Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Foreseeable Unforeseen in Lebanon

What a shocking and unexpected turn of events in Lebanon. Riding high on their “victory” over the invincible Israelis, Hezbollah and its masters in Iran and Syria are now pushing a coup of sorts against the current anti-Tehran/Damascus government. I know, I know, who could have possibly anticipated this. Israel, America, Europe, and the UN all seemed to think that Hezbollah would be so grateful for Israel not destroying them that they would happily focus on their supposed charities and making the trains run on time in Beirut and stop their Iran backed campaign to kill Jews while spreading Shia extremism. It was clearly impossible to predict that a violent terrorist organization supported by a country seeking to make the world safe for the 12th Imam would follow-up a victory over the “Little Satan” by seeking a victory over what they consider the puppet government of the “Great Satan”.

Of course it was painfully obvious last summer that this would be the result of Israel not completing her mission in southern Lebanon. Also so apparent a kindergartner could have figured it out was that Hezbollah would receive lots of cash from Tehran after the fighting and would be helping the southern Lebanese before the bureaucrats at the US State Department and the UN had even signed the forms to schedule the meeting to arrange the conference to discuss sending aid. I’m not even going to start on how insane it was to think that a UN force supporting the Lebanese army was going to stop Hezbollah(4th paragraph) from rearming or operating in southern Lebanon. That no one in the foreign ministries of the West understood this is a sad testament to our inability in the West to understand the people and events that are making the world of our future.

To say that this is why Israel shouldn’t have fought Hezbollah to begin with is also terribly inaccurate. The only thing that boosts ones image more than a bloody victory is a bloodless one (think if France and Britain had fought over but ultimately acquiesced to Hitler’s Anschluss and re-occupying the Rheinland, sure Hitler’s stature would have been boosted but would the German people and army been as accepting of the Munich, Prague, Memel, and Polish Corridor gambles?). At least Lebanon is now aware of what Hezbollah brings to their future. Had Israel not fought, Hezbollah would have come off looking much more powerful (so powerful even the Israelis fear them) and it would have appeared that Hezbollah can deliver victories for Lebanon that the US backed government cannot. The reasoning in Lebanon would have been, why spark a civil war when Israel won’t do anything. Now they at least know if they don’t start a civil war to stop Hezbollah, the Israelis will return. Further, Hezbollah and Iran cannot simply be negotiated out of bellicosity by the Israelis. They want Israel exterminated and are willing to fight to achieve it. Whether Israel and the West like it or not, they will get their fight eventually. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, we can choose war or dishonor, if we choose dishonor we will get both. It’s well past time that we in the West wake up to this reality.

6 comments:

  1. Seems to me that the main factor in the Middle East is the Palestinian issue. Every country in that region uses the Occupied Territories as a justification for its actions.
    The giving back to Palestine of it's land should be dealt with and the Hibullahs of this World will lose its main reason for being and maybe there will be some peace for Israel, Palestine & therefore the World.

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  2. The problem with the give the Palestinians their land back argument is fourfold, first of what does "their land" consist, second when has it been their's for other Arabs to claim it must be returned, and third would that satiate the Arabs or are they playing the tried and true tactics of fooling the peace loving democracies?

    On the first count, I think many Arabs (not all of course, but most of the trouble makers definitely) have an entirely different opinion of what is Palestinian land than you, I, and others in the West do. To them Palestinian land is all of Israel not just Gaza and the West Bank. Not for nothing do they have world without Israel meetings, maps with Israel replaced with Palestine at UN events, and today Jerusalem, tomorrow Tel Aviv rallies. Israel has made good faith efforts with the Arabs and by now has found those who agree with us, like Jordan and Egypt, so the continuing hostility by other Arabs is an indication that they do not agree with the West on this issue.

    The key for us and Israel is to empower the Arabs who don't want Israel destroyed. It's similar to 1930's Germany where pretty much all Germans were revisionists of some sort but few went so far as to dream of a German ruled world. However the extremist got power (as in the Middle East) and rolled along their string of revisionist victories until the moderate German majority was swept up or aside. If we allow the extremist in the Middle East a similar series of victories then there's no telling where they will take them, the only question would be how many die before they’re stopped.

