By Rami G. Khouri
"From my perspective here in Beirut, watching American-supplied Israeli jets smash this country to smithereens, what she describes as "birth pangs" look much more like a wicked hangover from a decades-old American orgy of diplomatic intoxication with the enticements of pro-Israeli politics.
We shall find out in the coming years if indeed a new Middle East is being born, or—as I suspect—we are witnessing the initial dying gasps of the Western-made political order that has defined this region and focused primarily on Israeli national dictates for most of the past half a century. The way to a truly new and stable Middle East is to apply policies that deliver equal rights to all concerned, not to favor Israel as having greater rights than Arabs.
Rice declared that Israel should ignore calls for a ceasefire, saying: "This is a different Middle East. It's a new Middle East. It's hard. We're going through a very violent time.""