REALITY SINKING IN?….Condoleezza Rice’s “diplomacy” last week in Rome was, quite plainly, nothing more than a fig leaf designed to give Israel more time to conduct its bombing campaign in Lebanon. However, the Wall Street Journal reports that this time around the Bush administration might actually be sincere in its calls for peace:

After presenting a united front against international calls for an immediate cease-fire in the three weeks since fighting began, the U.S. and Israel are diverging some on how much longer Israel should continue its offensive against Hezbollah. While Israel continues to say its campaign will take weeks, the U.S. is shifting its diplomatic focus from trying to buy Israel more time for its campaign against Hezbollah to pushing for a cease-fire package that would end the bloodshed.

….A senior administration official said the U.S. believed Israel would have only a matter of weeks to strike Hezbollah before international pressure for a cease-fire forced an end to the fighting, especially if civilian casualties climbed. Now, the official said, the U.S. is beginning to fear that it could be left both with mounting regional fury and an emboldened Hezbollah that has withstood the initial assault without losing its ability to inflict casualties on Israeli troops and civilians.

It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry. The Bushies are “beginning” to fear that a massive conventional assault (a) might not work against a guerrilla organization and (b) might cause some regional blowback because massive conventional assaults kill lots of civilians. Do they need sandwich boards hung around their necks to remind them of this?

What was Albert Einstein’s famous definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I just hope we all manage to survive George Bush’s attempt to test Einstein’s thesis.