Does Lebanon Have Any Strategic Value for the Midterm Elections?

(Not crossposted to Daily Kos or least not yet)

I'm working toward the hypothesis that the answer is "little, if any." What is going on in Lebanon will probably have no impact on the midterm elections.

Help me flesh it out.

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Why I probably won't participate in the demonstrations against Israel

I don't have time to format everything, so I'm going to link to my own blog post.  Maybe I'll come back later and format it for local viewing.

Basically, I attempt to explain why I can't attend the demonstrations.  The peace movement is becoming entirely too tolerant of tendencies that it would never accept from white Americans, no matter how oppressed.  The left needs to start addressing the anti-semitism in its ranks, or it will fail.  Or worse perhaps, it may succeed in a manner completely unintended. 07/ ml

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Terrorism or Subculture? The Great Train Spitting Caper

The strangest thing happened while I was on BART (the San Francisco commuter train) on Friday. The girl standing next to me, who had been complaining loudly about the over-crowded train, spit at the people standing on the platform right before the door closed. Her friends immediately started doing a victory dance, singing "Boo-boo-be-doo - we spit on you!"

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Condi's Diplomacy Equation: War + War = Peace

Germany's Deutche Welle reported Sunday that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is entering the Middle East arena with "few friends for company," and described the United States as "increasingly estranged from European and Arab allies" over the Israel-Lebanon crisis.

Under the fold: where in the world is Condi Rice, and why?

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The Bullying Strategy of the Likudniks

From the mailbag:

You recently asked whether there was a group for groveling leftist Jews like you who hate Israel and who consort with the Kossacks advocating that France nuke Tel Aviv (check out today's cite, Yasser, assuming you didn't author that poorly written screed).  Is there a support group for those who are so pathetic that they can only gain companionship by bending over for anti-Semites?

Yes, there is. It is called "Hizbollah". Please join immediately. They will absolutely adore you.

I don't normally publish email, but this one's instructive.  It reminds me very much of the pre-Iraq War rhetoric designed to intimidate people from having a real debate about the war.  I'm honestly not sure what Israel should do, though obviously the country has the right and the duty to defend itself.  That I think Israel should defend itself though is not enough for the extremist AIPAC crowd.  To them, anyone who doesn't believe in indiscriminately killing Arabs should go join Hezbollah.  Anyone who recognizes that Israeli persecution of its own Arab citizens and its generally poor treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has negative strategic consequences must be antisemitic or a groveling jew.

The reality is that Israel is acting with America's permission.  We've even accelerated arms shipments to Israel, arms they will use in the invasion of Lebanon.  At any point, Bush could stop Israel from attacking Hezbollah, as Reagan did in 1982.  Bush is doing nothing.  As a result of this combination of quiet encouragement through logistics and intentional diplomatic impotence, American citizens will be held accountable for Israeli actions.  Maybe Israel is doing the right thing, and maybe not.  But we should at least have the debate with all the facts on the table, since it's not just Israel that will wear the consequences.

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