Bloggers on the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict.

The latest chatter in cyberspace.
July 24 2006 6:34 PM

Arms Race

Bloggers sound off on America's shipment of munitions to Israel, William F. Buckley's denunciation of Bush, and the possibility of sex in outer space.

Arms race: The New York Times reported this weekend that the United States is honoring an Israeli request to rush a delivery of weapons to Israel.  Some bloggers chew out the Times for revealing military secrets, while others focus on the parallel to Iran supplying Hezbollah. 

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Conservative Penraker spots a pattern: "We have a newspaper that shows increasing signs of siding with the terrorists - this much is now clear. The NSA revelations, the incredibly weak excuses for revealing the SWIFT program - on and on the Times runs, attempting to cause as much mischief as possible." Conservative columnist and blogger Michelle Malkin calls the Times "Hezbollah's Favorite Newspaper."

Malkin rebukes the Times because of the article's potential to incite backlash against the United States, but A Moderate From South Dakota doubts the news will make a splash: "The fact our Government seems quite content to sit back and allow this conflict to continue without even the slightest attempt at anything other than a token diplomatic solution would probably do more to anger Arab governments than this quite obvious disclosure that we are doing what we have been doing for decades."

At Captain's Quarters,conservative Ed Morrissey defends the decision to publish: "In this case, the reporters revealed no covert tactics or secret alliances that would not survive exposure. This reflects foreign policy, and it belongs in the public sphere. It actually reports next to nothing of substance, and if anything, just underscores the Bush administration's solid support of Israel."

Brooklyn blogger Seth Williams at Taken as Read admonishes the Bush administration for the move: "Although the Israeli arms sale was approved previous to this conflict, the US should not have sped up delivery — this only exacerbates the impression in some Arab countries that this amounts to a proxy war. Which in part it is. The longer the US refuses to defuse the situation, the greater Secretary Rice's challenge." Liberal CE Petro at Thoughts of an Average Woman  asks: "Do you honestly expect the Arab world to believe the US is acting objectively, as an 'honest peace broker'?  Ha!"

But conservative Herschel Smith at Captain's Journal rejects the "moral equivalence argument" that calls for American impartiality: "The U.S. = Iran, and Israel = Hezbollah. This is the equation in their thinking — and in the thinking of much of the U.S. left. It's too bizarre to need rebuttal.  It is prima facie absurd."

Buckley bucks Bush: In an interview with CBS News, William F. Buckley claimed that Bush lacks "effective conservative ideology" and criticized Bush's foreign policy decisions and "extravagant" domestic spending.

Conservative Andrew Sullivan, a longtime administration critic, echoes Buckley's rhetoric: "The failure is as much intellectual as political. Today's Republicans have abandoned limited government conservatism, fiscal prudence and foreign policy pragmatism for a form of fundamentalist, spendthrift authoritarianism at home and utter recklessness abroad. It will take a very long time before this country - and conservatism as a political tradition - recover."

Libertarian Jim Rose hopes the ideological shift is permanent. He admits that Bush's second inaugural speech, which called for the "ending of tyranny in our world," was stunning, but follows: "I respect Buckley's opinion on the matter, but the 20th century stands as a testament to the folly of detente and diplomacy without end. Robert Taft Conservatism is woefully out of date, but many aren't prepared to let it go."

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