Yeah, I like Bayh on paper, but as soon as you see him speak, you have to reach for the NoDoz. Plus, he doesn't strike me as a leader. He's a politician. Mark Warner, on the other hand, has flashes of brilliance. You can tell he wants to lead.
In the end, the Lebanese government was not abiding by the UN resolution, which mandated that Lebanon must control its border with Israel. It never dismantled the militias, and it left Hezbollah alone. As a result, Israel found itself threatened.
To the extent that the Lebanese infrastructure has been attacked, it has been with the purpose of dismantling Hezbollah. Israel has not, to my knowledge, purposely attacked any civilians.
Israel was going after the southern part of Beirut, which was largely under Hezbollah control. The urban districts in the north are intact, because Hezbollah didn't have much of a presence there. The attacks in Lebanon have all been aimed at Hezbollah and its infrastructure.
You can argue that Israel's in the wrong, but it's silly to suggest that this is directed by the US. Bush wants Iraq to go well, and if Israel invades it will simply inflame the Shiites in Iraq. If Israel is in Lebanon tomorrow morning, there is a very real possibility that, before long, not even Fox News will be able to question whether Iraq is in a civil war. Bush and Co. will not interfere with this, but they had nothing to do with it.
Why would Israel declare war on Lebanon? The Lebanese government has no control over the Southern part of the country, or Hezbollah. If the Lebanese had any kind of military force in that part of the country, Israel probably woulld have just gotten them to take care of it. Since that wasn't an option, they went after Hezbollah.
How exactly is Israel supposed to fight Hezbollah without going into Lebanon?
If Hezbollah controls the southern part of Lebanon, Israel has the right and the responsibility to go in. When the Syrians left, everybody was under the impression that the Lebanese would take control of the South and make sure Hezbollah wasn't running things down there. The government hasn't been able to do it, and Israel is doing what's necessary to protect their people.
I'd like to see a peacekeeping force get in there, but it's not happening. The best alternative is an Israeli invasion.
The original point, though, was that Matt's post was rife with factual inaccuracies. The idea that the Israeli government is hard-right or extremist is laughable.
Your analysis might be cogent, except that it lacks a great deal in the fact department. How is this incursion the work of "hard-line extremists" with a "Likud-over-all agenda" when the Defense Minister, Peretz, is the leader of the Labour party and a dove? Likud got absolutely drubbed in the last elections, and the government is controlled by a center-left coalition.
It's one thing to be for peace in the Middle East; it's entirely different to turn a blind eye to reality.
He was speaking to a group of moderate to liberal Christians, who see politics through the lens of their faith. Most Democrats don't care what a person's faith is, but there are some who (understandably) get nervous and defensive when someone starts talking about God. I've experienced it, and I'm sure others have. It's not the norm, but it happens.
Also, Obama makes a good point in another sense. When it comes to values issues, Democrats too often scorn conservatives for drawing on their faith. While I agree that Jesus is probably not anti-gay, I think we've become too dismissive of those who disagree with us on social issues because of their faith.
So calm down, people. Obama's not picking up the favorite right-wing mantle of "poor, oppressed Christians." He's simply asking liberals to take faith seriously in a new way.
BTW, I wouldn't mind seeing "under God" taken out of the Pledge. But I wouldn't go to the barricades for it.
As far as I'm concerned, it's no crazier than George W. saying that God told him to invade Iraq. Actually, last time I checked, Jerome's beliefs weren't responsible for thousands of deaths and a stain on America's image. So Armstrong comes out ahead.
I guess for the folks at RedState, if you're a conservative who believes God is guiding your politics, you're a "person of faith." But if you're a progressive who believes in another awy of understanding life, you're a wacko.
As a committed Christian, I think it's wrong to disparage someone because they believe in something bigger than themselves. If it informs their values and life, good for them. I don't think God cares if you wear a cross or watch stars, so long as you "Do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God."
I agree with you, but I do think that the Daily Show feeds into a certain self-defeating narrative that young people find appealing. It's much easier to simply decide that politics is twisted than to get involved and change something.
I love Stewart and I love the show, but sometimes I wonder if everyone's in on the joke. Deep down, the show pokes fun because politics do matter. I worry that some young people just laugh at that crazy politics stuff and then get back to their beer bongs.
Democrats are stumbling towards the right strategy on Iraq. We need to simply say that Iraq is problem now, a mess. Something has to change. We need a plan. We can debate whose plan is the best, but we need a plan. And "stay the course" isn't a plan.
Democrats probably can't be elected as the party that has a plan to fix Iraq. But we can be the party that acknowledges the need for a plan.