A Few Miscellaneous Thoughts About Israel, Hezbollah, And The Palestinians

— There’s a lot of talk about what Israel is trying to accomplish with these attacks on Lebanon. My original assumption was that they simply wanted to kill Hezbollah fighters, destroy and degrade their infrastructure, and punish the civilians in Lebanon that are supporting them. That’s a worthy mission and one that Israel has been accomplishing.

But, since the fight has started we’ve heard about much loftier goals. Israel is going to eradicate Hezbollah? That seems unlikely since the Hezbos can simply disperse into the population. Israel wants an international force or the Lebanese army to come down and police the border? Since neither group is going to be willing to fight Hezbollah, any force on the border either turns into de facto human shields for the Hezbos, like the UN, or they’ll just be there until Hezbollah is ready for another round of fighting and tells them to leave.

The road to a lasting peace in Lebanon leads through Iran and Syria. When they start to become afraid that this fighting will hurt them, they’ll tell Hezbollah to cool it.

— There has been a lot of talk about who’s winning and who’s losing in Lebanon. It’s easy to figure that out. Which side wants an immediate ceasefire? Lebanon, right? They’re losing. Which side wants to continue fighting? Israel, right? They’re winning.

— Another topic of discussion is how Hezbollah is supposedly hanging tough against Israel. Don’t believe that for a second. It’s no different than when the US fought the Taliban or the “fearsome” Republican Guard and the press made it sound like those forces were unstoppable. When non-Western troops go toe-to-toe with top notch militaries, like those possessed by the US, Britain, or Israel, the non-Westerners die in great numbers, even if they won’t admit it. For every Israeli soldier that dies, you can be sure that in that battle or another somewhere in Lebanon, it’s likely that there are 10-20+ dead Hezbollah fighters laying buried under the rubble or face down in a ditch. Just because Hezbollah isn’t talking about how bad they’re getting hammered, doesn’t mean that they’re not getting hammered.

— The UN has bent over backwards to stick it to Israel and side with Hezbollah and how were they repaid?

“Thousands of angry demonstrators attacked the UN headquarters in Beirut, breaking windows and burning curtains in an outpouring of anger and grief at the Qana massacre of Sunday morning. “We are angry at the whole world for their silence on the massacres happening in Lebanon,” as one demonstrator put it.”

What about in the Palestinian territories, where the UN always supports the Pals over the Israelis?

“Palestinians stormed a UN compound on Sunday during a protest against Israeli airstrikes and the deaths of dozens of civilians in Kana, Lebanon, and security officials fired into the air to disperse them.

The protesters smashed windows of the UNSCO building with rocks after marching through Gaza City in the demonstration.”

Remember Iraq, where the UN wouldn’t go along with the invasion? Remember what they got for their trouble there? A truck bomb.

There’s a message here, folks, one that should have been taught to the world by the events that led up to World War 2. Appeasement doesn’t work.

— Why should the US try to stop Israel’s attacks just because the Lebanese people are getting angry at us? Some people look at it like this:

“They hate us! We’ve got to stop the Israelis in order to help make these people like us again!”

Shouldn’t we actually be looking at it like this,

“They hate us! So, why should we care if the Israelis blow up their country?”

— Similarly, why should we care about “pressure from the international community?” What exactly are the consequences of this “pressure” supposed to be for Israel and the United States? So far, there don’t seem to be any. Will there be any in the future? Doubtful. In fact, despite what they’re saying publicly, the leaders of a lot of European countries are probably happy to see Hezbollah getting dismantled. Same goes for a lot of Arab leaders, who are worried about Iran’s influence in the region. So, who cares if they get upset?

— Then there’s Israel’s reaction to the hate aimed at them. Ooooh, what if the Lebanese get angry at them? What if the Saudis get furious? Then there’s the French! Newsflash: Israel is surrounded by people who want to finish the job that the Nazis started. Of course, they’re not really rooting for the Israelis. But, what about the people in Europe? If the Israelis were run into the sea tomorrow, there would be dancing in the streets all over Europe. Folks, once they’re rooting for you to die, there’s really not much point in putting the lives of your citizens at risk to gain their approval. While it would be nice for the Israelis to be liked, there is only one place they have to be liked, and that’s the United States. On that front, it’s so far, so good.

— Contrary to what some people on the right think, overall, I think Bush and Condi are doing a good job of handling this conflict. What you always have to be worried about is that the US will force Israel to pull the plug on their military operations too soon. So far, that doesn’t seem to be happening. To the contrary, although it has been couched in “diplomateese,” Bush seems to be taking the position that he’s not going to push Israel to stop fighting until there is a permanent solution of some sort in place. That’s the right way to go and unfortunately for Hezbollah and their backers around the world, as we all know, once George Bush makes a decision it’s almost impossible to turn him around. Let’s hope that continues to be the case.

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