Monday, July 31, 2006

Of ceasefires, porn questions, endorsements, and falling down stairs


So what is the Israeli government up to? Yesterday when the Israeli 48-hour aerial ceasefire was announced by Condi, it looked like she was being given credit she didn’t deserve. But less than an hour after she got on her plane and left, the prime minister and defense minister said, “Ceasefire? What ceasefire?”, resumed their bombing raids, and within a few hours the cabinet voted to expand the war. It looks very much like Condi was played. Did they really lie to her face about their intentions? Did they do so just to make her go away, thinking she’d accomplished something? And how can she return to the region now?

I don’t know what will happen next, and where we’ll be a month from now or a year from now. Haven’t got a clue. I suspect even the Israelis are surprised that they’ve gotten away with wreaking so much havoc on Lebanon for so long without being reined in. But they also haven’t accomplished nearly as much as they expected: Hezbollah can still fire rockets into Israel more at less at will and still holds the two Israeli soldiers Israel seems to have forgotten about. And Olmert et al have ratcheted up their rhetoric, and the Israeli public’s expectations, so far that anything less than the complete destruction of Hezbollah and the complete elimination of danger to all Israelis will seem like a failure, for which the Israeli public, who have shown no signs of sympathy for the Qana dead, no embarrassment over the deaths of children, will punish Olmert and the fledgling Kadima Party severely.

I was going to call the London Times’s “Shot Man Faces Porn Questions” my headline of the day (er, yesterday; I misplaced this paragraph), until I read the story. Last month the police raided a house under the impression that two brothers were Muslim terrorists, accidentally shooting one of them in the shoulder. They were quickly released and apologized to, but now the police are claiming to have found kiddie porn on the computer of the man they shot. Sure they did.

TPM has a scan of the Joe Lieberman flier distributed at black churches (front side, back side). What interests me, more than his mentioning having been at the March on Washington and gone to Mississippi while being rather sketchy about what he’s done for blacks in the last 40 years, more than his grossly mischaracterizing Lamont as saying he didn’t think much about race before getting into the race when he actually said he hadn’t thought much about the lack of diversity in his country club (which he attributes to its high dues and not – in a bit the flier leaves out – to discriminatory policy), is the claim that he is “The only candidate endorsed by the Democratic Party and President Clinton.” I like the underlining of only, to make it clear that they were endorsing just the one candidate for senator, but the real question is, what is this “Democratic Party” that endorsed him? The registered Democratic voters of the state of Connecticut might be forgiven for thinking that they are the party and that their endorsement won’t be decided upon until August 8th. The only party whose endorsement has been settled is this one. Any suggestion to the contrary is un-d/Democratic.

Glenn Greenwald explains why Arlen Specter’s anything-goes surveillance bill is a dangerous tilt towards unencumbered executive power.

Here’s something I feel confident no other blog will be interested in: pictures of George Bush stumbling on the Air Force One stairs.




No comments: