The various disasters in the Middle East keep on getting worse. About the best analysis of the whole situation that I’ve seen in some time was by Rami Khouri in Salon. The write-off sums up the case
Hamas and Hezbollah, Lebanon and Palestine, Syria and Iran, the U.S. and Israel: Unless these four pairs of actors turn away from their failed policies, the Middle East will sink further into violence and despair.
What is striking about the Middle East is that, more than anywhere else in the world, it is the place where belief in the effectiveness of violence to achieve political goals has reigned supreme, and the place where nothing of substance has changed, except for the worse, in generations. Whether it’s the gunman firing an AK-47 into the air, the suicide bomber’s macabre video clip, the Revolutionary Guard armed with Islamic fervour or the official military parading its power to deliver terror by air and armoured brigade, the romance of the gun seems to obscure the reality of murdered children and the dismal failure of all concerned to move even an inch towards any sort of solution.
The only new thing about the current crisis is that lots of Australians are directly in the line of fire. This raises the stakes dramatically for anyone who wants to endorse the actions of one side or another.