Sunday, August 13, 2006

Potpourri For Two Cents, Alex

A few random thoughts from the weekend that was:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a ceasefire. After all the blood and carnage, you have to wonder whether it was all worth it for this largely toothless document. There is already a delay on the part of the government of Lebanon to get its army in place. There is little to stop Hezbollah from just firing longer range rockets, as the rules of engagement for UNIFIL troops don't allow them to pursue Hezbollah aggressively. I imagine that things will be quiet for a time because Hezbollah, with their political influence in Lebanon, will not want to be seen as rocking the boat. But you can bet that any perceived "provocation" will get the rockets flying again. Meanwhile, the fact remains that after a month of a ground incursion and bombings, Israel didn't even slow down the rocket attacks. One would have to suspect that despite the daily assurances from the IDF that they were making great headway, they barely put a dent into Hezbollah - otherwise, the government of Israel would never have signed onto this ceasefire. The pacifist movement may be wrong about a lot of things, but they are dead accurate about the fact that you can't win the war on terror by try to go out and kill all the terrorists because the factory will just keep making more.

I caught Mike Wallace's 60 Minutes interview with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I really would have liked to see Wallace conduct this interview at age 58 instead of 88. Mike tried hard, but I imagine a younger version of himself would have been more pushy (as much as you can be with a head of state in a hostile country) to get his questions answered and not allow Ahmadinejad to go off on his tangents. No amount of smiling and charm could get Ahmadinejad off the hook when it comes to explaining his prior statements about Israel and the Holocaust. Did he really think he could use this interview to win the PR game in the U.S.?

Speaking of the Holocaust... an interesting thought occurred to me. In much of Europe, Holocaust denial is a crime. Yet the West's biggest ally in the Islamic world is Turkey, whose government to this day still denies the Armenian genocide by the Ottomans in 1915.

Finally, here's something to make us feel even older. Kimberly Kim, 14, is the U.S. Women's Amateur champion. Michelle Wie is now washed up at 16, no longer the most accomplished golfing teenager from Hawaii. I might as well start practising bocci.


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