July 29, 2006

What Friends Do

This is a great point:

The Christopher piece points to an important role that America can play in the Middle East, which we aren't playing now. We can solve a common political problem in the region that runs something like this: Islamic militants do something vicious that creates Israeli demand for a violent response. While Israeli leaders are under domestic political pressure to shoot back, they can only do so in a way that harms large number of civilians, derailing the peace process and driving people into the miliants' arms. They don't want to do this, but political pressure forces their hands. The shooting begins, and that's when America steps in and negotiates some settlement between the two sides. Israel needs us to do this for them, since the leaders don't want to look like weak compromisers. As Christopher says: "A succession of Israeli leaders has turned to us, and only us, when they have concluded that retaliation for Hezbollah attacks has become counterproductive. Israel plainly trusts no one else to negotiate on its behalf and will accept no settlement in which we are not deeply involved."

Imagine yourself back on the schoolyard. Words are exchanged, and it look like your about to get into a fight. What do your friends do? They hold you back. You can't back down with looking like a wimp, but he's bigger than you and the Principal with have you locked in detention for months if he sees this. So thank God your friends are holding you back. You can say that jerk would have got whats coming to him, if only. And no black eyes. A good friend will save you from yourself. Will help you do what you can't do on your own. That's not what we are doing for Israel.

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