“Since Israel has inflicted far more damage on Lebanon than it has sustained,” Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote today, “a heavy focus on the more than 300 civilian victims in that war-ravaged country could help tilt public opinion against the Jewish state. But that would overlook two key facts: that Israel retaliated only after Hezbollah crossed a U.N.-sanctioned border to kill and capture several Israeli soldiers, and that Hezbollah fighters hide—and hide their weapons—among civilians to make counter attacks more difficult.”
It's inexcusable for Hezbollah to lob rockets into Haifa when civilian sare likely to be killed. It's inexcusable for Israel to bomb recklessly and level Beirut. And it's also inexcusable for Kurtz to use loaded“key facts” and weak logic to justify the deaths of so many Lebanese civilians.
I've been studying American foreign policy in the Middle East for 34 years and I can't recall any U.S. president who has subordinated American interests to Israeli interests like this one. The administration is being naïve about how this is going to reverberate elsewhere, in places like Iraq. Israel is primarily targeting Shiite Muslims and that's going to fuel the sectarianism that is feeding the civil war in Iraq. We have other concerns we should be looking out for—but George Bush apparently feels that American interests and Israeli interests coincide, so we have a no-show foreign policy.