As this headline rather succintly points out (thanks, Eugene!), the US government is in a bit of a quandry over what to do about Israel’s recent foray into Lebanon. The US historically has backed Israel economically, politically (especially in the UN), and militarily, so what could be causing pause this time? Oh yeah, oil.
As Billmon points out:
For the first time since I don’t know when — the early ’70s, I guess — something is standing in the way of the customary U.S. kneejerk support for Israel. The higher gas prices go, and the lower the 401(k) portfolios of the masses drop, the dicier it gets for the GOP in its desperate struggle to stave off an eruption of democracy in our Chamber of People’s Deputies (i.e. to preserve its death grip on congressional power.)
For the Rovians, it’s a nightmarish dilemma: Do they pander shamelessly to the Israel lobby and its Christian conservative supporters (the default election year position) or do they try to keep the Israelis, and the global oil markets, under some kind of adult supervision, even if it leaves Charlie Krauthammer sputtering with rage? You can already see the sweat popping out on Condi Rice’s forehead.
If Nixon and Kissinger didn’t knuckle under to an Arab oil embargo and mile-long gas lines, I don’t think the Cheney administration is going to let a bunch of 25-year old oil traders drive a wedge between America and its 51st state. But you can tell the gang is worried, and that in itself is almost a foreign policy revolution.