They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Where are the Christians?

by Pat Buchanan

When Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unleashed his navy and air force on Lebanon, accusing that tiny nation of an "act of war," the last pillar of Bush's Middle East policy collapsed.

First came capitulation on the Bush Doctrine, as Pyongyang and Tehran defied Bush's dictum: The world's worst regimes will not be allowed to acquire the world's worst weapons. Then came suspension of the democracy crusade as Islamic militants exploited free elections to advance to power and office in Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza, the West Bank, Iraq and Iran.

Now Israel's rampage against a defenseless Lebanon -- smashing
airport runways, fuel tanks, power plants, gas stations, lighthouses,
bridges, roads and the occasional refugee convoy -- has exposed Bush's folly
in subcontracting U.S. policy out to Tel Aviv, thus making Israel the
custodian of our reputation and interests in the Middle East.

The Lebanon that Israel, with Bush's blessing, is smashing up has a
pro-American government, heretofore considered a shining example of his
democracy crusade. Yet, asked in St. Petersburg if he would urge Israel to
use restraint in its air strikes, Bush sounded less like the leader of the
Free World than some bellicose city councilman from Brooklyn Heights.

What Israel is up to was described by its Army Chief of Staff Lt.
Gen. Dan Halutz when he threatened to "turn back the clock in Lebanon 20

Olmert seized upon Hezbollah's capture of two Israeli soldiers to
unleash the IDF in a pre-planned attack to make the Lebanese people suffer
until the Lebanese government disarms Hezbollah, a task the Israeli army
could not accomplish in 18 years of occupation.

Israel is doing the same to the Palestinians. To punish these
people for the crime of electing Hamas, Olmert imposed an economic blockade
of Gaza and the West Bank and withheld the $50 million in monthly tax and
customs receipts due the Palestinians.

Then, Israel instructed the United States to terminate all aid to
the Palestinian Authority, though Bush himself had called for the elections
and for the participation of Hamas. Our Crawford cowboy meekly complied.

The predictable result: Fatah and Hamas fell to fratricidal
fighting, and Hamas militants began launching Qassam rockets over the fence
from Gaza into Israel. Hamas then tunneled into Israel, killed two soldiers,
captured one, took him back into Gaza, and demanded a prisoner exchange.

Israel's response was to abduct half of the Palestinian cabinet and
parliament and blow up a $50 million U.S.-insured power plant. That cut off
electricity for half a million Palestinians. Their food spoiled, their water
could not be purified, and their families sweltered in the summer heat of
the Gaza desert. One family of seven was wiped out on a beach by what the
IDF assures us was an errant artillery shell.

Let it be said: Israel has a right to defend herself, a right to
counter-attack against Hezbollah and Hamas, a right to clean out bases from
which Katyusha or Qassam rockets are being fired and a right to occupy land
from which attacks are mounted on her people.

But what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on
civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do
something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a
policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor
our interests. It is un-American and un-Christian.

But where are the Christians? Why is Pope Benedict virtually alone
among Christian leaders to have spoken out against what is being done to
Lebanese Christians and Muslims?

When al Qaeda captured two U.S. soldiers and barbarically butchered
them, the U.S. Army did not smash power plants across the Sunni Triangle.
Why then is Bush not only silent but openly supportive when Israelis do

Democrats attack Bush for crimes of which he is not guilty,
including Haditha and Abu Ghraib. Why are they, too, silent when Israel
pursues a conscious policy of collective punishment of innocent peoples?

Britain's diplomatic goal in two world wars was to bring the naive
cousins in, to "pull their chestnuts out of the fire." Israel and her paid
and pro-bono agents here appear determined to expand the Iraq war into Syria
and Iran, and have America fight and finish all of Israel's enemies.

That Tel Aviv is maneuvering us to fight its wars is
understandable. That Americans are ignorant of, or complicit in this, is

Already, Bush is ranting about Syria being behind the Hezbollah
capture of the Israeli soldiers. But where is the proof?

Who is whispering in his ear? The same people who told him Iraq was
maybe months away from an atom bomb, that an invasion would be a "cakewalk,"
that he would be Churchill, that U.S. troops would be greeted with candy and
flowers, that democracy would break out across the region, that Palestinians
and Israelis would then sit down and make peace?

How much must America pay for the education of this man? Link