Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A 5th of Beethoven

Well the UN succeeded in passing a cease-fire resolution that was accepted by both combatants in the Lebanon flare-up. The shooting stopped, more or less, refugees started un-fleeing and the fighters started their wihdrawals. The Lebanese army is quasi-mobilized and the UN is trying to patch together a band of warriors for some peace-keeping duties, again.

In the meanwhile, the talking heads who've underscored the news for the past month were declaring themselves victorious. In actuality they might just have well declared it a gigantic exercise in modern 'stupid' and a tremendous waste of damn good explosives.

Hezbollah, naturally were first off the mark. They probably have the best claim: they're still there to be off the mark. The true test for them will happen now. If they can re-build Lebanon, like they say they will, they stand a good chance of changing the political geography of the place. Lebanon is, and has been, fractured among its different linguistic and religious groups, each with their own bailiwicks and political apparati, but the majority are Moslem. Hezbollah has an opportunity to unite the Moslems. Lebanon might be a far harder nut to crack next time, especially if Hezbollah is the major governing party.

Of course the Israelis declared victory, too. This based on the claim that they had set-up a UN force that would really disarm Hezbolleh and keep the Galilee peaceful at last. Wanna buy a good watch?

Israel ,if the USA wasn't springing for it, has spent a fortune on this little sideshow, not to mention lost productivity and a blown tourist season. They also have some rocket and other damage to repair. Not the least of which is to their armed forces.

Israel expended a good bit of capability just sitting around the northern border for 3 weeks waiting for a 'go' that almost never came. They used up their store of airborne ordinance making lovely rubble berms and road cavities that their tanks would have had to negotiate had they been given the 'go'. And they used up a chunk of their world 'good will'. If there was a proaganda war, the other guys won. Little burned kids show up better than somebody crying because his jacuzzi got punctured. Goliath, in this battle, didn't live in Lebanon, and little David, this time, wasn't the Jew.

I don't think the Israelis ever intended to invade Lebanon again. They were foolishly hoping that the world would be sympathetic to their aerial 'defence' and that Lebanon would be forced to disarm the nasty bastids that were 'causing' all the damage. It didn't happen.

Israel is, strategically, out of the picture for the next wee while, when it's most needed to shake the spear, or toss it, at the nasty Iranian 'atomicists'. George Dubbya and PM Olmert were 'supposed' to have cooked up a lean, mean surgical strike at Iran when they met last spring. Israel doesn't do what anybody tells it, unless it's good for Israel. And so, an alternative poke at Hezbollah met a number of Israeli needs:
- it was pay back for 2001 and the forced withdrawal from Lebanon
- it would take world attention off Gaza
- it would hit indirectly at Iran and Syria
- it would set Iran or Syria up for further 'action'
- it would remove the hezbolleh threat from the northern border
- it would get Lebanon more on-side (maybe even a regime change)
- it would make POTUS very happy and divert attention away from a worsening situation in Iraq

Malheureusement, it didn't come off, or rather, it did come off - as a month-long exercise in demolitions with no other evident, positive outcome. At least the shooting has stopped.

George Bush took time from a busy vacation schedule to parrot Ha'aretz that hezbollah had received a 'serious defeat', and that the world was now a more peaceful and safer place. He should have stayed down at the lake house, working on the new dock.

Instead of trying to play the UN's 'peacemaker', not to mention the arms supplier, George could have announced a massive modern day 'Marshall Plan' to upstage hezbollah and get the rebuilding done, and to get both sides off to a good economic start - if they would sit down and make peace. Did he? Nope - but he'll make sure Israel's got 'bunker busters' for next time it has to defend itself!

No matter how you cut through the rhetoric on either side, it's bullshit! If they wanted peace as much as they want to kill each other, they could have the Garden of Eden. They're willing to settle for scorched, blasted earth, just to make sure they other guy doesn't get it. They're willing to kill somebody else's kids, to make sure theirs have land title. They're nuts, and they're liars!

Dah-dah dah, dah! Dah-dah, dah dah!

No comments: