Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Lebanon

The comments in the Pakistan post below started to drift off into the current other war going on right now (the one in The Lebanon). My understanding that (much of) all of this started because Hezbollah kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers with the plan/hope to do a prisoner trade (this isn't exactly uncommon). I'm not in the position to equivocate here, but many would claim that the women and children that Israel has imprisoned (supposedly that's who they wanted to free with the trade). So, if Israel holds a woman prisoner without charges, conviction, or sentencing, is THAT kidnapping too? If not, why?

Ok. So, regardless of all this, Israel strikes The Lebanon in the South. This is where Hezbollah has control of the country. The attacks are overwhelming. They strike a the civilian infrastructure relentlessly and this creates an outcry that the Israeli government over-reacted.

You know all this. One thing that seems to repeatedly claimed: these attacks are also about ending hezbollah's repeated attacks (over the last year(s)) in northern Israel. The argument goes that Hezbollah keeps on sending rockets over the border and this crackdown is ALSO to put an end to that as well. The first thing I don't understand is how half hearted this argument has been made by Israeli supporters. Second is how little press this has gotten. It makes me wonder. Real or bogus?

If it's bogus, then they better come up with something better.

If it's real, then I have a few questions:
How often were these rockets hitting THINGS in Israel?
Were they just hitting patches of dirt?
You know, I don't want to downplay the fear rockets coming into your land can be, but I have to wonder how serious the threat was considering the small press it was getting beforehand.

As this war has progressed, much has been made about the indiscriminate way the Hezbollah rockets have killed in Israel. The Israel's have done MUCH more to eliminate civilian deaths. The problem is that--despite best efforts--the Israelis have been killing an awful lot of civilians. This fact has erased the best intentions for many watchers around the globe.

All-in-all, I think this war has been a disaster for the Israelis. They've made themselves (somehow) less sympathetic in the immediate world in which they live. They, in some cases, have managed to unite normally unfriendly Shiite and Sunni Muslims. I cannot stress how dangerous and foolish this has been.

The Israelis have acted without a view to even their own interests beyond the immediate future. (perhaps not even that). The root problem is that their goal is solved by one of two means--diplomacy or LOTS of dead soldiers house to house military action. Neither are ideal, but one should not fool themselves that lobbing missiles into cities and highways would somehow fix it.

Tell me the OTHER time that ever worked out. Yeah. Exactly.

(originally drafted 8/6. sorry for the delay)


Swirly n DC said...

WOW,you made me wait so long to figure out how I feel about the entire situation! HAHA- Just kidding...

brd said...

Of course I have been waiting for this post, as I said under "Pakistan." Meanwhile, I posted a short post/link to a very interesting article by a holacaust survivor who is also a writer. I have also been following the event on a site, Jewish Voice for Peace. I actually trust this site because they are primarily Jewish people who are as appalled as we seem to both be by the continual choice for violence over discourse.

Polly said...

do you think we are about to see another flair-up?