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"The irony is..." that George W. Bush does not know what irony is. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I'm pretty sure that's ironic. It is also ironic, a different sort of irony closer to cynicism, perhaps tragic irony, that the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, he who holds the reigns to a military, economic, and symbolic power that could actually decrease the violence in the Middle East, is the stupidest, least-diplomatic man to hold that office since the creation of Israel as a modern nation-state.
...all of which is a simplistic analysis that, I'll grant, fails to account for many of the dozens of factors contributing to the tempest of the Middle East... But still! In my simple analysis I still feel secure in claiming this: If the US, in the person of Rice or Bush or Bolton or any of the hawks who communicate US policy to the world, would simply ask Israel to stop bombing Lebanon, then Israel would stop fucking bombing Lebanon.
This precipitating issue, the two kidnapped Israeli soldiers, brings to mind the assasination of Archduke Ferdinand... except that in this case perhaps a dozen US black-ops boots-on-the-ground and a single military helicopter venturing into Lebanon under cover of night could bring the soldiers back to Israel... But then we'd lose the pretense under which the US would, could, will invade and occupy the entire region.
Might, perhaps, the "two kidnapped Israeli soldiers" turn out to be a sham along the lines of babies pulled out of incubators in Kuwait, centrifuge rods and yellow-cake uranium in Africa, secret stashes of WMD to the "north south east and west of Baghdad," and George W. Bush's service in the National Guard? The hawks in this administration have repeatedly fabricated evidence, or expertly deployed fear/uncertainty/doubt, in order to justify their (our, damn it!) political and military actions.
I would have more respect for the neo-cons if they simply declared, to Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, and (heck) Saudi Arabia: "We'd like to control the middle east. Please return the keys to your country to the UN, for distribution to the western judeo-christian capitalist democracy of our choice."
Maybe fewer people would die that way.

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