Monday, July 24, 2006

What will happen to Lebanon?


This fellow blogger had a rather optimistic take:

“There are two most likely outcomes of the war. One is the collapse of the Lebanese government and the creation of another failed state on Israel's border, where desperation will breed terrorism for decades. The other is a strengthened Hezbollah, which will become the leading force in Lebanese nationalism, weakening the reformists. The maximalist option would likely turn Beirut into a poor Shiite city, reinforcing Shiite political power at the center. Destroying a few Katyusha emplacements in the south will not affect either outcome, and in both cases Hezbollah will probably be able to rebuild its arsenal.

The Israelis' current blank check will begin to be canceled by the world community, as the full scale of the destruction of Lebanon becomes apparent and humanitarian crises ensue. At some point it will be forced to cease its attack. Israel will not get the Lebanese government of which it dreams. It may get a U.N. or Lebanese buffer for a while, but it will not be effective, and the southern Lebanese clans are famed for nothing if not long memories and determined feuding.

If, as Abba Eban once said, the Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity, it is equally true that the Israelis, with their reflexive instinct to shoot first and negotiate later, never miss an opportunity to make a bad situation worse. The Israelis have responded the same way to military threats for decades -- with overwhelming force. This is perhaps understandable, but each time they overreact they create future catastrophes for themselves. Just as their 1982 invasion of Lebanon and occupation of the south haunted them for a generation, they will be living with the blowback of their ill-considered war on hapless little Lebanon for decades to come. Tragically, the United States, as Israel's closest ally, will also have to suffer for its actions.”

What do the gentle readers think?

P.S. I finally got around to answering Paddy's dinner table question, I just needed the inspiration, you see.

11 comments:

A Wolfe In Sheep's Clothing said...

"Tragically, the United States, as Israel's closest ally, will also have to suffer for its actions."

Tragically, the United States for the past 10 or so years has had a tendancy to stubbornly stick with Israel no matter the actions the latter country took. The response has been fucking outrageous. I like this analogy:
If your child was kidnapped, and you knew both the kidnapper and the child were in a crowd of people, what would you do? If Israel is the parent, then it would tommygun the entire crowd.

Most likely, those two captive soldiers are dead. If they aren't dead yet, they have a much better chance of being killed thanks to their countrymen's bombing runs.

A fellow Hogwarts student took off from Beirut airport 6 hours before it was bombed.

No matter how you look at it, Israel overreacted, and America has stuck with them. Blair is Bush's lapdog and goes along with it (see the audio recording if you don't believe me: http://adamboulton.typepad.com/my_weblog/2006/07/bush_blair_unpl.html).

One last thing, now that I've kind of gone off on a pretty pointless rant about the topic. While the rest of the world is actually caring, America cares about the inevitible rise in gas prices and the war's effect on movie ticket sales in Israel...

"According to Warner Bros., the Man of Steel did better than expected in Israel on Sunday despite the clash with Hizbollah and the inability to screen prints in the northern part of the country." -reuters.com

Phew. I hate this whole mess, and the U.S. is just like "Why stop the fighting now?! We're just gettin' started! Let us send some of OUR stuff in there and show both of them who's boss!"

A Wolfe In Sheep's Clothing said...

And now I'm gonna take some of that back, since war tends to suck, and we wouldn't sit around and do nothing if some terrorists in Cuba kidnapped some of our people. And they only bombed the runways at the airport.

But still. Overreaction.

sobinator said...

Sound familiar Doc?, remember back to a couple weeks ago, when I said exactly what le duc quoted.

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Paddy said...

40 years of failed US foreign policy in the Middle East has helped create such a situation in which Israel feels able to operate with impunity. Our 'blank cheque' to Israel with regard to economic and military aid, our unquestioning adherence to Israeli positioning, our knee-jerk labeling of any military action as 'terrorism' (unless of course it comes form the IDF or Masad),and our dumb-faced and casual acceptance of each Israeli insult to the United States (check, for example, the number of treason and spying charges in the last 20 years. How many involve our 'good friend and close ally Israel'?) have all helped make Israel feel particularly powerful and untouchable.

To use the Irish Insurgency - oh that's right, someone labeled them terrorists as well. Hmmm...and yes, that certainly couldn't stand could it. And they were defea... no, wait, they won didn't they (at least fractionally: 26/32s) Interesting. Mr. Bush and many Americans need to learn that there are other people in the world who are more 'determined' to win dignity and justice than we are to 'rid the world of terrorists.' -- as an example, the Middle East will defeat the power of Israel and the United States by simply chosing to ignore it.

sobinator said...

I'm glad to see you finally came around to my line of thought, doc.

The Hapsburg Qin said...

"check, for example, the number of treason and spying charges in the last 20 years. How many involve our 'good friend and close ally Israel'?"

Not to mention the deliberate air and sea attack on the U.S.S. Liberty in 1967, which has been assiduously covered up by the U.S. Government. That is, the entity which should be doing everything possible to protect its soldiers, not heel at the whistle of those holding its leash (the Israel Lobby). My only hope is that, like the quotation Duc posted predicts, this conflict will get the fucking rug pulled out from under Israel's feet.

For more info on the U.S.S. Liberty, see www.ussliberty.org. For a very revealing look at the Israel Lobby's power in America, see a recent paper by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt on the subject.

"But they're the only democracy in the Middle East," say the witless neocons...makes me furious

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Paddy said...

Somehow eveyone, well the ignorant Neocons at least, forgets about Turkey, a NATO member, when they talk about democracies in the Middle East.

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