Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death...
I like to think I'm harsh on everybody. However, I admit to being extremely sensitive to Muslim cant, (in case you hadn't noticed) mostly because the Western Left isn't and also because those Westerners who (at least in public) are tend to be right-wing asshats like Daniel Pipes who display no less sanctimony in their support of Israel.
When Abu Aardvark criticizes Muslims or Arabs, I find that he goes a little easy. He betrays the influence of postcolonialism by the way his criticisms of Muslims or Arabs are never placed into an unflattering meta-narrative whereas criticisms of the United States usually do. (I genuinely believe that the US doesn't deserve its longstanding geopolitical bad rap.)
However, I usually agree with his assessments of Middle East politics (You know, except for that whole meta-narrative thing) because 1) He knows a hell of a lot more about it than I do, and 2) Juan Cole writes like an academic (and not always in a good way); Papa Aardvark writes as if he knows actual people are going to be reading.
Here, Papa Aardvark nails it dead center, forceful, accurate and unsparing. Following the first TrackBack will lead you via Explananda to a post by billmon citing a Washington Post article about how, not only is this at least in part an attempt by Dubya to pander to Jewish voters, but Kerry can't even challenge Bush on this without risking his own Jewish support. Well, what else is new? billmon quotes a friend of his who calls Israel-Palestine the "Death Valley" of American progressives and notes the incumbent need for an American government to enforce limits on Israel, which just isn't going to happen anytime soon. Maybe there's some brave, charismatic, quixotic American politician just waiting to be discovered this November willing to tell Israel, Enough is enough, but I wouldn't put any money on it.