- The events in Israel and southern Lebanon, where the IDF has been fighting back against the terrorist organization Hezbollah, have brought unusual clarity. Ever since the British bugged out of the region in the 1920s, there have been countless squabbles over the region variously known as Israel, Palestine, the Holy Land, the West Bank, etc. The struggles over this land have occupied various governments and have been on the world stage ever since. Israel, a sovereign nation with well-established democratic institutions, has been under attack for nearly 60 years. The current battle against Hezbollah has provided conclusive proof that Israel's enemies, no matter what they say for public consumption, are implacable, and that the only solution that will mollify them is the complete destruction of the Israeli state. Once again, we have heard voices urging that the Israelis back down, that they accept a "cease-fire," that they sublimate their future to the ministration of UN peacekeepers, etc. This is the counsel of people like Madeline Albright, who apparently was U.S. Secretary of State at some point. One problem - Hezbollah is already violating various UN resolutions, so it's really hard to see how another resolution will solve anything. Moment of clarity - people who expect the UN to solve world problems are foolish.
- Matt Entenza's bumbling bid to succeed Mike Hatch as Attorney General of Minnesota ended this week amid a welter of scandals regarding his political activities and the murky responses he provided as explanations/justifications. Entenza left the race only six hours prior to the filing deadline for the primary. Somehow, by the time the deadline passed, five other DFLers were on the ballot, including former congressman Bill Luther and Steve Kelley, a state senator from Hopkins who lost the DFL gubernatorial endorsement to Mr. Hatch. This lineup of candidates has produced a cavalcade of yawns from most Minnesotans. Moment of clarity -- there are a hell of a lot of DFL politicians in this state and most of them are pretty lackluster.
Delusions are tough to relinquish, and what is clear at this moment will probably become opaque again, since there remain many, many people who want to believe that things would be better if only we had more "progressive" leadership, both in St. Paul and in Washington. It's worth remembering - the lies that are most destructive are the lies you tell yourself.