A French Peace
"Nous n'avons pas changé d'avis.Il y a eu deux éléments nouveaux. Le premier, c'est que plus personne n'a parlé de force multinationale, dès l'instant que l'armée libanaise a décidé de déployer 15 000 hommes au Liban sud, ce qui est un élément politique majeur. Et plus personne ne parle d'une force qui serait dotée d'un mandat offensif, pour désarmer le Hezbollah. Ce sont deux faits nouveaux, c'étaient nos lignes rouges."
-- Philippe Douste-Blazy
Nobody is taking about a force with a proactive mandate to disarm Hezbolla.
With news that the Amal Militia was fighting alongside Hezbollah in the recent conflict, there appears to be no moderate Shi'ite polity in Lebanon who would vote for the disarmament of Hezbollah. Considering now that there seems to be no force in the international force, and that it's very dubious that one will materialize with an adequate mandate, it appears to me that we're back to July 11th. Except this time Israel is in Lebanon and their going to take their sweet time backing out, advancing to the rear.
The big fingers seem to be pointing to Paul Bremer as the architect of failure in Iraq. From the office of Lessons Learned, it seems that everything he did with deBaathification set the stage for the insurgency that has turned our occupation of Iraq into the very 'Fiasco' which is the title of the book.
In retrospect it seems so patently obvious that you shouldn't fire all of the people who have been running the country and forbid their service to the new government, but this is what he did, many times falsely against 'Baathists' who didn't even belong to the Party. He disbanded the entire Iraqi Army and created an instant supply of shiftless, unemployed men for the Insurgency. He set a timetable for withdrawl without running it by superiors and created false hope among the grunts that they would be home soon. He's got to be the biggest villain on our side in Iraq.
Landis Kills Phonak
Speaking of asshats, doped up cyclist Floyd Landis' scandal has brought such shame on his teammated that not only was he fired, but the team has folded. I knew something like this was bound to happen, and it's not over. He's cast a dark cloud over the sport in ways no other athletic scandal could.