Ken Silverstein has posted an interview with Wayne White, Deputy Director of the State Department’s Office of Middle East and South Asia Analysis until March 2005, on the crisis in the Middle East. Some excerpts:
I believe [Condi’s] activities have been tailored to give the impression of action while not designed to make any real progress toward the urgent ceasefire that should be everyone’s highest priority.
. . .
[N]ot learning from the American experience in Iraq that trying to crush a guerrilla movement with conventional military force involving significantâand in this case, even deliberateâcollateral casualties and damage might only generate thousands of other potential fighters bearing various grievances, the IDF could find itself mired in the same sort of seemingly open-ended confrontation.
. . .
With respect to another extremely serious consequence of not working to bring this carnage to an early end, Lebanon already has absorbed billions of dollars of damage. By the end of the crisis, the cost of rebuilding Lebanon will be incredibly high and the rebuilding effort quite prolonged, leaving most Lebanese, aside perhaps from the hard-core Christian right, considerably more hostile to Israelâand the United Statesâthan ever before. In this respect, I find scenes of devastated Lebanese urban areas not only appalling, but frightening.
Yes, that about sums it up. Feeling depressed yet? What if I reminded you that as of last Thursday, we’re still 2 1/2 years away from a new Administration?