Monday, July 17, 2006

Escalating Madness

By now, the escalating battles between Israel and Hezbollah are something that we should all be pretty concerned and fearful about.

Recap: Hezbollah (the group who's political arm happens to run the Lebanese government) kidnapped 2 Israeli soldiers. Israel said "WTF?!" and proceeded to go midevil on Hezbollah. What does midevil mean? Well, it started with disabling the Beirut airport by bombing runways and some other known Hezbollah strongholds. It continued with further bombings in the Beirut suburbs targeting areas where Hezbollah keeps arms, plans, etc. Meanwhile, Hezbollah hasn't backed down and has sent a mulitude of rockets into Israel. Apparently, fully 1/3 of Israel is under bombing alert. I'm guessing that 100% of Lebanon is under bombing alert.

So since this is my blog, I've gotta write about my take on this nonsense, right? Well, obviously, nobody is right and nobody will win in this situation. As usual, lots of innocent people have already and will likely lose their lives or livelihoods.

So who's to blame? Well, obviously Hezbollah's the instigator in this. But I'd say that Israel is definitely an enabler. They certainly didn't need to go this far in attempting to recover their soldiers. But the undercurrent here is that Israel is making a much larger point about incursions on its territory and against its people.

Do I think it's okay that Israel is sick and tired of this? Of course. No single event can justify the kind of force Israel is using. And I don't think any series of events can provide the rationale for this type of action. But seriously, what Israel's really saying (in Tupac's words) is "Fuck you and your muthafuckin homies"

No seriously. They're raining flyers down on the Lebanese telling them that they need to drop their ties to Hezbollah if they hope to see tomorrow.

So, not surprisingly, it's up to the US to do something about this. Israel is obviously living under our wing. Make no mistake that Israel would have been destroyed without the support of the US all these years. And if W is to live up to his goals of fostering democracy, he and his admin have to broker a deal here.

Let's not forget that the current admin pushed for elections in Lebanon even though it was pretty clear that Hezbollah would win. That electoral win may have provided some legitimacy to Hezbollah, but from what I can surmise, the Lebanese people aren't exactly happy with the direction of the country. Any doubt amongst the people should certainly be erased after the current beat down by Israel.

So I think W actually has a perfect chance to get a huge win here. Broker a deal that not only stops the bombs, but also leads to better democracy. By applying conditions to the cease fire, hopefully Hezbollah is backed into a corner and really has to give up its use of violence. At the same time, Israel needs to back off and not go bombing left, right, and center. Those things tied together will actually show the people of both countries how to proceed from the current no-win situation to a win-win where the people actually benefit. And in the best situation, this is actually how democracy spreads. Not by dismantling the very foundation of a country just to get one regime out (irony of Israel's actions here is that they're so similar to what the US did to get Saddam out).

Progress begets progress. Let's hope for some in the coming days.

W, the ball is in your court. Don't fuck it up. Again.

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