Sunday, July 16, 2006

Middle East mess

Civilian casualties in Lebanon are up to 86, including 16 children just today. And the Israelis don't seem to have any intention of letting up anytime soon. President Bush isn't even bothering to suggest that they use restraint on civilians anymore.
In fact, most conservatives act like this is great news. Why is that? Never mind that the escalation has caused the Dow Jones average to plummet, wiping out all of the gains for the entire year, and as oil prices surge towards $80 a barrel we could soon find ourselves paying $4 a gallon for gasoline.

But none of this phases most conservatives - not the civilian deaths nor the economic carnage back here in Bushland. I think Kevin Drum comes closest to explaining the conservative response:

"...most conservatives simply take the uncomplicated stance that Palestinians are terrorists and that Israel should always respond to provocation in the maximal possible way. The fact that this hasn't worked very well in the past doesn't deter them."

And apparently all Lebanese and all Syrians are terrorists, too. Not to mention all Iranians, most Iraqis and just about anyone of Arabic descent. Therefore, civilian deaths in those countries do not matter and they don't merit human treatment when captured by our side either.

It is a sad situation over in the Middle East right now. The folks who touted the Iraq war as some kind of boon to Democracy across the region have a lot of explaining to do right now. Instead of a domino effect of democratization springing up everywhere, we have increased militancy by terrorist groups that are threatening to overthrow the more moderate governments in those countries, not unlike the way Hamas did in Palestine.

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