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July 21, 2006

A World Of Opportunity

A while back I noted the way leaders generally perceive it when we get killed by the Official Enemy. It's all very sad, of course—they weep at the loss of every human life!—but it's also an opportunity.

September 11, 2001? According to Condoleezza Rice, it was an "enormous opportunity."

An Al Qaeda bombing in Kenya in 2002, which killed a bunch of Israelis? According to former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, it was a "golden opportunity."

The invasion of Iraq, which has killed unknown numbers of Iraqis? According to Osama bin Laden, it's a "golden and unique opportunity."

And now, according to the Washington Post, there's a new opportunity on the horizon!

The U.S. position reflects Bush's deepening belief that Israel is central to the broader campaign against terrorists...

"[Bush] thinks he is playing in a longer-term game than the tacticians," said the former official, who spoke anonymously so he could discuss his views candidly. "The tacticians would say: 'Get an immediate cease-fire. Deal first with the humanitarian factors.' The president would say: 'You have an opportunity to really grind down Hezbollah. Let's take it, even if there are other serious consequences that will have to be managed.'"

Here's a picture of one of the Israelis who died in Haifa to provide this wonderful opportunity:

Here's a picture of a Hezbollah missile strike that killed two Israeli children, aged 3 and 9. Just before their deaths, they told their parents that they didn't think like tacticians, and thus hoped someday to give their lives to provide George Bush with a splendid opportunity:

Posted at July 21, 2006 09:36 AM | TrackBack

It's all very sad, of course—they weep at the loss of every human life!—but it's also an opportunity.

the simpsons have a word for this: crisitunity.

Posted by: rimone at July 21, 2006 10:33 AM

Terrorists have been hiding long enough behind the skirts of namby pamby politicos who frantically scream cease fire! cease fire! every time they (the terrorists) meet with opposition. Then when the ante status quo is restored and they are safe behind mama's skirts again they prepare for their next onslaught. It is time someone had the guts to keep after these cheap neighborhood bullies until they are destroyed. Israel's IDF is the only force in the world determined enough to do the job so I say to Bush and to Israel: go get the b-----ds. As for the consequences, yes, we will deal with those when the job is done, as we did with Europe after the Nazis were destroyed.

Posted by: Jim at July 21, 2006 11:20 AM


I appreciate that while baying for mass slaughter you had the good manners not to write out curse words in full. You were clearly raised well.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at July 21, 2006 11:48 AM

I like "deepening belief". Gotta use it more often.

Posted by: abb1 at July 21, 2006 01:11 PM

It's that post status quo that has me all atwitter.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at July 21, 2006 01:25 PM

When I cry out for collective punishment, mass slaughter and so forth, I find that vulgarity makes me less credible somehow. I can understand Jim's reluctance to fully indulge. It cheapens the project and gives an opening for nitpicking to the politically correct.

Posted by: J. Alva Scruggs at July 21, 2006 04:00 PM

Your post brings to mind the story about Bush sitting in a grade school classroom stunned and unable to do anything when he heard of the planes hitting the Trade Center.

Actually I don't think he was stunned at all I think those greasy little wheels inside his square head were already turning, spinning and thinking what a golden opportunity it was to have this occur during his presidency.

Bin Laden handed Bush everything he ever wanted on a silver platter and of course Bush though not blessed with an over abundance of brain power was quick to seize the moment and the rest is history and so is everything else we may have cared about.

Posted by: rob payne at July 21, 2006 06:42 PM

What exactly are the Isreali's going to accomplish in a week?

They gonna go and level and burn everything in the first 50 miles north of the border? Wipe out the current top heirarchy of the Hezballa? Create some great footage for Al-jezeera? What substantial victory can Isreal claim by next friday? Especially when any idiot with a rocket in a 50 mile radies can reverse that claim in a matter of minutes.

Ironically, this week is the time that will cost Isreal the most, long term. Sad really.

The reason the American civil war ended was that Lee decided the cost to his people was too high, and that Jefferson Davis's guerrilla movement was a loser. Are people on the Hezballa radical side going to become like Lee? Think this last two weeks is going to do anything but energize ever young person in the region to find a way to get vengence?

