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Bloodied and Bowed

By       Message Larry Sakin     Permalink
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See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
s nations scramble to create a functioning peacekeeping force to be placed on the Lebanese/Israeli border, revelations of American involvement in the planning of Israel's latest war are now coming to light.

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh writes in the New Yorker that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney were "convinced that a successful Israeli Air Force bombing campaign against Hezbollah... could ease Israel's security concerns and also serve as a prelude to a potential American pre-emptive attack to destroy Iran's nuclear installations."

It's not like anyone with common sense didn't already see fingerprints of the Bush administration all over the Middle East conflagration. The fact that Bush was in no hurry to send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to negotiate a cease-fire in the very beginning was a huge tell. And that American military analysts all said that Israel was using too few ground troops, similar to what was said about the US occupation in Iraq, is another. Were it not for Israel bungling the ground war and killing Lebanese civilians, creating yet another political crisis for Bush, the fragile cease-fire now in place wouldn't have made it out of the United Nations at all.

More than anything, the Bush administration wanted a distraction from the daily reports of the US failures in Iraq. That war became the defining issue of Bush's presidency, his so-called war on terror and for Republican control of Congress. At first, the press was supportive of Bush's efforts in Iraq but as the conflict dragged on, it became clear to even the mainstream media that the hostilities in that country were growing larger and that our own effort contributed heavily to civil war between fractured religious and tribal elements there. It was starting to look a lot like Vietnam, and Republicans knew that it was media saturation of that conflict that helped turned US public opinion against it. The Bush administration learned a few months back that Israel was planning an attack against Hezbollah. What better way to distract the media from one war than with another one?

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But like so many of Bush's ill-fated ploys, one of the main players couldn't resist doing exactly the wrong thing. Israel ended up knocking out non-Hezbollah targets, killing innocent civilians and losing what little credibility she had with Asia and Europe in the process. In order to pull his own ass out of the fire, Bush went along with the cease-fire resolution hammered out in the UN, and moved on to another potential boon for Republicans in the 2006 midterms-the newest manufactured terror crisis in London.

Despite the desultory results of Bush's war presidency, his approval rating for national security has gone up. In a recent Newsweek poll, he reached fifty-five percent, which is a vast improvement from the forty-four percent approval received just three months ago. Whether or not that will have any effect on the midterms remains to be seen, but one thing is becoming resoundingly clear. America likes her presidents bloodied and bowed. While that might not be the deciding factor for the battle to control Congress this year, it assures there will be many more wars to come before Bush says adios in 2008.
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www.mytown.ca/sakin
Larry Sakin is a former non-profit medical organization executive and music producer. His writing can be found on Mytown.ca, Blogcritics, OpEd News, The People's Voice, Craig's List and The Progressive magazine. He also advocates for literacy and (more...)
 

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