Prospects

Last night In “Not delusional” I quoted Prime Minister Olmert during a lucid interval with the Times of London. In her Jerusalem Post column this mornning, Caroline Glick assembles a set of quotes from him that more properly fall under the category of “delusional.” I am afraid that Glick’s conclusion will serve as a useful guide to the coming days:

As each day passes, Iran’s threats and its actions become more and more extreme. Wednesday, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that Iran sent Osama bin Laden’s son Sa’ad, who has been living in Iran since November 2001, to the Syrian-Lebanese border to mobilize Palestinian forces in Syria to fight against Israel.

On Wednesday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made veiled nuclear threats against Britain, the US and Israel when he said, “Today, the Iranian people is the owner of nuclear technology. Those who want to talk with our people should know what people they are talking to. If some believe they can keep talking to the Iranian people in the language of threats and aggressiveness, they should know that they are making a bitter mistake. If they have not realized this by now, they soon will, but then it will be too late.”

This statement was followed Thursday by his address to the Organization of the Islamic Conference in Malaysia where he again called for Israel to be annihilated.

THE UNDENIABLE fact is that the nature of the war that Israel is now fighting in Lebanon is not local. It is not about territory. It is about jihad. Hizbullah is not simply a terrorist organization. It is the Iranian army. According to press reports, over the past six years, some 3,000 Hizbullah fighters underwent military training in Iran. Iran and Syria are not simply Hizbullah’s patrons. They are active participants in this war against the West in which Israel is a frontline state.

Yet due to Olmert’s weak and incompetent leadership and Rice’s opportunistic laziness, both the US and Israel are pretending it is possible to see the war as a simple, isolated event. As a result, they are advancing purported solutions, like cease-fires, multinational forces and empty declarations of victory that only increase the dangers.

I think the derogation of Secretary Rice is regrettable; she is executing Bush administration policy for which the president should be credited or criticized. Glick’s column — “Amateur hour is over” — otherwise seems close to the mark, if not on it.

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