...the United States! C'mon now folks, even if you're as antiwar and anti-US-foreign-policy as me, I bet a lot of you Americans (like me) haven't really wrapped your head around the fact that our country (a) spends almost as much on its military as the rest of the world combined, (b) invades other countries on the basis of lies and gets away with it, and (c) does not use its incredible influence to limit other conficts.
On this last point, look at what's going on right now with Israel and Lebanon. My understanding is, two people were kidnapped from Israel (and a handful of other soldiers were killed in the ambush), and in retaliation for this Israel has at least twice bombed the airport in Beirut, put a blockade on the entire country, and (as of the AP story I just read) killed at least 60 people. (Yes after the Israelis started bombing Lebanon, there were rocket attacks against Israel too.)
The Lebanese government asked Bush to ask for a ceasefire (NOT for him to tell Israel to back off, mind you, but a ceasefire) and Bush said no, because Israel had a right to defend itself. (If someone from New York kidnapped two people from New Jersey would the Jersey governor have the right to self defense in this fashion?)
Earlier the UN wanted to pass a resolution urging Israel to withdraw its troops and for Hezbollah to release Israeli prisoners, and the US vetoed it. The ambassador's reason? Such a resolution would "exacerbate tensions."
In 100 years people might read about that and laugh. (Why would they want to research this topic? Well, for all we know it's the start of the real third world war.) The sad thing is, they probably won't believe that a bunch of Americans read that in their newspapers or heard it on the news and just said, "Huh they thought it would exacerbate tensions. What's for dinner honey?"
(Oh just to anticipate one objection: If Bush called for a ceasefire and Israel respected it, and then Lebanon or Hezbollah violated it, it would be clear who was in the wrong. You can say, "Oh Israel has gotten screwed a million times in the past!" Well in this instance I think Israel is definitely in the wrong; you don't bomb an airport when two soldiers get kidnapped. And I don't just take it on faith when people inform me that Israel has been the unabashed victim vis-a-vis her neighbors. From what I see both sides suck: Arab nutjobs blow up shopping centers or busses, and Israeli tanks demolish other people's houses who look similar to the bombers.
Also, Bush's official reason for rejecting the ceasefire was that Israel has the right to defend itself, not that Hezbollah would never honor the agreement.)
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