Thursday, March 22, 2007

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Bolton admits Lebanon truce block

The merit of the Bush administration's trademark penchant for Israel-right-or-wrong is arguable, both in terms of U.S. interests and Israel's interests. This report raises a somewhat different question, and that is why did Bolton and his supervisors not understand that by prolonging the war last summer they succeeded in transforming Israel from victim to bully, and almost guaranteed Hezbollah a strong claim of victory? This vector was very clear last July, except perhaps for officials guided less by knowledge than conviction.

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Bolton admits Lebanon truce block: "Mr Bolton now describes it as 'perfectly legitimate... and good politics' for the Israelis to seek to defeat their enemy militarily, especially as Hezbollah had attacked Israel first and it was acting 'in its own self-defence'.

Mr Bolton, a controversial and blunt-speaking figure, said he was 'damned proud of what we did' to prevent an early ceasefire."


Anonymous said...

The word on the American street as to why the war was prolonged in Lebanon was because Israel was acting as a proxy and the US was hoping for Syria or Iran to officially jump into the mix so that we (the US) could respond to those "aggressions" militarily. What's your take on that? More conspiracy than truth?

arn said...

I did address the proxy issue last July in a couple of pubished pieces. See this blog entry, for instance:
There is no doubt that the July war was a proxy war in the sense that the U.S. lent strong encouragement and support to Israel to attempt to destroy Hezbollah, seen, in turn, as a proxy for Iran.
I think the prevailing assumption was that neither Syria nor Iran would "jump in" in any direct sense. Recall that there were strong warnings issued to both countries, which did not impede the arms flow to Hezbollah but which certainly underlined the dangers of escalation.
On a related issue, note the confirmation in recent reports from Israel that this war being planned by Israel (and the U.S.) for months.