Frowny Face Now

So, it seems like the Israel/Hezbollah fiasco continues.

It's unfortunate that there aren't a lot of major progressive bloggers covering the issue. Jewish magazine The Forward notes the strange silence .
Bloggers — as the feisty class of Internet pundits are known — love to paint themselves as free-speech warriors who bravely tackle the hard truths that mainstream media outlets either ignore or distort. But as the fighting between Israel and Hezbollah raged on and conventional media outlets covered the news from the ground, major players in the liberal blogosphere were keeping, by their own admission, decidedly quiet.

Liberals are definitely blogging about this issue, and I thought I'd post a few of them up here. Billmon writes up a few hundred words, but the first and last paragraphs sum things up well.

I've felt many emotions about the Israelis before. I've admired them for their accomplishments -- building a flourishing state out of almost nothing. I've hated them for their systematic dispossession of the Palestinians -- even as they smugly congratulated themselves for being the Middle East's only "democracy." I've pitied them for the cruel fate history inflicted on the Jewish diaspora, respected them for their boldness and daring, honored them for their cultural and intellectual achievements. But the one thing I've never felt, at least up until now, is contempt.


If there's one thing that should be obvious from this God awful tragedy in the making, it's that history has a savage sense of irony -- cruel and pitiless almost beyond belief. That Israel, haven to Holocaust survivors, should find itself in this situation, and respond to it in this way, is enough to make the very walls of Jerusalem weep. As I weep now.

At the Axis of Logic Akiva Eldar looks past Lebanon for another narrative.

When he heard the prime minister say on Tuesday that the crisis in the north is an "Iranian trick," Yigal Carmon did not know if he should be shaking with fear or exploding with anger. (Carmon is the founder and director of the Middle East Media Research Institute.)

"It isn't a trick from the Beitar Jerusalem soccer pitch," he says, furious with Ehud Olmert. "It worries me that even the president of the United States, the leader of the free world, doesn't understand that we aren't talking here about Hezbollah 'shit,' or about regional tensions, but about a crisis on a global scale."

"The current crisis has the makings of being able to create a new order in the region, or even a global conflict," stated a MEMRI position paper released yesterday. It refers to the danger of the traditional allies of the United States - Saudi Arabia and Egypt - losing their senior regional status to Iran, which is in the midst of an advanced process of acquiring nuclear capability.

At the same time, Russia, which is described as an ally of Iran, is once again taking up position against the United States, as a world power that wields influence in the Middle East and in Europe, where Russia is the principal supplier of oil and gas.

As such, the structure of a dual-superpower world is being revived, complete with all the rivalry between the East and West blocs in the Middle East that was characteristic of the Cold War era.

I'd rather not see a war between the US and Iran, but I do think there are signs that Iran is initiating some type of monkey business. It's unfortunate that our current administration isn't capable of nuance, especially during the summer vacation season.

I guess this post is kinda all over the place. To sum up, Liberals are definitely discussing the [whatever] in Israel/Lebanon. Juan Cole, Josh Marshall, Matt Yglesias, Eric Alterman, James Wolcott, and other progressives have plenty to say about the situation. Some are discussing the the global (and blogosphere) politics of the situation. Some speak clearly in defense of the Lebanese, while others are clearly more supportive of Israel. And then there are others that see this as a proxy move by Iran.

I've run out of blogging time this evening, but I think I'll return to this subject sometime to share my thoughts.


Blogger Fried Catfish said...

Billmon's post is WELL worth the read in its entirety!

7:46 AM  

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