Billmon at Whiskey Bar: Babes in Toyland:
To paraphrase a slogan, Manichaeism is not a plan. Other than Tony Blair, even our closest allies no longer buy the shining-city-on-the hill act — if they ever did (and Blair may just be a good actor with an eye for the main chance.) The French, like the rest of the non-Islamic world, look at the United States and see a great big muscle-bound bundle of great power ambitions, resource hungers, security paranoias and ideological arrogance — in addition to the good things America represents (or once represented, back in the day.) They look at Hizbullah and see a complex mixture of religious fanaticism, grassroots loyalty and political pragmatism — as well as Iran’s proxy in Lebanon. A problem to be handled, but handled with care.