Where’s the US? I think I see the escalation of hostilities in and around Israel a bit differently than some readers. One TPM Reader asked yesterday in heated tones why I hadn’t written anything about the “atrocities” Israel was committing in Gaza and southern Lebanon. I take a different view of this. I don’t see why Israel should or really can, in the context of withdrawing from occupied territories, sit still while de facto governments to the north and the south kidnap her soldiers. And I say that as someone who thinks Israel should get out of the occupied territories in Gaza and the West Bank and support the establishment of a true Palestinian state not at some vague point in the future but now.
Israel actually faces what the Bush administration has pretended America faces, hostile neighbors using terrorist and irredentist factions as proxies in their conflict with Israel.
But retaliation has consequences. How far does this creeping war creep? Into Lebanon? We’re already at that point. Into Syria? We’re close. Iran? Maybe not too far in the future. Is it in Israel’s or America’s interest to acquire more occupied territories? Other than retaliatory bombing or occupation of buffer zones, what the the strategic objectives?
This is spinning out of control very quickly. And we need to think right now about where this leads in a week and a month. For America’s interests and Israel’s the US can’t afford to hold back and watch where this goes.