If you want to put out a fire, stop pouring oil on it. But as George W Bush prepared for his trip to the Middle East this week, he proclaimed that he was ready to pour weapons on yet another conflict.
It is Lebanon this time – a country that has, in the past week, suffered probably the worst sectarian violence since the end of the 15-year civil war in 1990. In an interview with the BBC, President Bush told the Prime Minister of Lebanon, Fouad Siniora, a Sunni Muslim, that ‘the United States is prepared to help strengthen the Lebanese army, so it can disarm Hezbollah’ – the pro-Iranian Shi’a movement. Hezbollah has acted against its own people, Bush declared, and is destabilizing Lebanon.
This is the latest among recent revelations about America arming one faction, only to use that faction to crush an adversary. More