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some u.s. goals

putting aside the not-so-long-ago memories of what happened to the marines in lebanon([search]), the u.s. announces plans to turn lebanon into a lily pad…

the herald: US reveals plan to train Lebanese army to take control after conflict
www.theherald.co.uk/news/67242.html
THE United States yesterday revealed it plans to help train and equip the Lebanese army so that it can take control of all of its territory when the conflict between Israel([search]) and Hizbollah eventually eases.
The programme, approved by Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, would take effect "once we have conditions on the ground permitting," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.


and in case there are still some out there promoting the idea that israel has hijacked u.s. foreign policy in the ME, here's a neo-column by the neo-con "sour" krauthammer that may help clear up any remaining doubts

wapo: Israel's Lost Moment
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/03/AR2006080301258.html

Israel's leaders do not seem to understand how ruinous a military failure in Lebanon would be to its relationship with America, Israel's most vital lifeline.

For decades there has been a debate in the United States over Israel's strategic value. At critical moments in the past, Israel has indeed shown its value.

But that was decades ago. The question, as always, is: What have you done for me lately? There is fierce debate in the United States about whether, in the post-Sept. 11 world, Israel is a net asset or liability. Hezbollah's unprovoked attack on July 12 provided Israel the extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate its utility by making a major contribution to America's war on terrorism.

America's green light for Israel to defend itself is seen as a favor to Israel. But that is a tendentious, misleadingly partial analysis. The green light — indeed, the encouragement — is also an act of clear self-interest. America wants, America needs, a decisive Hezbollah defeat.

The moderate pro-Western Arabs understand this very clearly. Which is why Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan immediately came out against Hezbollah and privately urged the United States to let Israel take down that organization. They know that Hezbollah is fighting Iran's proxy war not only against Israel but also against them and, more generally, against the United States and the West.

Hence Israel's rare opportunity to demonstrate what it can do for its great American patron. The defeat of Hezbollah would be a huge loss for Iran, both psychologically and strategically. Iran would lose its foothold in Lebanon. It would lose its major means to destabilize and inject itself into the heart of the Middle East. It would be shown to have vastly overreached in trying to establish itself as the regional superpower.

The United States has gone far out on a limb to allow Israel to win and for all this to happen. It has counted on Israel's ability to do the job. It has been disappointed. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has provided unsteady and uncertain leadership.

His search for victory on the cheap has jeopardized not just the Lebanon operation but America's confidence in Israel as well. That confidence — and the relationship it reinforces — is as important to Israel's survival as its own army. The tremulous Olmert seems not to have a clue.
 

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An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war.
-- Mark Twain
Source: "Glances at History" (suppressed)
 

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