Reality Wrapped in a Fable

…from Bob Schieffer this morning.

…The frog agreed and the trip went fine until they got to the middle of the river and the scorpion stung the frog. As they were sinking, the frog asked in his dying breath, “why would you do that?”
To which the scorpion replied, “because it is the Middle East.”
It is worth noting that Palestinians in the Gaza Strip did not kidnap that Israeli soldier and provoke all this because the Israelis were invading Gaza. No, all this happened in the wake of the Israeli withdrawal, which was what the Palestinians wanted, but this is the Middle East. Why fundamentalists in Gaza and Lebanon chose to provoke this war makes no sense.
Israel had every right to respond and did. But this is the Middle East. So, the response may have made it worse by giving moderate Arabs in the region an excuse to distance themselves from Israel.
There was a time when America spent a lot of its diplomatic effort on the Middle East and sometimes, it had real impact. Jimmy Carter’s Camp David accords, after all, removed Egypt as the main threat to Israel.
But in recent years, we have stepped back. Why? Hard to say. Except this is the Middle East.

And the “Call It What It Is/What They ARE” award of the day goes to David Brooks

Why is this Middle East crisis different from all other Middle East crises? Because in all other Middle East crises, Israel’s main rivals were the P.L.O., Egypt, Iraq and Syria, but in this crisis the main rivals are the jihadists in Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and, most important, Iran. In all other crises the nutjobs were on the fringes, but now the nutjobs in Hamas and Hezbollah are in governments and lead factions of major parties.
… Now there is a debate over how Israel should respond to this situation. Some say Israel should temper its response so Arab moderates can corral the extremists, which would be great advice if the moderates had any record of ever doing that or any capacity to do so in the near future. Others say Israel simply must degrade the capabilities of its fanatical opponents.
But this is a secondary issue. The core issue is that just as Israel has been trying to pull back to more sensible borders, its enemies have gone completely berserk. Through some combination of fecklessness and passivity, the Arab world has ceded control of this vital flashpoint to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar al-Assad. It has ceded its own destiny to people who do not believe in freedom, democracy, tolerance or any of the values civilized people hold dear.
And what’s the world’s response? Israel is overreacting.

Can’t argue with words like “berserk” and “NUTJOBS” ~ succinct descriptions. How refreshing.

2 Responses to “Reality Wrapped in a Fable”

  1. Mike says:

    You know things are bad for Hezbollah and Hamas when they lose CBS…

  2. ::snort:: Just what I was thinking, Mike {8^P. (And the other piece is in the NYT Week in Review, which why the “nutjobs” monikor is especially satisfying.).

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