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Friday, August 18, 2006

Great lines of the day 

From James Wolcott - who else?
First, a riff on Israeli Prime Minister Olmert's fall to 40 per cent in the Israel opinion polls:
. . . the bitter irony to those of us accustomed to the toasty crunch of bitter irony first thing in the morning is that even with Olmert's facedown splat he's still got better poll numbers than Bush! If Bush clawed his way back into the forties, the Note would form a conga line and bugger each other until they squeaked, Peggy Noonan would paint herself pink and roll downhill like an Easter egg, and Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss would make the rounds of the political chat shows to muse knowingly about Bush's Reaganesque Indian summer, and his durable bond with the American people (most of whom despise him. . .
Then onward to a discussion of the Bush 'legacy':
If Seymour Hersh's sources are creditable (and I think we can all agree Hersh's track record ), Bush has made up his one-track mind for the rest of us that he will not leave office without neutralizing the threat of Iran. Not having learned the lesson of Iraq about the danger of apocalyptic hyperbole, the media are already beating the bass drums like a corps of Michael Ledeens . . . I still have my doubts as to whether the US will attack Iran. As Emmanuel Todd writes in After the Empire, the recent US pattern-- evidence of its atrophied superpower prowess--has been to bomb countries much weaker than itself, while shying away from more formidable foes (such as North Korea). Iran is no pushover, and Hezbollah out-smarted and out-toughed Israel in Lebanon, making even an airstrike on Iran a more difficult sell. But one thing we've learned in the Bush years is never to anticipate that reason will prevail.
Lind: "For America, the question is whether Washington will continue to demand that we go down with the Israeli ship."
Or is it that Israel will go down with the American ship?
I suppose it's a distinction without a difference to the watery grave.
Emphasis mine.

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