Salon's War Room points out this Orwellian Headline:
In Mideast Strife, Bush Sees a Step To Peace
The story isn't much better:
President Bush's unwillingness to pressure Israel to halt its military campaign in Lebanon is rooted in a view of the Middle East conflict that is sharply different from that of his predecessors.
When hostilities have broken out in the past, the usual U.S. response has been an immediate and public bout of diplomacy aimed at a cease-fire, in the hopes of ensuring that the crisis would not escalate. This week, however, even in the face of growing international demands, the White House has studiously avoided any hint of impatience with Israel. While making it plain it wants civilian casualties limited, the administration is also content to see the Israelis inflict the maximum damage possible on Hezbollah.
Where does this thinking come from? I'm not the type to say that "War doesn't solve anything" but I'm think I'm on pretty safe ground to say that in the Israel-Arab conflict, war isn't going to solve anything. The simple fact is that Israel has already won. It's beaten the Arab States again and again. No Arab state is attacking Israel. All that's left are the Arab guerilla groups - Hamas and Hezbollah, that formed as a result of Israeli occupation. And as we have learned in Iraq, guerrillas groups are hard to destroy and hardly ever worth it. So unless Israel wants to kill every Hezbollah sympathizer in Southern Lebanon and every Palestinian, of course this is going to to turn into diplomacy. If we know that it always end in peace talks, why wait? (To Quote Bill Kristol)