Monday, July 17, 2006

Pointless thoughts as people are killed around the world:

Hezbollah fired at least five missiles into Haifa, while the Israelies have cleaned up all the Hezbollah border posts along the southern Lebanese frontier. Hezbollah is going to deeply regret having started this exchange of violence. Kofi Annan has called for UN peacekeeping troops to be sent in. Yeah, right, what country in its right mind is going to send troops into Lebanon? And I assume he's asking for the Americans to pay for it again.

All the Spanish TV stations have been endlessly playing the film of Bush saying to Vladimir Putin, "We have to get Syria to put pressure on Hezbollah until they stop this shit." Well put, Mr. Bush!

Our enlightened and illustrated alleged intellectual class around here is talking about how the Israelis are using what they're calling "collective punishment" in Gaza and Lebanon, which is forbidden by something like the UN charter that isn't worth a damn when you''re dealing with Hezbollah and Hamas. I dunno. My understanding is that collective punishment is what the Nazis did at Lidice, murdering all the inhabitants of the village which the British-backed freedom fighters had used as their base when they sent Reinhard Heydrich straight to hell. Knocking out a bridge or a power station isn't the same thing.

As for the Israeli shelling, it's aimed at military and infrastructure targets, not civilians. Tragically, some two hundred Lebanese civilians have already died. That's what happens in war, sad to say, and perhaps Hezbollah should not have killed and kidnapped those soldiers. Hezbollah, of course, is deliberately targeting Israeil civilians and has done so throughout its existence.

From what I've put together, Israeli strategy is to trap Hezbollah terrorists inside the Beirut area, and so they have blockaded the coast, taken out the airport, and knocked out the roads leading to Syria. They will not go in heavily on the ground, but continue air strikes until they have wiped out Hezbollah's command and control and left individual terrorists on their own. Hezbollah is going to be wiped out, despite hints the Israelis are dropping that they will stop their attacks if their hostages are returned. Syria will do nothing, as Israel would crush it if it tried. If Iran behaves belligerantly, the Israelis might even take out their nuclear installations.

There have been claims that the "sovereign" Lebanese government needs to step in and do something. Like what? They've got no power or influence.

Meanwhile, forty people were killed today in Baghdad when terrorists mortared a marketplace. Now, I remember being here during the Bosnia war, when all the illustrated folks around here were demanding that someone do something about the shelling of Sarajevo, especially after the Serbs hit that marketplace and killed about forty civilians. I don't hear the same shouting for someone to do something about terrorism in Iraq; in fact, all I hear are calls for those who are trying to do something to pull out and go home. Consistency has never been a strong point of the Perennially Indignant, as P.J. O'Rourke called them.

No one seems to be paying any attention to the terrorist bombings in Bombay, at least not in the media around here.

Lopez Obrador, of course, is behaving extremely irresponsibly, not accepting his defeat and calling for the citizenry to resist. He will fail.

J. M. Hernandez Puertolas says in La Vangua something that I've been trying to tell the PP for years, literally.

A reasonable doubt exists whether PP president Mariano Rajoy is falling into overacting when he describes a country sunk into apocalyptic chaos. Egged on by his media supporters, the implicit message of that trio spraying gasoline on the fire, Angel Acebes, Eduardo Zaplana, and Vicente Martinez Pujalte is evident: the PSOE stole the 2004 elections from us, so let's have new elections as soon as possible. The Democratic Party adopted a similar strategy toward George W. Bush's first victory, and look what happened to Kerry.

My general opinion is that all is fair in politics, but the foaming-at-the-mouth wing of the PP is going much too far when it accuses Zap and his administration of being "traitors." I don't like Zap or his administration or the PSOE, and I would vote against them every time, but they are behaving more or less as they are supposed to as an elected left-wing government. They are acting in good faith. I didn't much like the Catalan statute, either, and I don't see what Zap has to negotiate about with ETA, but the fact remains that Spain is a democracy and trying to undercut the elected government's legitimacy is a very dangerous step. Reminds me more than a little of Lopez Obrador.

The PP needs a change in leadership. This bunch is going to lead the party to sure defeat in 2008.

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