Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Presidential prematurity

On the conflict in Lebanon that has just been brought to a close -- and hopefully more than just a temporary one -- by a U.N.-sponsored cease-fire, President Bush may be right, to a point, that "responsibility for this suffering lies with Hezbollah". After all, history and the Israeli response notwithstanding, Hezbollah started it. Basically. Thus he is right that "Hezbollah attacked Israel" and "started the crisis". And he may also be right that "Lebanon can't be a strong democracy when there is a state within a state and that's Hezbollah".

But what about this? -- "Hezbollah suffered a defeat in this crisis." Did it? It's too early to say. I hope it did, but I'm skeptical. And I'm certainly not so optimistic as to conclude that "[t]here's going to be a new power in the south of Lebanon". As usual, Bush understands the world in such simple terms that he seems to neglect the nuances that lie between good and evil -- the nuances of reality.

I, too, "hope the cease-fire holds". But a lasting peace in the region will require more, much more, than Bush's overweening, confidence in the righteousness of his own faith-based oversimplifications.

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