Suez 1956; Lebanon 2006

Over at The Belgravia Dispatch Greg has posted a series of interesting emails he’s received on the subject of Israel, Lebanon and US policy. All put recent events in historical context in a way that politicians and journalists have long since forgotten how to do. This caught my eye:

Israel is radicalizing people who have little use for armed militia, but have less use for being indiscriminately bombed out of their homes and livelihoods. The Germans were fond of “community punishment” techniques during their battles with European resistance movements during the war, and we all know how much that endeared the Germans to their fellow Europeans. Giving a blank cheque to Israel is as mad as Kaiser Wilhelm giving a blank cheque to Conrad von Hötzendorf in 1914.
Of course, our government will take no such drastic action, particularly not having “committed” itself as it has, but how ironic that fifty years ago this summer our government rather brutally brought the Suez crisis to an end by squeezing Britain until the pips squeaked. I would defy anyone to reconcile the strategic worldview of the United States as reflected by these two seminal events.

Indeed. But then considering Eisenhower and Bush, maybe the contradiction isn’t so surprising.