Monday, July 24, 2006

Am I missing something here?

Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has posted the first few paragraphs of tonight's Nelson Report -- the uber-insider Washington newsletter for which subscribers pay hundreds (for all I know, thousands) of dollars. The topic is American diplomacy and the Israeli offensive in Lebanon. A couple of excerpts caught my eye:

The question is, or should be, does the US have a policy with a realistic chance of success, and is the US involved in a process to further that this case, to resolve the flare-up of the moment?


How much damage is being done, and will be done, to the US ability to be constructively involved in the Middle East is emerging, now, as the big question.

Now, perhaps Nelson explains himself later on; again Marshall posted only the first few paragraphs for public consumption. But did Nelson not read his hometown paper over the weekend? The Washington Post's Robin Wright spelled out plain as day that Team Bush could not care less about, as Nelson puts it, "resolving the flare-up of the moment." Wright says, "the Bush administration has opted for a course that plays out on the battlefield."

From the Bushies' viewpoint, no damage is being done to "the US ability to be constructively involved in the Middle East" because as Wright reports, "the broader goal is to strangle the axis of Hezbollah, Hamas, Syria and Iran, which the Bush administration believes is pooling resources to change the strategic playing field in the Middle East, U.S. officials say." (Of course, Hezbollah doesn't seem to be cooperating with this strategy, but that's another issue.)

It's the whole "creative destruction" thing again. As I say, perhaps Nelson addresses this in the portion of his missive that only subscribers can see. But if he doesn't, I think his subscribers should ask for a refund.


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