Monday, July 31, 2006

Lebanon blah blah

Alright, so Israel says it's its right to defend itself. Fair enough and no disagreement, but why is there little mention made of the Hezbollah rocket attacks in the years before they also kidnapped the two soldiers? The point is that there comes a time when you need to put an end to the potentially lethal harassment - while any time may be fine for you, the time you choose to strike back will affect others' perception of you. Herein lies the key.

The neocons say that Israel should lay waste to the lands Hezbollah has its power base in, and this will provide a "long-term solution."

The lefties say that Israel should agree to a ceasefire.

Both are wrong. For starters, levelling southern Lebanon will only play into the hands of the extremists. I don't know why the neocons have not learned from their adventure in Iraq. Stopping the push now will not stop the rockets coming into Israel - Hezbollah wants a war, and seeks to drag as many Arab nations into the conflict as it can.

What's the answer? Again, eliminating the reasons for organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas to exist. The military (militia, terrorist, whatever) arms of the organizations draw support from the political wings of the organizations. Both Hezbollah and Hamas run schools, hospitals, and day care centres in their power base regions, supplanting or replacing local government services. This is why the people support them. By strengthening the legitimate government slowly one will, over time, replace these services and de-facto governments. Nationalizing them is another possibility, but there could be a (violent) backlash.

The problem with that solution is that this can only be done by the governments with legitimate right to rule over the land either Hamas or Hezbollah rules over. In neither case, Lebanon or Palestine, is the government willing nor strong enough to do this. This is where the rest of the world should help.


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