Juan Cole has a piece in Salon today discussing the implications of President Bush’s blind support of Ariel Sharon’s plans for the United States’ relationship with the Arab world. The Bush administration’s schtick is that it wants to bring freedom and democracy to the Arab world for their own good (and, consequently, for our good). By offering our unconditional support for Israel’s imposing any sort of settlement (and settlements) on the Palestinians that it wishes, we destroy our credibility with the very people who we claim to want to help. Anyway, Juan Cole’s reporting is better than my ranting, so read his piece.

Update: In the piece, Cole mentions the fixation among Iraqis on Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the Hamas founder that Israel blew up a few weeks ago. It doesn’t take much imagination to invision what the reaction would be if the US were to do something similar to Muqtada al-Sadr. The fact that the “kill or capture” rhetoric is still in heavy rotation is worrying.