01 June 2010

Escalation

Kevin Drum says what I've been thinking about Israel's attack on the ship bringing aid to Gaza.

It's also a little hard to write about since I don't have anything original to say. A million people have already said it. Fanatics on both sides have been in control of the region for years — the hardline Orthodox population relentlessly gaining influence in Israel and Hamas terrorists among the Palestinians — both convinced that they can win if they can only provoke enough insane overreactions from the other side. Which they do with depressing regularity. Hamas's rocket attacks are indefensible, the Gaza embargo in return is indefensible, the blockade runners in their turn were plainly hoping to provoke an overreaction that would force Israel's hand, and the Israelis then went insanely beyond anyone's expectations by landing commandos on one of the ships and killing more than a dozen people while it was still far off in international waters. And now, there are rumors that the Turkish navy might escort the next ship that tries to run the blockade.

In David Petraeus's famous phrase, How does this end?

Not well, obviously. I despair.

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