Israel crosses into Lebanon

You’ve all heard this news by now, so I won’t bother providing details, which will change every hour.

This is probably a counsel of perfection, but I hope in this thread, we will try to avoid discussion of who’s “right” or “wrong” here among the interested parties, including state and nonstate actors, and instead focus on the even more important question: Is there any way to prevent this situation from leading to another Israeli-Syrian war? Any ideas?

I think this train is off the tracks and there won’t be any righting it. It’s not necessarily certain Syria will want a fullscale war over this, though. So one may not actually happen, only time will tell, though.

Is there any way, at least, to keep Lebanon’s fledgling democracy from being destroyed by it?

I wonder who the democratically elected governments of Iraq and Afgahnistan are siding with? Wouldn’t it be a kick-in-the-nuts if democratically elected and free Iraq decided to launch some Scuds down Israeli way in support of their Shiite brothers, Hezbollah, and fellow Arab country, Lebanon? :smiley:

Nobody, if they have any brains!


I dunno. Some folks elsewhere on the internet are saying Syria doesn’t want any part of Israel. They had their ass handed to them the last time they tried it, and have every reason to expect the same if they try it this time. Then again, if they were to get the upper hand, there’s some chance that Damascus would become radioactive for the forseeable future. Not really much of an upside for them.

Considering that Hezbollah holds 23 (out of 128) members of the Lebanese Parliament. I don’t know if that means the government has actually been in any way supporting the Hezbollah actions to which Israel is reacting – but even in purely political terms, this is gonna get ugly. Even uglier, I mean.

I’ve always preferred to think that Israel’s (or any country’s) nuclear arsenal is like the sacred Simurgh of Persian mythology – omnipotent on the condition that it do nothing.

Just hope the Israelis see it the same way.

Yeah, I hope that, too. But, if they somehow find themselves facing defeat, I think they’ll use nukes.

I am hoping that Olmert leaves a possible path open other than full scale war with Syria (and possibly Iran). The Lebanese PM has pledged to “reassert authority” over Southern Lebanon. I’d read that as a committment to reign in Hizbollah, call it a victory and step back. Say that it is out of respect for America’s calls for restraint. After a week or two of no rocket attacks work out a prisoner exchange as a “good will gesture.”

There is little potential upside to taking this into Syria. The only imaginable positive for Israel would have to imagine that Iran gets involved and that Israel rolls right in, destroys any nuclear capacity in ground operations, and then rolls back out. And bluntly put, that is not too likely of an outcome.

Olmert has made his point already. Israel is not going to disengage out of weakness or fear and will defend herself with ferocity if tested. Do not test her again. Now, stand down please.

No, it isn’t. Israel has no more chance of destroying Iranian nuclear capability by ground operations than the U.S. or anybody has of achieving the same goal by aerial bombardment – and in either case, it would set off a general Middle Eastern war.

Seems like the folks over there have been hating and killing each other for as long as I can remember. Some time back I reached my personal determination that there was plenty of blame to share and plenty of assholes on all sides, and my main preference was that the US be as little involved in the area as possible. (Yeah - lots of lock that happening!)
When I see headlines suggesting an increase or change in the violence I tend to not even read the articles. Is there any reason to think the recent events signal a significant change in the region’s dynamics, or is it just another chapter in the sam old story?

I wouldn’t place any best on that. If the government does nothing Lebanon becomes a battle ground and probably disintigrates. If the government sends in troops (as Israel wants them too) to confront Hezbollah, there will be civil war…and the end result will probably be the same (or what we had from '75 until around '90 in that region). Its grim whatever happens…and will only be worse if Syria tosses its hat officially in the ring (to say nothing of Iran…or whoever else decided to deal themselves in).

I’m watching all this with a growing sense of horror…


Well, look at in context. For a long time there was no movement at all toward resolving the Israel-Palestine situation. Then Arafat died, and then Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip, and it looked just possible that evacuation of the West Bank and a truly independent Palestinian state would be the next step. But then it all went to shit. I expect the outcome of the latest round of conflicts will “signal a significant change in the region’s dynamics,” but the details are imponderable.

I’ve always thought the release of the West Bank and Gaza would be looked at by Israel as the line in the sand. Cross it again and the gloves would come off. Well, the gloves are off. If this is truly the last straw then any escalation by Arab countries may trigger an “all or nothing” ultimatum by Israel. The Palestinians will lose everything.

Could you be more specific?

Seems the Israelies are using this as an excuse to try and destroy Hezbolah. They are bombing bridges ,roads,airports etc. Collateral damage will be civilians of all kinds. Tanks have enterered the territory.
How does this destroy Hezblah ans make Israel safer ,I cant see.

Winner take all. Palestine becomes Israel.

An… excuse? There’s a massive different between an excuse, a justification, and a clear casus belli.

All valid dual-use targets with military significance.

It shows Lebanon that they cannot play the shell game of giving weapons, money, and safe haven to Hezbollah and then feign ignorance when Hezbollah uses those weapons to attack Israel.

As of less than six months ago, the Lebanese Defense Minister was helping Hezbollah get weapons.

This was, of course, sanctioned by the Lebanese government.

This is in accord with previous Lebanese governmental rhetoric supporting Hezbollah’s military actions.



So, given a valid casus belli via attacks by the proxy force of a state sponsor of terrorism, Israel is showing Lebanon that they cannot pretend to be oh-so-innocent while helping launch missiles at Israeli civilians. It will, perhaps, make Israel safer by showing Lebanon that the cost of supporting Hezbollah is more expensive than the cost of opposing them.

If they annex the OT’s they’ll have to give the Palestinians there what Arabs living within Israel have already got: Citizenship. With votes.

Do you think they’re willing to do that?