Hey President Bush, bring back Cheney and Rumsfeld.........for all of our sakes. Condi's on the job training has gone on long enough. Basta!
State Department sources said Ms. Rice has been repeatedly stymied in her attempts to pressure Israel to end strikes against Hezbollah strongholds in Lebanon….
The disagreement between Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice is over the ramifications of US support for Israel's continued offensive against Lebanon. The sources said Mr. Bush believes that Israel's failure to defeat Hezbollah would encourage Iranian adventurism in neighboring Iraq. Ms. Rice has argued that the United States would be isolated both in the Middle East and Europe at a time when the administration seeks to build a consensus against Iran's nuclear weapons program.
Instead, Ms. Rice believes the United States should engage Iran and Syria to pressure Hezbollah to end the war with Israel. Ms. Rice has argued that such an effort would result in a US dialogue with Damascus and Tehran on Middle East stability.
Ms. Rice has garnered support from several senior Republicans on the Foreign Relations Committee, including chairman Sen. Richard Lugar. Members of the inner circle of Mr. Bush's father, the former president, have also been advocating for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon, with subsequent pressure on Israel for a diplomatic settlement with the Palestinians.
Ms. Rice's biggest supporter has been Brent Scowcroft, who served under the first Bush administration as national security advisor. Sources said Mr. Scowcroft, regarded as Ms. Rice's mentor, has been sending messages to his friends in Congress and the White House that US support for the Israeli war could jeopardize relations with Gulf oil suppliers, particularly Saudi Arabia….
Aides for Mr. Cheney have argued that the United States should have targeted Hezbollah and Syria during the war against Iraq in 2003. They said despite US intelligence warnings Hezbollah was allowed to dominate Lebanon and build a formidable force along the Israeli border.
"There was talk of taking care of Hezbollah and Syria, but Condi and [then-Secretary of State Colin] Powell said 'no way. We don't need another front,'" an official said….
But the sources said Mr. Bush has been dismayed by the Israeli failure to defeat Hezbollah. They said several high-ranking Republicans have expressed amazement at the plodding Israeli advance into Lebanon. "One Jewish friend of Bush actually called up a senior Israeli official and began yelling, 'What the hell's going on here,'" a source said. "'Are you going to fight or what?'"
Wait it gets worse............
Annan to Israel: Ask me First
Israel may not shoot back without permission
I f Hizb’allah breaks the ceasefire – as they already have – and shoots at Israeli citizens or population centers, territory or forces, the IDF may in most cases not respond before informing the United Nations Secretary General of the violation, and obtaining his permission to shoot back.This is the expectation of Kofi Annan, as spelled out in a letter from him to the sovereign government of the State of Israel earlier this week. More at iHillary
From TIA Daily; The Tragedy of Olmert, Prime Minister of Israel
The Lebanon War has highlighted the smallness of Israel's current leadership. Ariel Sharon championed the policy of disengagement, but somehow no one can imagine that the famous warrior, now dying, would have botched the last month quite as badly as his successor, Ehud Olmert.
Olmert's waffling indecision about ordering a ground invasion of Lebanon, which was approved, then delayed, then approved, then finally called off after it had already begun, is war leadership that makes Shakespeare's Hamlet look like a take-charge kind of guy. And so the demands for Israel to change its leadership, begun last week, have intensified, not only from the redoubtable Caroline Glick in the right-leaning Jerusalem Post but also, more significantly, in the left-leaning Haaretz, linked to below.
But as Michael Ledeen points out in an excellent column today, the failure in Lebanon is not primarily a personal failing by Israeli and American leaders, nor is it a narrow military, tactical, or political failure. It is a failure, he argues, for the same reason we've had to fight a complex counter-insurgency war in Iraq:
The destruction of Hezbollah requires regime change in Damascus. Security in Iraq and Afghanistan requires regime change in Damascus and Tehran. Lebanon, Gaza, Iraq, and Afghanistan are not separate conflicts. They are battlefields in a regional war.
It is this "failure of strategic vision" that prevents our leaders from winning the regional war—because they still think they are trying to manage a series of disconnected local crises.
And as for the architects of the damnable ceasefire?
And the French are applauding as the Hizzies celebrate their victory. But the french public has never seen a Hizzie. All they see is women in hijab weeping.
But the [French] media gleefully report that the war ended in a victory for Hizbullah...but don't mention France's role in handing them that victory.
UPDATE: Olmert is totally losing it. Is he a Hezb'Allah operative or what?
Hamas, the terrorist organization controlling Gaza, says it has received an Israeli offer to free 600 terrorists - mostly women and minors - in exchange for the abducted soldier Gilad Shalit. Full story here