An Honorable Exit

Foward, which bills itself as the voice of the American Jew and the conscience of the Jewish community, has published an editorial calling for diplomacy in the current Lebanese conflict and an honorable exit from that country. It is an excellent study of the current Middle East crisis and a well reasoned appeal for peace. Here are a few extracts commencing with mention of yesterday’s appearance before Congress by the prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki:

Whose side, Democrats were asking, is Maliki on?

It’s a fair question, but sadly beside the point right now. When you’re flat on your back, you can’t be too choosy about who your friends are, and America — it’s no secret — is flat on its back in Iraq these days. We’re bogged down in a war we can’t win and can’t get out of. We misjudged our foes’ capabilities and overestimated our own. We have alienated our allies and inflamed much of the rest of the world, and as a consequence we’ve sharply narrowed our short-term options and undermined our leadership position on the broader world stage. Perhaps most alarming, we have unintentionally unleashed our most dangerous adversary, the Islamic Republic of Iran, by eliminating its worst enemy, the Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein.

Israel’s war in Lebanon differs from America’s war in Iraq in at least one crucial respect: It was, from the outset, indisputably justified. Faced with an unprovoked attack by a terrorist organization across its border, Israel decided to bring the war to the enemy. It replied with reasonable force to an unreasonable assault.

To achieve an honorable exit from Lebanon … Israel must find another way of moving Hezbollah. It will need to reach an understanding with those that can influence the Shi’ite militia, beginning with Syria. Israel’s leaders understand this, we’re told by senior officials in Jerusalem, but they worry that Washington doesn’t get it.

Now is the time for diplomacy to begin …

This Foward editorial is a good read in its entirety. Click the headline.

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