What do the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict and Vietnam have in common?

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Here is one pro-Palestinian take on Israel's actions: "The status of this conflict today positions one country, Israel, with overwhelming military, political, and financial power, as well as backing from the world's most powerful country (the U.S.) and community (EU), against a people without an army, living under siege, with employees not paid for months and an economy in tatters. With such overwhelming power Israel has no incentive to negotiate. It is very happy to dictate and the world community, by and large, goes along with that." That view is being echoed throughout the Arab world and is fueling recruitment drives by Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and other terrorist organizations.

One small California newspaper echoed the sentiments of many Americans in writing, "All this is taking place as Israel's military infallibility is in greater question than ever before. Diplomatically, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has swallowed his consternation as well as 12 artillery rounds and nine air strikes from Israeli forces stemming from the destruction of a U.N. outpost in Lebanon, where four U.N. observers were killed. Annan has backed off on his claim that the attack by Israelis was 'apparently deliberate' and accepts the Israeli apology for a mistake in the fog of war. It must have been pretty thick fog surrounding the U.N. base at Khiam in southern Lebanon, since it was well-known and well-marked."

Just as America made an unforgivable mistake listening to the neocons' hawkish, bloodthirsty desire for war anywhere, at any time, and at any cost, we are making a mistake this time. We should not permit neocons' desire to give Israel free rein against Hezbollah to allow this conflict to turn into World War III. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice must change course and press for a cease-fire. Israel is no longer militarily capable of beating terrorism into submission. Islamic terrorists are too well-hidden, too well-financed, too well-populated, and too spread out. The same type of thinking that led us into Iraq is now leading us to let the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict mushroom into full-fledged war.

Neocons are operating on the fantasy that America can somehow regain her World War II-era military supremacy. Vietnam proved superior weaponry is little help in insurgent, guerrilla conflicts. Neocons were so desperate to prove America once more in Iraq, they made the U.S. look even weaker than the image seared in my mind of the last helicopter leaving Saigon in 1975. That shot is emblematic of America's defeat by a small, underfunded, poorly equipped but omnipresent guerrilla force. Neocons won't be happy until they've accomplished the same result on a much larger scale.