Monday, July 31, 2006

Stalling to Push a Wider War

President Bush is stalling.

President Bush insisted anew Monday that any Mideast cease-fire be conditioned on a wider agreement and said he would look to the United Nations to act to establish “a long-lasting peace, one that is sustainable.”
There is an old saying: "the enemy of better is best." The President's immediate goal should be an immediate cease-fire, not the perfect cease-fire. As the bombing of the housing project in Qana and the subsequent civilian deaths show, modern wars are more deadly to civilians than to the militaries and governments that provoke and fight them. Every day that a war continues means more and more civilian casualties. The fighting must stop immediately, and then long-term deals hammered out.

But I don't think the President is totally blind to all of this. Rather, I think he's using this situation to leverage (or try to) support for a broader offensive against Syria and Iran:
As Israel cut short a halt in bombing and launched new strikes in southern Lebanon, Bush spelled out a series of what he called “clear objectives” to accompany a halt in the fighting.

“Iran must end its financial support and supply of weapons to terrorist groups like Hezbollah. Syria must end its support for terror and respect the sovereignty of Lebanon,” Bush said in a speech at the Port of Miami.
Either he's laying groundwork for an Israel-led attack on Iran and Syria, or he's trying to pull the United States into a war to "defend an ally."


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