from the Daily Star:
Bush and Olmert deserve their fate because it is largely self-inflicted. The US government has acted too duplicitously and too myopically for too long to expect that anyone in this part of the world still trusts American promises. The Israelis should understand by now that blowing things up is not a suitable substitute for talking things out. In addition, those Arab regimes that long ago sold their political souls in exchange for American protection are speeding toward irrelevancy.
But what of Siniora? He has struggled mightily to keep Lebanon on an even keel, only to see his hopes dashed by Hizbullah's poor judgment, Israel's devastating riposte, and America's heartless intransigence. He deserves better.
In all fairness, what of the Israeli people? No one expects them to choose new leaders who will grovel and cower like those who accepted abuse in Europe until the Holocaust forged a very different attitude, but most of the policies pursued by Israeli governments since 1948 have served only to maintain the enmity of the Jewish state's Arab neighbors. Parents should not have to fear for their children's lives because their leaders are obsessed with proving how tough they are.
And what of the long-suffering Lebanese people? They asked for none of this, and yet their lives are being ended, ruined or thrown into turmoil. No one should be surprised if a substantial number of the children who survive this latest nightmare grow up determined to exact revenge against those who inflicted gratuitous violence on their loved ones, those who helped them do it, and those who remained silent. Who could blame them? And who could be so naive as to ask the world's most obtuse question: "Why do they hate us?"