UPDATE JPOST via AP: Bush clarity, resolve results in entire G8 moving over a notch.
Michelle Malkin has MUCH more.
The policy schisms recently have been most apparent.
Between the two Houses of Congress, The White House and the Department of State it has been at times difficult to get a consistent read on US direction or policy.. Most especially at State.
Foggy Bottom historically known for waving the flag in differing directions has been somewhat of an enigma lately. A one stop shop – if it doesn't further or feed the goal of playing nice with the EU over a diplomatic solution in Iran, it runs contrary to Dept. of State policy is how one might best sum it up. Condi has had a lot of rope lately and she's been using much of it to lasso Israel with, to the glee of her EU counterparts for whom a good Israel roping is entertainment for the whole month!
Not this time Javier..
With the UN forced to now contend with merely sending one of their vaunted 'teams' (about as effective as the marionettes in Team America at solving problems) and the USA flexing some veto power, the Hamas Hezbollah situation is clearly being read by the US Administration as a strategic threat in the region, as such the usual recipes do not apply.
Instead of tying hands, the US is instead sending jet fuel. That's an ally!
YNET – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice backs Israel's military operation in Lebanon; US government says it has agreed to supply Israel with jet fuel to feed its warplanes – Yitzhak Benhorin
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned that for the time being the United States is not interested to assist in negotiating a ceasefire. There is no point in achieving a ceasefire so long as Hizbullah and Hamas are capable of firing rockets at Israel, and by doing so to breach it. In a series of interviews to large American television channels, the secretary of state added that this is not the right time to make diplomatic trips to the region to solve the crisis.
"Extremists in Hamas, Hizbullah, and their supporters in Syria and Iran do not want to see a resolution of these situations on the basis of 1559 and the road map, because then they would have no reason for violence," Rice said. The US government will object the reaching of a cease-fire at the G-8 summit or at the United Nations. [...]
"Our message to Israel is, look, defend yourself," Bush said. "But as you do so, be mindful of the consequences. So we've urged restraint."
"What you had in the Middle East before was American policies – bipartisan, by the way, it had been pursued by Democratic Presidents and by Republican Presidents – that engaged in so-called Middle East exceptionalism and was pursuing stability at the expense of democracy, and it turned out, as we learned on 9/11 or July 7th here, or in any – in London or across the world, was getting neither," she said.
The Pentagon notified Congress of plans to sell Israel jet fuel valued at up to USD 210 million "to keep peace and security in the region". "The proposed sale of the JP-8 aviation fuel will enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory," the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in notice required by law. It said Israel had requested the sale, but did not say when the request was made. "The jet fuel will be consumed while (Israel's) aircraft (are) in use to keep peace and security in the region," the notice to Congress said
Condi's comments reflect US policy all right, but they reflect policy from 2001. Policies laid out by an American war time President in moving and historically shaping speeches to both Houses. In sweeping National Security Agency policies regarding pre-emption, intelligence and the rules of engagement vs terrorists. Since then we have seen at times and often in regards to Israel a double line in regards to such policies. We have seen difficult long wars which divide the weakest of wills, and worse of all we have seen the encroachment of the UN, and the endless diplomatic baggage cars of BS the UN brings along with it.
Bush is still the leader of the free World
His houses in Congress are not setting limits in regards to Israel, they are way more eager & busy legislating limits on dealing with terrorist groups, cutting a much harsher road than the White House. His own better judgment and natural inclination to stand with Israel are certainly not limiting factors. The limiting factors are diplomats, the State Dept, and scared cats within the military / intelligence complex who fear more than anything another failure of any scale or of any sort, the 'get out bureaucracy free' cards apparently in short supply after intelligence and reaction screw ups this new millennium.
But Bush is not deterred, he has clearly given the order and said enough is enough. The USA like the World's best back, will now run interference and allow Israel some time.. Crucial key days even with which to prepare to ground for Hezbollah clearance, maybe even a few more big touchdowns for the good guys in the War on Terror.
In the end Bush needs the open range. Like Israel, keeping him confined and hemmed in with bullshit just doesn't fly for long, it's not his style. He clearly realizes this is one battle in the overall theatre the good guys absolutely need to win. The US Administration can often be a bit ambiguous in the name of politics, it seems clear enough the President of the United State has decided, not today.
There are other countries, even *gasp* Muslim & Arab countries who feel the same way, but their voices are not clear. They don't make eye contact, they don't shout for what they believe in with much conviction above the din because it is too risky or not worth it..
That's why they aren't incidentally the leaders of the free world.