Spanish Lessons for Israel - New York Times: "It’s certainly true that if America were raided by a terror group next door, we would respond just as Israel has. When Pancho Villa attacked a New Mexico town in 1916, we sent troops into Mexico. But that expedition was a failure (just as our invasion of Iraq has been, at least so far)."
In an otherwise sensible piece Kristof reminds his readers of Israel's role in creating Hizballah, which is to say that by occupying Lebanon in 1982 Israel created a context for Hizballah to feed on anger and grow. Two Prime Ministers have made this same point, namely Ehud Barak and the late Yitzhak Rabin. Leading Hizballah officials acknowledged this important point to me on several occasions, as Rabin did when I met him, at his request, in December 1984 in Tel Aviv..
Kristof urges that Israel's war, rather than learning from history, may be replicating it. Accumulating evidence is beginning to suggest that rather than destroying Hizballah, Israel may be buttessing its popularity among its Shiite constituents.
A less persuasive claim by Kristof is that the U.S. would respond just as Israel has were we attacked by our neighbors. Surely he does not mean to suggest that U.S. would set out to destroy the national infrastructure of Canada or Mexico, or to kill hundreds of civilians. One would hope that wiser minds in Washington would understand just how blatantly counterproductive that would be.
Maybe not! On second thought, the Bush administration has endorsed Israel's malicious and attacks on Lebanon.