears to favor the Syrians, and was considered brokered by the Iranians.
Well, we weren't involved because we aren't appeasers! You can't be appeasers! You can't talk to your enemies because that sends the wrong signal!
Except that Israel is entering talks with Syria.
Yes, Israel, our 51st state, the tail that wags the U.S. dog in the Middle East, doesn't listen to these kissy face jackasses either.
Right now, the U.S. foreign policy playbook has one play in it. Invade a smaller country. Guess what? That's a very expensive play, and it's even more expensive if after you ask the military to do its job - which it does very well and should do very well, given the grotesque amounts of money we spend on national defense - you hand off the job of national building to clowns who couldn't build a sand castle on the beach.
Seymour Hersch, an excellent journalist, has done a great job showing that there are definitely elements in power in Washington, lead of course by Dick Cheney, who want to use the only play in our playbook one more time and invade Iran. Hersch even predicted it would happen a few summers back. Well, it didn't happen. I have some optimism that it won't happen on Cheney's watch, though I am less optimistic if we make the dreadful mistake of electing McCain that it won't happen in the next four years. My optimism is based on the fact that a lot of military people stand against the idea, and even Bush and Cheney can't fire these people fast enough to get their way.
The British conservative commentator G.K. Chesterton said there are three stages of a nation. First it is a small power, struggling against other small powers. If successful, it becomes a great power, struggling against other great powers. In the third stage, it is a great power struggling against small powers, but pretending its enemies are great powers and that these new petty battles are really reminders of the great deeds done in the past. Then, it becomes a small power again.
I'm enough of a patriot and have enough understanding of my own self interest to want the United States to remain a great power and involved in the world. I have hope that we can engage other nations with the goal of a better common future. But we still have to survive the next eight months and do the right thing in the next election.
It's time to get to work.
Friday Five: For Jim
9 hours ago