I want to make one more statement before I sit down to other things not online: I am not anti-war.
Sometimes we have to go to war. World War II is a good example of a non-elective war. Hitler had to be taken down, so did Mussolini, and the imperialists of Japan needed to be shown that the golden age of the Samurai had passed. However, with but one exception, we have been enmeshed in war after war after war that was unnecessary and benefitted only the military-industrial complex and their investors.
The Gulf War was somewhat necessary. An aggressor nation had annexed a smaller, weaker nation. A grand coalition was formed, the aggressor nation was given the boot, and buttoned up in a small strip of land by two no-fly zones. We could have kept the aggressor, Saddam Hussain, corked up there until he died, and kept his murderous sons similarly corked up until they croaked.
The war we should have fought after 9/11 was clearly one against Afghanistan's Taliban regime and its neighbor and collaborator Pakistan. No matter what kind of pro-Pakistani propaganda garbage CBS (and by extension the US Government) shoveled up during 60 Minutes tonight, the Pakistanis are NOT our friends. If they were, they would have delivered Osama bin'Laden on a platter to us by now. They are as good of friends as the Saudis are, whom George W. Bush loves to appease. If someone had real cojones, we'd sweat the Saudis until they turned off the money spigot to the Jihadist movement.
Iraq became a wretched hive of scum, villainy and terrorists after we barged in. It was only a wretched hive of scum and villainy beforehand, and one we had clamped a lid on. Our presence is the magnet that draws foreign fighters to Iraq. And if we had hoped we would have a compliant client state in Iraq, we got another thing coming. Iran has its eyes on Iraq, and has people in place to make sure they have as much say in a future Iraq as Syria had in Lebanon. We will have succeeded in creating the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq one day. And needless to say, this country will *not* be our friends either.
As far as the Israeli-Palestinian situation goes, we need to start telling the Likudniks and the Haredim that they will no longer get their way. Gaza is a good start. However, it's time to say goodbye to the West Bank. Out. Now.
It's also time to start serious talks about an internationally-administered Jerusalem. The UN does not have the stature anymore to handle this. They did in 1948, when the original deal was placed before the Zionists and the Palestinian Arabs. Zionists, you get Israel. Palestinians, you get Transjordan. The UN will administer the city of Jerusalem in perpetuity to keep its holy sites safe for the Three Abrahamic Faiths to worship in. Of course, the deal didn't pan out, and we have the situation we have had for almost 60 years. The elephant in the room preventing a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinian Authority is Jerusalem. Israel claims it as its capitol, the Palestinians claim it as their capitol. That cannot stand.
Some international authority needs to step up and say: "This is a city that belongs to all humanity. It cannot remain a political football." This is the hard part. I strongly suggest a council of religious authorities be convened to watch over Jerusalem. Yeah, that council will probably resemble the beginning of several well-worn jokes. Make sure you extract a pledge that no religious group will attempt to destroy another's holy site. That means you, Haredim who want a Third Temple. The Wailing Wall, Al'Aqsa Mosque, and the Holy Sepulcher must all be kept as-is. No more quibbles. Restoration is OK but nobody destroys anyone else's site.
Solving the Israel/Palestine question is going to be tough, but it has to be done. Shimon Peres already died as a result of his efforts to sort it out. Some others might have to deal with extremists with murder on their minds from either Muslim or Haredim quarters. But we have to deal with it. No meaningful solution of the whole Middle Eastern/Islamic Asian situation can be found without dealing with this.
Sometimes war is inevitable. However, it should be very, very rare. And certainly going to war over a series of lies is not a good thing at all.