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The Bugs Bunny Doctrine

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Call your Senators to demand they stand up for a cease-fire in Lebanon while they are still in session. As always, the particular words of this article are the responsibility of this writer alone.

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When the cartoon character Bugs Bunny was created there was running joke built around the line, "Of course you realize, this means war." Another character would hit Bugs Bunny in the face with a pie or something, and that would be justification to commence all out mayhem. In the vernacular of the time to go "bugs" or "bugsy" was go crazy, out of control. It is tragically ironic that at that very moment, in the early 1940s, World War II was indeed raging.

Of course in the cartoon, no matter how many times a character has an anvil fall on his head, he would always bounce back drawn without a scratch for the next scene. Not so the three dozen mud-caked children massacred in Qana over the weekend. Not so the 4 U.N observers bombed in a position the Israeli command had been repeatedly alerted to in the hours before the final precision guided munition flattened them. A cartoon is patently ludicrous, which is why it is funny. Nobody with even a remaining shred of humanity is laughing about Lebanon right now.

As a "casus belli", the kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers, supposedly justifying the utter destruction of all civilian infrastructure in South Lebanon and the killing of 500 to 1000 civilians (and relatively few actual combatants) already, is pretty flimsy stuff. Yet, people ask, what was Israel supposed to do?

The first thing Israel SHOULD have done was demand enforcement of U.N. Resolution 1559. Had they even attempted diplomacy, and if the world had not acted, there might have been some moral justification for doing SOME of what they are doing now, targeting civilians and their infrastructure absolutely excluded. But by going completely "bugs" immediately they have driven away whatever moderate Arab voices had initially spoke out in the deserved condemnation of Hezbollah. In the meantime, at some point it must begin to dawn on even the most diehard partisan for Israel that the longer this goes on the worse it will be for them.

What IS ludicrous about the last stated Israeli position is that they will not accept a cease-fire until AFTER an international peacekeeping force is in place. So let me get me get this staight. They expect other countries to mobilize their troops into a live fire war zone to do what, to take over the fighting of a war that has now been roundly condemned by EVERY other country in the world EXCEPT the U.S.? And we can't participate in such a force if for no other reason than because our hands are more than full with our own civil war quagmire in Iraq. It is self-evident to anyone with the sense God gave a goose that there MUST be a cessation of hostilities before there is even talk of some kind of international policing force.

For those used to 6 day wars somehow they never consider any contigencies for a Plan B, where people on the other side actually fight back and don't just run away in shock and awe. By all accounts Hezbollah isn't the least bit inclined to fold up like a house of cards, and have "surprised" the Israeli command and their Bush administration cheerleaders with the strength of their resistance. So besides the damage they have done to themselves in world public opinion, they have also succeeded in demonstrating to their dismay that Hezbollah is military FORCE to reackoned with, whether we like it or not. And whether Israel and the Bush adminstration like it or not, they will have to deal with them.

It is no secret that none of this would have happened without the green light of the Bush administration. It is a virtual replay of the doctrine that has so entangled us in Iraq. There were weapons inspectors on the ground climbing all over Saddam Hussein. They had systematically defanged him over the course of a decade with convincing evidence for any who would listen. Yet, the Bush admininistration was so anxious to go to war they went "bugs" without rational strategic justification. And they thought with their overwhelming advantage in military hardware they would always prevail.

It's the Bugs Bunny doctrine, massive retaliation first, with diplomacy as a last resort. And it works for him because he is always so much smarter than the other cartoon character. But in cartoons, as in real life, the character with the most artillery does not always come out on top. Ask Wile E. Coyote. He'll tell you all about shock and awe.


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