|Bush's pro-life policies in action [from Urshalim]
Bush to Lebanon: Drop Dead
Pierre Tristam/Candide’s Notebooks, July 19, 2006
Oh this is good. This is heartening. This is America, my adoptive country — where I arrived as a permanent resident twenty-seven years ago today, after leaving Lebanon — at its best: The Bush administration would like to see Israel continue the destruction of Lebanon for, say, another week or so. This is no joke. It’s policy. No need to call for a cease-fire yet. No need to be so hasty. The administration thinks another week might get rid of a few more Hezbollah targets, make another example of its fabulously successful Mideast policy of search-and-self-destruct at civilians’ expense, add another country to that sprawl of Bush-variety democracy and freedom by means of destroying villages in order to save them, the born-again way one guesses: by aborting lives by the hundreds. What’s a civilian in the Bush junta’s scheme of things if not a sacrifice to whatever expedient maneuver happens to be on the table at the moment?
Forget the fact that air power achieves next to nothing when it’s going after the sort of Hezbollah targets that can hide and shrug off the bombing like Florida ants in a hurricane: they burrow, they shoot the breeze, they laugh their little antennas off until the fury passes. Then they scramble to the surface again, unfazed, while everything around them has been flattened. Isn’t that how all insurgent wars go? The mighty military machine clobbers civilians, the insurgents are unscathed, only emboldened. But no one has ever accused the Bush junta of knowing military strategy, and it’s not as if two countries under American occupation for the last three years have taught America anything about trying to tame insurgent groups with carpet bombings—excuse me, “surgical” strikes that happen to carpet morgues with bodies.
In Iraq the insurgency keeps gaining strength, weaponry and allegiance every month, with the UN now reporting the killing of 100 Iraqis per day. Afghanistan is a war zone again. But Iran isn’t, yet, and the Bush junta would like it to be, just not so directly, not so dangerously. Bring in the Lebanese as proxy front. They’ve always been good sports in the past. As Guthrie would say: This land is your land. Israel has invaded Lebanon or built large-scale assaults a half dozen times since 1978, to gain what? It’s the Bush administration that’s regressing back in time, as if this was 1978 or 1982 all over again. Once the junta feels satisfied that enough “targets” have been destroyed (a thousand Lebanese deaths appears to be the stock brokers’ goal ) it would dispatch Kissinger wannabe Condi Rice to establish a 12 to 15-mile “buffer zone” in South Lebanon.
God forbid anyone would call it an occupation zone, unless in this case the “buffer zone” would in fact be stocked with an international force. But Israel has dropped its demand that Hezbollah be disarmed: always keep the fuse intact, the excuse to bomb and invade at a future date, the devil-deals that ensure that whatever alleged problem got you acting barbarically in the first place isn’t really solved, only fueled. And while Condi waits, Lebanese keep dying. A half dozen soldiers in an army barrack. A whole family of nine in South Lebanon. Lives in ones and twos and threes dispersed all over the country’s target list of Israeli malice and calculated wrath, targets including the Christian heartland where no Hezbollah would dare breathe, but where Israeli ordnance has an economy to destroy, a country to break, a perversion to indulge. And the Bush administration sits by, calculating along, encouraging, snorting, or maybe, if Bush is in the room, eating rolls and massaging whatever pair of Germanic shoulders happen to be nearby.
Twenty-seven years ago when I arrived here, Jimmy Carter was president. Jimmy Carter, the weakling, derided, the naïf, at least in the malevolent writing of history by the last quarter century’s worth of conservative myths. But compared to Bush today, compared to that disgrace of arrogance and cynicism, Carter looks positively Lincolnesque. This is my America.