    The second point is a minor one more for history, but the Palestinians have never had their land. It was ruled by the Turks, then the British, then divided between Jordan and Egypt and used by them as salients from which to attack Israel's heartland. Given that their brother Arabs didn't allow them their land when they controlled it, what right do these Arabs now have to demand Israel give it up (and as to the “who was there first game”, the Jews are the first people to possess Israel who still exist today). Would you be very sympathetic to the Germans if they began blowing up Poles until the ancient German lands of East Prussia, Pomerania, and Silesia are returned to their rightful historic owners? (I might be a little, Breslau, Danzig, and Posen sound so much better than Wroclaw, Gdansk, and Poznan)

    Lastly, do the Arabs even care about Palestinians beyond the value they hold to keep their angry peoples anger directed elsewhere? Especially Shia Arabs like Hezbollah and the Assads (not Shia but close enough) and also the Persians who hate Sunnis as much if not more than Christians and Jews (heretics tend to be hated more than non-believers, just like Protestants and Catholics who would ally with the Ottomans against each other after the Reformation). Or are we simply seeing the crocodile asking merely for an arm, that's all he wants, not, you know, the whole body. Anyways, I could go on with comparisons to Hitler, Philip of Macedon, Rome prior to the 3rd Punic War, and Arafat but this is long enough.

    Thanks as always for the comments and if you disagree with anything certainly let me know.

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  3. I agree completely with Jarod on this issue. If the West doesn't wake up and do what they need to do, we'll be fighting some very scary and difficult wars in the future. As far as the Israeli invincibility image goes, Jarod you were 100% correct! You should be in a decision making position in the US Government!

    I think the Palestinian issue is just an excuse for the Arabs. Muslims want everyone to believe what they believe and live the way they live. Even if the entire world became Muslim, there would still be fighting over which sect to believe.

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  4. Thanks for the comment. My response above was too long so I didn't mention that I don't think giving the Palestinians a country or even all of Israel would bring peace. It sounds a little too much like give us the Sudentenland and you can have peace for your time to me. After all many of the extremist Arabs are still sore over the reconquesta amongst other affronts to the Dar es (ahem) Salaam such as the existence of non-believers. They can't be placated (short of the world converting to Islam) and I agree even if that happened they'll just find something else to fight over.

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  5. I don't disagree with anything either of you have said, i merely stated that the Occupation of the Palestinian land is the (rightly or wrongly depending on your point of view) justification for Israeli hatred in the middle east.
    The land has to be handed to the Palestinian for their homeland to remove this justification. I support this and would suggest Israel removing their (illegal) settlements on occupied land and removing the wall that runs deep into Palestinian land.
    As much as Israel may not like it, until this happens there will always be the that reason to continue the struggle.
    Remove this justification for continuing the violence and THEN we can condemn the Arabs if it continues.

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  6. Sorry for the delayed response, it was finals week. Debating whether the Arabs would stop attacking Israel after any deal is pointless I think, Hezbollah didn't stop attacking Israel after the Israelis pulled out of Southern Lebanon (verified by the UN even), Arafat launched the current Intifada in response to Barak offering 98% of the West Bank plus land in Israel, and the Gaza Arabs haven't stopped terror attacks after Israel pulled out. Indeed, Arafats Intifada was likely encouraged by Israel's display of weakness by withdrawing from Lebanon and the recent war in Lebanon by the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.

    At any rate the key thing is what exactly would you support if the Arabs continued their attempts to destroy Israel after Israel gives back the West Bank? Words are meaningless, ask the Czechs of 38 and 68, or the Bosnians and Croats in the 90's, amongst so many others. No nation or people who are capable of defending themselves (as Czechoslovakians were in 1938) should ever trust promises from other nations over their own capabilities; most especially when those people are facing an enemy who promises genocide.

    More importantly from a geopolitical standpoint, could Europeans even back up their promises? Most unlikely these days, even if Europe possessed the military capability there are too many Muslims ready to riot in European cities. So why then should Israel put themselves at grave risk (the West bank is as vital to Israeli security as the Sudentenland was to Czech security, that'd make a good future post I think) in exchange for condemnation from Europe if the Arabs don't abandon their 60 year old campaign to drive the Jews into the sea?

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