Friday, July 28, 2006

"They will figure it out on their own, the hard way"

It's interesting to contrast the wartime political process in Israel with that here in the U.S. When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited northern Israel Wednesday -- amid swarms of rocket attacks -- his statements echoed George W. Bush on September 20, 2001.

In a visit of support to the north on Wednesday, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that "the IDF operation won't last for months and, even if it lasts for longer than we planned, we'll know how to match the solution to the citizens."

"I don't intend on announcing an end to the operation. They (Hizbullah) will figure it out on their own, the hard way..."

Benjamin Netanyahu, one of the leaders of the opposition party, backed Olmert's efforts:

...The government has set a goal to remove the threat from Israel's cities and its civilians, and specifically to remove the missile threat. I'm not going to second-guess them in the middle of the war. We are in the middle of a war...

...the presence of these missiles in Hezbollah's hands is an intolerable threat. If this is resolved, when that missile arsenal is intact, you know it's just a question of time when Hezbollah will fire them again, when it suits their Iranian and Syrian patron...

I'm trying to remember what it's like to have a loyal opposition party. One that puts national security above partisan demagoguery. One that provides a home to hawks and doves alike. One that provides a haven for centrists.

And I'm trying to recall a mainstream media that offered similar balance, as opposed to the "zero-percenters" that comprise thought-leadership for today's mediacrats.

I'm having trouble coming up with any examples of loyal opposition here in the U.S. At least since, oh, late 2001. And that's tragic.

So when Olmert says they'll figure it out on their own -- the hard way -- I hope that applies to the opposition party as well. I pray that it won't take another 3,000 dead on American soil to get them to recalibrate their loyalties.

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