Monday, January 05, 2009

a silk purse that only a neocon could love...,

NYTimes | But Israel — assuming it succeeds — is doing the United States a favor by taking on Hamas now.

The huge challenge for the Obama administration is going to be Iran. If Israel had yielded to Hamas and refrained from using force to stop terror attacks, it would have been a victory for Iran. If Israel were now to withdraw under pressure without accomplishing the objectives of severely weakening Hamas and preventing the reconstitution of a terror-exporting state in Gaza, it would be a triumph for Iran. In either case, the Iranian regime would be emboldened, and less susceptible to the pressure from the Obama administration to stop its nuclear program.

But a defeat of Hamas in Gaza — following on the heels of our success in Iraq — would be a real setback for Iran. It would make it easier to assemble regional and international coalitions to pressure Iran. It might positively affect the Iranian elections in June. It might make the Iranian regime more amenable to dealing.

With respect to Iran, Obama may well face — as the Israeli government did with Hamas — a moment when the use of force seems to be the only responsible option. But Israel’s willingness to fight makes it more possible that the United States may not have to.
William Kristol is one of a handful of commentators so awful and discredited that he makes Tom Friedman look like a sage by comparison. That these pontificating pustules continue to enjoy bully pulpits is testimony to the extent to which elite management of day-to-day narrative operations is on the ropes. What do you have to do, bite somebody and get caught before your pundit credentials get revoked nowadays?