According to this piece in the Jerusalem Post senior members of the Israeli Defense Force are “fuming” over being denied the opportunity to achieve a military victory over Hezbollah. I find it particularly disturbing that the Bush administration appears to have played a key role in denying the IDF that opportunity. Indeed, Tony Snow reportedly stated at a press conference today that an Israeli move deeper into Lebanon did not correspond with American policy.
Does this mean that American policy is now to protect Hezbollah from the Israelis? I’m struggling to understand how, if the reports we’re getting are true, this question can be answered other than in the affirmative. At a minimum, it apparently is inconsistent with Bush administration policy for our main ally in the Middle East, when attacked by a terrorist organization that is also committed to attacking (and has attacked) the U.S., to fight to win.
The administration now seems joined at the hip with the French when it comes to combatting Hezbollah. It’s almost as if Kerry, not Bush, won the 2004 election.
UPDATE: My post prompted Glenn Reynolds to make this astute observation:
Bush certainly seems to have hit the sweet spot — prosecuting the war vigorously enough to anger the antiwar left, but not vigorously enough to please the prowar right.
It seems to me that the actions Bush took that angered rational members of the antiwar left occurred largely during his first administration. The things that are angering the “pro-war right” have occurred during the second.