Midnight. Flipping channels. Nothing on the tube. Nothing but “Breaking News” on CNN as Israel begins “Phase Two,” a “ground operation” inside the Northern end of the Gaza Strip.
“What Phase Three is one can only imagine,” so says a CNN correspondent, inside Southern Israel with Western journalists not yet granted access inside the Strip.
2 a.m. Reuters is reporting that hundreds of Israeli tanks have moved deep inside Gaza, into heavily populated areas.
CNN is attempting to be fair in reporting a very unfair situation, with supporters of Hamas and of Israel feverishly placing blame.
Blame. I’ll tell you what’s to blame: these people absolutely hate each other. Hate is a strange and strong doctrine to be embraced by two of the world’s major religions.
“Barack Obama cannot wait until he’s inaugurated: he must speak out NOW!” screams one man into the camera. I didn’t catch which “side” he's on, and it really doesn’t matter.
Joe Biden, with about as much foreign relations expertise as anyone in the country, was right when he said there would be an international crisis to test Obama’s strength within the first six months of his presidency. Only it appears the crisis has arrived early. “Mark my words,” Biden said, and I did.
The thing is: the United States is fraught with crises - compounded over the last eight years - in almost every facet of American life. Americans are looking to President-elect Obama for leadership in abating these crises. We are on our knees.
I don’t know about you, but I deeply resent that we are expected to choose sides and get caught up in an unceasing maelstrom of hatred when we face so much at home.