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Bush's moment « Previous | |Next »
July 18, 2006

It is around five years since President George W. Bush declared victory in Afghanistan and said that the terrorists were smashed. Since 2001, a smorgasbord of international military and development forces has been increasing in size. How is it, then, that Afghanistan is near collapse once again?


I presume the short answer is Iraq. It has provided an opportunity for a revived Taliban movement to make a third of the country ungovernable. Together with al-Qaeda, Taliban leaders are carving out new bases on the Afghanistan–Pakistan border.

Hell is truth seen too late, as Hobbes said.

Update: 19 July
The US neo-cons gathered around National Review have become quite warlike. They want a third front in the war on terror opened up immediately. Michael Rubin over at National Review Online (NRO) is calling for the eradication of Hezbollah and Hamas, and after their paymasters pay a terrible cost for their support. He adds that:

There will never be peace if Syria and Iran are allowed to use Lebanon as a proxy battlefield safe and secure in the knowledge that they will not pay directly. If the peace is the aim, it is imperative to punish the Syrian and Iranian leadership.

What does 'eradiction' mean when Hamas is part of the government? The US neocons have gone from advocating that the US's Middle East policy is about moderating democratically elected parties (like, say, Hamas) to, simply eradicating them.

Andrew McCarthy at National Review Online says:

Hezbollah is Iran. It is Iran’s wholly owned proxy warrior. It is fighting Israel. It is an enemy of the United States, because its master, Iran, is an enemy of the United States. This is our war. The same war we finally engaged five years ago. That, it is worth remembering, was the war on terror — World War IV, as Norman Podhoretz aptly dubbed it. Democracy promotion is a worthy long-term aim, but the immediate imperative of this war is to defeat America-hating jihadists.

Jonah Goldberg reckons its WW4 as well Michael Ledeen says that it's a choice between dishonor and war. It's time to go after the terrorist training camps in Syria and Iran. Chamberlain is put into the mix just to make sure you get the point.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:13 PM | | Comments (3)


Gary,A Lebanese friend of mine who I socialise with, was nearly in tears when I spoke to him this morning about what was happening to his country.I couldn't think of anything to say to him,i guess fortunately for me, he knows my feelings on the subject on the strife in the Middle East and did not attempt to stab me through the heart.This subject has been covered adnauseum by the pundits but apart from the absolute rubbish by the wingnuttery there are going to be no winners here.,just a lot more dead people on both sides. The time is running out on this madness,and someone is going to pay.I pray it is not my family cause all bets are now off.Anyone who thinks to the contrary is a fuckhead.

I struggle to understand what Hizbullah is up to. Hizbullah, ironically, has engaged in a conflation of its own. In choosing the moment of Gaza's bombardment to launch its own attack, a cross-border raid that its leader Sheikh Hasan Nasrallah says was long planned, the Lebanese Shi'i movement has subsumed the struggle against Israeli occupation within a larger regional drama.

I can understand that Nasrallah and his movement confirmed have confirmed Hizbullah's position as the only Arab force willing and able to stand up to Israel.

Hizbullah's operation's does elevate Palestinian concerns to a grander stage, putting their demands front and center before the international community. Nasrallah has linked the Palestinian and Lebanese prisoner issues through a "grand bargain," thereby ensuring that a resolution to the explosive conflict in the north will necessitate a prisoner exchange in the south as well. Hizbullah is in a position to spring more Palestinian prisoners than Hamas by itself could ever have hoped to free.

However, Hizballah's move made the crisis in Gaza disappear from Western newscasts.Hasn't Hizballah pulled the rug out from under Hamas? Isn't it Hizballah that is having its moment of glory light? Might not this come at the expense of Hamas' push to force Israel to negotiate?

Whatever, it does look as if Hezbollah sees itself as a powerful actor positioned right at the center of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Gary,I don't know what any of the protagonists are up to any more.Hezbollah cannot push Israel out and they have made living even further impossible for the Palistinians.Syria can do nothing,and Iran just talks alot.The thing that amazes me is, how long will it go on before they will have to negotiate ?.How many deaths will the international community stand?Are we going to see another Jewish holocaust committed by the last holocaust victims? My Grandmother You could have floored me the other evening on late line Barak in discussion with Kerry O Brien - "Iran is the problem of the international community?"

What has really numbed me to my core is the in-differance felt for the Lebanese in all of this, i can't believe it.Our own governments position is as usual palpable, they are drunk with power and do as they please they disgust me.The Australians left in Lebanon have been treated with utter contempt.Australian pass-port what meaning does that have anymore? The racists involved in the little paddy in Sydney a while ago must be dead set wetting themselves with glee over this.Yea we were right all along well fuck them.

Gary when I was seven years old my Grandmother who is Jewish took me to see a black and white movie about the holocaust,I never forgot it.It should be compulsory viewing for everyone.I will wind up, I am starting to froth at the mouth.