And yes, finally some people ARE saying something that makes sense. Paul Krugman's essay in today's NYT, Shock and Awe, makes a lot of sense to me.
"For Americans who care deeply about Israel, one of the truly nightmarish things about the war in Lebanon has been watching Israel repeat the same mistakes the United States made in Iraq. It’s as if Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has been possessed by the deranged spirit of Donald Rumsfeld," he writes.
There is a case for a full-scale Israeli ground offensive against Hezbollah. It may yet come to that, if Israel can’t find any other way to protect itself. There is also a case for restraint — limited counterstrikes combined with diplomacy, an effort to get other players to rein Hezbollah in, with the option of that full-scale offensive always in the background.
But the actual course Israel has chosen — a bombing campaign that clearly isn’t crippling Hezbollah, but is destroying Lebanon’s infrastructure and killing lots of civilians — achieves the worst of both worlds. Presumably there were people in the Israeli government who assured the political leadership that a rain of smart bombs would smash and/or intimidate Hezbollah into submission. Those people should be fired.
And the full page ad sponsored by Tikkun is exactly what is needed to end this conflict and build for an enduring peace -- even if we can't agree on every point (wisely, perhaps, they have omitted any mention about what to do about Jerusalem. "Stop the Slaughter in Lebanon, Israel and the Occupied Territories!" Yes! Right away!
The signers printed in today's NYT ad are all identified as "The Network of Spiritual Progressives," headed by Rabbi Michael Lerner, Sr. Joan Chittister and Prof. Cornell West. I don't know if I'm a "spiritual" progressive (seems to imply some religious affiliation), but I was eager to sign. Read the ad, and if you agree you'll sign too.
Meanwhile, as Mazen Kerbaj reminds us, it's awfully hard to maintain the optimism of music with bombs raining down upon you.