There will be terrible consequences for Israel long term from this. Rather than just a localized terrorist problem, they have created a permanent open ended regional problem.

Posted by: patience at July 21, 2006 07:00 PM


Those are some good and to the point questions and I agree with your views. However don't limit the repercussions to Israel. America will also be paying a heavy price for a president who believes violence is the first and only choice.

Hezbollah though willing to use terrorist acts is much more than a terrorist group. You might be interested in this post by Larry Johnson.

"Israel's latest offensive to root out and destroy Hezbollah probably will fail and in the process will ignite a new round of international terrorist attacks that will put the United State squarely in the crosshairs. It is as if we are watching a plane crash in slow motion. We see the plane hurtling towards the earth, our mouths agape in a silent scream. We know it will explode on impact and can do nothing but watch. (Please check out Pat Lang's take on the latest developments)."

Posted by: rob payne at July 21, 2006 07:36 PM

New construction jobs, all over the place.

Posted by: Bob In Pacifica at July 21, 2006 08:14 PM

Condoleezza goes to Italy for a ceasefire conference and it is Condi's golden opportunity so what does she say?

"Rice on Friday dismissed growing pressure for an immediate ceasefire, telling reporters this would be a "false promise". She hoped her trip would create conditions for a lasting Middle East peace but said the diplomatic work would be difficult."


Hmm, as Josh points out Syria, Israel and Iran will not be there which I guess would make the diplomatic work difficult. Is it possible that for the first time in her life Condi spoke the truth?

And all the Kings horses and all the Kings men couldn't put the Middle East together again nor anything else for that matter considering their track record. Of course as Jonathan points out they really want the violence to continue. Power, power, more power, can't get enough power.

Posted by: rob payne at July 21, 2006 10:21 PM

My private sources (please don't leak) are telling me that Condi will fly from Italy to the Penguins' Republic of Antarctica to discuss the Middle East situation. Think what you want, but it's a gutsy move: finally, someone who has the president's ear (and maybe other organs, too) who comes to grips with the simple truth that, without Antarctica onboard, peace in the Levant is but a pipe dream. I've noticed the smart asses on this blog have been pretty quiet about that.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at July 22, 2006 12:04 AM

Be forewarned do not approach the Antarctic nor the mountains of madness!

"I am forced into speech because men of science have refused to follow my advice without knowing why. It is altogether against my will that I tell my reasons for opposing this contemplated invasion of the Antarctic - with its vast fossil hunt and its wholesale boring and melting of the ancient ice caps. And I am the more reluctant because my warning may be in vain.

Doubt of the real facts, as I must reveal them, is inevitable; yet, if I suppressed what will seem extravagant and incredible, there would be nothing left. The hitherto withheld photographs, both ordinary and aerial, will count in my favor, for they are damnably vivid and graphic. Still, they will be doubted because of the great lengths to which clever fakery can be carried. The ink drawings, of course, will be jeered at as obvious impostures, notwithstanding a strangeness of technique which art experts ought to remark and puzzle over.

In the end I must rely on the judgment and standing of the few scientific leaders who have, on the one hand, sufficient independence of thought to weigh my data on its own hideously convincing merits or in the light of certain primordial and highly baffling myth cycles; and on the other hand, sufficient influence to deter the exploring world in general from any rash and over-ambitious program in the region of those mountains of madness. It is an unfortunate fact that relatively obscure men like myself and my associates, connected only with a small university, have little chance of making an impression where matters of a wildly bizarre or highly controversial nature are concerned."

Beware the Shoggoths!!

If you see this run the other way.

Posted by: rob payne at July 22, 2006 12:46 AM
Cheney re-enlists wounded soldier at rally for troops
Associated Press

FORT STEWART, Ga. - During a rally for more than 8,000 Georgia troops, Vice President Dick Cheney administered the re-enlistment oath Friday to a 24-year-old Army gunner determined to remain in the ranks after losing his left leg last year to a bomb blast in Iraq.
Fields opted to have his leg amputated below the knee to improve his chances of returning to active duty. He said Cheney offered words of personal praise offstage.

"He just told me job well done," Fields said. "He was happy that I decided to stay in and said just to keep pushing."

Posted by: abb1 at July 22, 2006 04:17 AM