Certainly in this age of constant corporate pressure on earnings, news organizations can’t be everywhere at once or give every issue the coverage it merits. But the wall-to-wall coverage of the war in Lebanon, and the harrowing footage being broadcast from both there and Israel makes one wonder why, with a trillion dollar investment and more than 2500 dead, America’s number one national security issue-however depressing-does not warrant at least as much attention as a foreign war against an enemy that never even threatened us. After all, our war, not Israel’s, is one where Americans are fighting and dying, and upon which our future-and perhaps our next election-rests. ~Eric Alterman
Obviously Mr. Alterman didn’t get the memo from headquarters telling so many other pundits that Israel’s fight in Lebanon is our fight and must take priority over both moral sense and national interest. It’s the 1930s redux, you see. In fairness, as gruesome as Iraq has continued to be, and even though the Iraq war should be the top policy priority of American politicians and journalists, there is some good reason why an ally’s war that has now displaced perhaps as many as one million people has bumped Iraq off the front pages for the past few weeks, especially when the administration has been so willing to implicate America fully in this campaign’s goals and excesses. But Mr. Alterman does get at a more basic point: why is it that our media seem to be treating an Israeli war as something not only of vital significance for us, which it may well not be, but also as something that takes precedence over every other problem in foreign policy?