Free-Floating Hostility

Sunday, July 16, 2006

World on Fire: Part I

We've spent much time on soccer over the last five weeks, but we haven't failed to notice that the entire Middle East is collapsing into a quivering mass of violence. Iraq remains Iraq, likely headed toward a Shiite theocracy propped up by Iran. And speaking of Iran, the rockets it sold to Hezbollah are currently raining down on Northern Israel. Israel is ready to go to war with Hezbollah, which would be fine if Hezbollah were actually a country. Sort of like how the United States would have been on really fine footing in the War on Terror, had Terror actual borders.

The Times ran a large op-ed today by someone named Robert Wright, touting a foreign policy doctrine called "Progressive realism," and suggested that the Democrats adopt it as a plank in their platform. The theory, as best as I understand it, is a rethinking of realpolitick that would blow Henry Kissinger's mind. Nations should rationally pursue their interests. But the definition of national interest is extremely broad, given that angry graduates of tiny madrasas on the other side of the world potentially can show up on our shores in the form of junior agents. A committment to international institutions and multi-lateralism is actually the best way to improve the standard of living worldwides, which is the only way to really make people safe. Wright touts this as the Democratic response to the GOP's muscular-sounding doctrine of preemption. As far as I can tell, this is a repackaging of what most people on the left actually believe, just with a cool-sounding name.

The people, and government, of Lebanon may not like Israel, but going to war with a nuclear power was probably not high on its to-do list.

Either Firefox or Internet Explorer ate the last half of this post, but it's late, so I'll just promise more to come tomorrow.

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