Israel Overreacts: Bush Inept

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(Isreali PM Ehud Olmert, right—Black Star columnist Wiliams accuses him of sadistic overreaction)

Israel sure knows how to burn a bridge, both literally and figuratively.

Judging by its bloodthirsty, seemingly sadistic overreaction to the seizing of a couple of soldiers by Hezbollah, its new Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, must have attended the same megalomaniacal school of diplomacy as President Bush who never met a moderate Arab he didn’t want to alienate.

Olmert, a Bush “Mini-Me� operating with the White House’s tacit approval, has opted to destabilize the entire Middle East region and to inflame the Arab World by bombing Lebanon back to the Stone Age rather than seek a more level-headed solution to the standoff. And how exactly did he rationalize his disproportionate military retaliation which has flattened his formerly friendly neighbor’s entire infrastructure? Why hold all of Lebanon, including innocent women and children responsible for the acts of Islamic extremists who are probably both funded and outfitted by Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

What’s really going on here? A war on terror? Or rather just a war on Arabs? Reading between the lines of the statement Olmert issued before he unleashed the all-out air, land and sea assault, it’s clear that to him, the only good Arab is a dead Arab. For he conveniently claimed that the kidnapping which triggered the Israeli aggression was “not a terror act, but an act of a sovereign state that attacked Israel without reason,� i.e. “an act of war.�

Who’s gullible enough to believe that? Maybe the same simpletons who bought Bush’s equally silly suggestion that Iraq had been behind 9/11 and constituted an imminent threat because of that phantom stockpile of weapons of mass destruction. Today, tragically, rather than call for a ceasefire or some sort of United Nations intervention, the mainstream press has only been encouraging Israel in its ill-advised decision to turn the Lebanese, involuntarily, into mortal enemies. The airwaves have been saturated by hawkish Neocons, all belaboring the identical, tautological talking point, namely, that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Who would contest that? The more pressing question, which none of the Israeli flag-waving cable news networks seems interested in debating, is the wisdom of Israel’s ostensible new policy of imperialistic overstretch, which calls for a counterproductive crippling of one of its few nearby allies.

It’s easy to understand what Bush and his war profiteering cronies have to gain from allowing the standoff to escalate into a full-blown Arab-Israeli conflict. But what is Olmert thinking? He must have a sizable financial interest in the oil and/or defense industries to treat the Lebanese with such utter contempt while regarding the peace and safety of his own people so cavalierly in order to cater to the mandates of the military industrial complex.
Who would have ever predicted that, after years of suicide bombings, skirmishes, attacks and counter-attacks, that a mere capture of troops could be the straw that would break the camel’s back and leave us on the brink of World War III?

Black Star columnist Williams is an attorney and a member of the bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars.

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