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August 17, 2006 [LINK]
Michael Totten in the war zone
Having relocated from Beirut to northern Israel via Tel Aviv, Michael Totten explains how living in the midst of an ongoing battle tends to mitigate the natural fear instinct. It is the kind of insight that only first-hand experience can bring:
Fear forces you to think hard and fast about what you can do to protect yourself. As soon as you become 100 percent convinced that there is nothing more you can do to protect yourself, fear becomes a useless emotion. Then it goes away all on its own. You can't talk yourself into or out of this mental space. It's just something that happens.
This is the fatal weakness of terrorism.
In other words, the random destruction of Hezbollah's rockets is not only militarily useless, but the terrorizing impact tends to dissipate over time as well. His photos and descriptions of what life is like in northern Israel are as riveting as anything you'll see on the evening news. In an earlier post that was chock full of amazing up-close war photos, he referred to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as "catastrophically unfit." He's asking for contributions to support his independent journalistic endeavors, and I chipped in a little.
George Will on "unrealism"
In Tuesday's Washington Post, George Will rued the delusions that underlie the contemporary conflicts taking place in various parts of the world. Hezbollah has suffered heavy casualties but remains intact, demonstrating, he says, the futility of Israel's previous policy of unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon, Gaza, and parts of the West Bank. The United Nations is pressing ahead with plans for a peacekeeping force, notwithstanding the fact that its past resolutions calling for Hezbollah to disarm itself have been ignored. Never mind! Meanwhile, Iraq seems to be descending into tribalistic civil war, with Shiite death squads allegedly operating out of the Interior Ministry. When asked about the need to step up cooperating with police agencies in foreign countries in response to the airline bomb plot in England, a Bush administration official sniffed that the international "law enforcement approach" of John Kerry doesn't work. Goodness. Just because this strange, amorphous conflict with Islamic terrorists is most usefully regarded as a war does not mean that the tools of law enforcement should be arbitrarily set aside.
Will links these various examples of self-defeating policies as indicative of a blind, dogmatic attitude of unrealism, and I think he is on to something. President Bush deserves credit for displaying firm resolve and occasional diplomatic tact in the war on Islamic terrorism, but he is often too stubborn to listen to alternative suggestions. As his second term unfolds, time is running out for him to tap new advisers who might fashion a more realistic strategy for winning the war within the limits of our resources.
Posted (or last updated or commented upon): 18 Aug 2006, 12: 02 AM
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This (or that) year's
January 7, 2006 ~ DeLay gives up majority leader post
January 12, 2006 ~ Alito withstands Dems' "torture"
January 16, 2006 ~ Michelle Bachelet wins in Chile
January 19, 2006 ~ Views on Iran's nuclear ambitions
January 24, 2006 ~ Fallout from Canada's election
January 31, 2006 ~ Second (& third) thoughts on Iran
February 1, 2006 ~ The State of the Union, 2006
February 8, 2006 ~ D.C. Council votes "yes," but...
February 18, 2006 ~ Checks and balances in wartime
February 22, 2006 ~
Neocons & Neolibs: chastened alike
February 28, 2006 ~
The Dubai Ports World uproar
March 14, 2006 ~ New D.C. baseball stadium unveiled
March 24, 2006 ~ In the footsteps of France?
April 7, 2006 ~ Immigration compromise fails
May 16, 2006 ~ Bush militarizes Mexican border
June 6, 2006 ~ Alan Garcia triumphs, once again
June 9, 2006 ~
Zarqawi: The death of a terrorist
July 3, 2006 ~
Election in Mexico: too close to call
July 5, 2006 ~ North Korea goes ballistic
July 28, 2006 ~ Garcia prepares to lead Peru, again
August 4, 2006 ~ Israel invades Hezbolland
September 6, 2006 ~ "Crunchy conservatives": for real?
September 25, 2006 ~ Nationalists thwart conservation
October 3, 2006 ~ Nationals: Year in review
October 29, 2006 ~ Virginia's marriage amendment
November 7, 2006 ~ The people render their verdict
November 8, 2006 ~ Republicans lose big time
November 9, 2006 ~ Allen concedes / Election post-mortem
November 13, 2006 ~ Toward consensus on Iraq?
December 1, 2006 ~ Realism and our goals in Iraq
December 6, 2006 ~ Latin America & U.S. trade policy
December 8, 2006 ~ Iraq Study Group reports
December 22, 2006 ~ Yuletide political roundup
Blog highlights have been compiled for the years 2010-2012 thus far, and eventually will be compiled for earlier years, back to 2002.
The "home made" blog organization system that I created was instituted on November 1, 2004, followed by several functional enhancements in subsequent years. I make no more than one blog post per day on any one category, so some posts may cover multiple news items or issues. Blog posts appear in the following (reverse alphabetical) order, which may differ from the chronological order in which the posts were originally made:
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