Far be it for me to disagree with such eminence. All wars are miscalculations, whether by one side or both. All those who die in war, whether willing soldier or unwilling civilian, are in the end victims.
Such is the way of all war.
All sides in this case miscalculated:
- Hezbollah said it wanted to end the destruction of Gaza. That goes on.
- Israel said it wanted to destroy Hezbollah. That did not happen.
- America wanted to prove the "shock and awe" treatment might still work against terrorism. That did not happen either.
Yet all sides did win something:
- Hezbollah is now the de-facto government of all Lebanon. Its popularity gives it veto power over the nominal government’s actions. It is in control of the field.
- Israel has tied America even more-closely to it. The silence of Democrats and the cheerleading of Republicans demonstrates its security is the true "third rail" of our politics.
- America has seen a fine little proxy war — good for ratings — and seen its own failure in Iraq pushed (for a time) off the front page. Think of it as a dry run for Iran.
Come to the South and you’ll see.
loss in what I like to call The Recent Unpleasantness, Southern extremists ruled the old Confederacy for a century after
the Civil War, through Jim Crow and the KKK.
Their retreat in the 1960s
was mainly strategic, and by taking a different patron they have won
prosperity while giving up merely a share of power to a new elite. Poor
blacks in my town are still, on the whole, poor, uneducated, living
shorter lives than whites, powerless to change what afflicts them.
So it is with this war. Those who started this war remain in power, all of them.
They have, on the whole, more power than before, power extended into
the nominal opposition, into another generation of sufferers, into the
What is war good for? It holds us in amber, chains us to the past, and
makes all those who yearn for peace, for real peace, seem like
That’s what it’s good for.