Any thoughts on where this is going. What is the end game here?Glenn Greenwald asks some pertinent questions:Though the ins-and-outs of Israeli grievances and strategic considerations are endlessly examined, there is virtually no debate over whether theU.S. should continue to play such an active, one-sided role in this dispute. It's the American taxpayer, with their incredibly consequential yet never-debated multi-billion-dollar aid packages to Israel, who are vital in funding this costly Israeli assault on Gaza. Just as was true for Israel's bombing of Lebanon, it's American bombs that -- with the whole world watching -- are blowing up children and mosques, along with Hamas militants, in Gaza. And it's theAmerican veto power that, time and again, blocks anyU.N. action to stop these wars.Here's his whole post: http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/This from Steve Clemons at TPM...My friend in Israel asked me for some help on shaping questions that he might pose to various Israel pols. I shared with him some of my thoughts on what he could ask. . .particularly the question of how Israel views long term US support.I told him that in my view America's increasingly consequential failures to generate stability in the Middle East is like an eroding levee in New Orleans -- and those levees at some point are going to fail leaving Israel quite vulnerable unless Israel and other stakeholding neighbors achieve a different equilibrium in the region. . .and soon. There is great doubt around the world in the ability of America to pursue and achieve its objectives -- and this doubt has consequences for Israel's national security calculus, whether it is acknowledging it or not....And from my Arabic blogging friend, I received this note -- and I should add that this guy is about as positive about "modernity" as one can find in Middle East blogging circles: "Happy new year Steve .. Though GAZA is making this new year very sad for us here .. but i'll try to smile wheneverI can ..I might stop blogging until the war finishes .. it is really hard watching death day and night so close by ..any way .. how are the 1st world countries doing ?"I agree with Zbigniew Brzezinski that the worsening tragedy in Gaza is part of the blur we have been seeing for some time. I put a lot of the blame on Labor Party Leader and Defense Minister Ehud Barak who has been itching to manage a war.But as Brzezinski said, the Israelis and Palestinians have proven unable to rise to a level of strategic, forward-looking maturity to solve this problem and others now need to stabilize the situation, engage in a credible peace negotiation process that involves the other major Arab stakeholders, the US and Europe.Clemons post here: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/01/03/watching_death_day_and_night_s/#moreJ Street is the newest American-Jewish lobby; it has questioned Israel's current military actions, and has been attacked. Here is a response--and a clue to their thinking.http://www.jstreet.org/blog/?p=69Juan Cole's post today (January 4) has some helpful observations about Israel's macro and micro wars: http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/gaza-2008-micro-wars-and-macro-wars.html
Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.