Bags are packed, boarding passes have been printed up, the works. Just thought I would flag Juan Cole's post today on the latest turns in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict (ie the kidnapping of Corporal Gilad Shalit):
This looks so little like a rescue effort for missing Israeli serviceman, and so much like a war, that I am persuaded now of the theory that the Israeli authorities had had a plan for some time to destroy the elected Hamas government and encourage a coup by Palestinian President, Mahmoudd Abbas. Although it is worrying that the Bush administration has to say publicly that for the Israelis to just kill Abbas (the secular Fateh politician) is unacceptable. Anyway, look for Mahmoud or his successor to try to take over and marginalize Hamas. That will undermine all Bush administration arguments for democracy (Hamas is the one that won elections) in the region.
...although the Israelis made a point of bombing Palestinian PM (and Hamas Member) Ismail Haniyeh's office when it was empty. They seem to be applying the same treatment they gave Arafat, where they bomb around the leadership structure and hit all the government facilities when nobody is home, so the government survives but has to operate out of ruins.