Why the Middle East Crisis Isn't Really About Terrorism

By insisting it is, President Bush clouds the real issues, which are how much the U.S. should do for Israel and what it should do to Iran

A year after 9/11, Richard Armitage, then the Deputy Secretary of State, was asked at a Washington forum whether the Bush Administration had plans, in its war on terrorism, for the Lebanese Islamist group Hizballah, factions of which the U.S. believes were responsible for the 1983 bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 U.S. service members. Armitage, a bear of a man, gave a chest-thumping reply. "Their time will come," he vowed. "There is no question about it. They have a blood debt to us, and we're not going to forget it."

The time appears to be now....

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