It dawned on me the other day that Israel is actually bombing targets inside the soverign nation of Lebanon. Now, regardless of whether one sees Israel as the aggressor or the aggrieved, it occurs to me that most sovreign nations wouldn’t put up with artillery shells and bombs being dropped inside its borders (imagine Mexico shelling El Paso!) I’ve examined the news coverage for the past week, and none of the mainstream media I use (MSNBC, TIME Magazine, AP, etc.) offers any explanation as to why Lebanon allows its citizens – many of them innocent of any complicity with Hezbollah – to be routinely killed and maimed by Israel without even launching a bombing sorty in its own defense.
Questions for discussion:
Can (should) Lebanon defend itself?
Why doesn’t Lebanon help Israel crush Hezbollah, thus securing safety for Lebanese civilians?
Why am I the only one asking these questions? (No, you can’t answer “Because you’re a fuckin’ idiot.” That’s a given.)
As far as I am concerned, one of the duties of a sovereign state is to exercise control over its territory. That means that you don’t allow private armies to use your country as a sanctuary while they attack your neighbors. If you don’t exercise that control, don’t complain about your neighbors when they are forced to cross the border and kill people and break things.
Forced to kill. must be tough. The airports ,bridges ,roads and power stations whicg serve all the people are being destroyed. The Israelies ,peace loving sort that they are, are only doing what the powrful Lebonese have forced them too. The infrastructure is being destroyed. The people will suffer and remember. There will be price to b epaid.
Two questions here (no extra charge though): Can they defend themselves from Israel? Not a chance IMHO. Part of the problem (well, its complex but part of the surface problem lets say) is that they can’t even control their own territory. If, in theory, they WANTED to crack down on Hezbollah it would probably spark a civil war…one that the government would have a good chance of losing.
Should they? Hm. Complex question with a complex answer. Certainly its the duty of a soveriegn nation to protect their citizens. However, its also the duty of said government to ensure it has control of hostile groups operating within their borders. You know, so that said groups don’t launch miitary operations into ANOTHER nation and cause a war…stuff like that.
IMHO Lebanon should at least attempt to crack down on Hezbollah. If they are unable too, they should ask for international help in the effort…I’m fairly sure they would get it if they were serious. THATS what Israel really wants…Hezbollah (at least the militant portion) de-fanged…so they won’t keep harrassing Israel. Remember something…Israel ALSO has the right to defend itself from attack.
Couple of reasons. First off, Lebanon’s military is probably not up to the task. It would certainly spark a civil war…like the one that tore the country apart in the 90’s (maybe worse this time). Also, Hezbollah is relatively popular in Lebanon…and its also heavily intermeshed with the government there.
You are right though, at least IMO…thats what they SHOULD do. They won’t though, not unless THIS time Israel can put enough pressure on them to take the hard road.
You aren’t. There are several threads on this subject both here and in The Pit. In addition, all these questions (and lots more you didn’t ask) are under discussion in various MSM outlets. Hell, the conflict itself if front web page news on at least 4 web sites I look at…and probably a bunch more I don’t.
Unfortunately, the constant swearing of revenge just leads to more of this sort of thing. Lebanon’s best bet is probably to just evacuate the area as much as possible and arrest all the Hezbollah operatives they can get their hands on, as a sign of good faith to Israel. Either that or just cede all control over its southern territory and let Israel do what it wants until the U.N. gets its act together enough to establish some kind of international administrative control.
I know it sucks, but what else could be expected? If you have a tenant who likes to run over to the neighbor’s house and start fires, then scampers back to hide in the apartment above your garage and you do nothing about it…
Oh and one more point which illustrates why no one in lebanon (not matter there opinon of Hezbollah) would be happy with this idea… the last time Lebanese forces allied themselves with israel the result was the Sabra and Shatila massacre: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre. In which thousands of innocent palestinians died.
Israel is a sovereign nation. It is not “put(ting) up wth artillery shells and bombs being dropped inside its borders” Right? I mean substitute rockests for shells and bombs and you have an equivalence, right?
It can’t. I mentionned in another thread the kind of equipment the Lebanese army is using. Their AA guns, for instance, are 50 year old and just can’t hit a target at the altitude Israli planes are flying. Their most recent tank dates back from the 50s too.
I expect Lebanon will use just about any excuse or pretense not to throw what little army it has into the Israeli tank-grinder. They will be creamed, and they know it.
I expect it will make little difference. The Hisbollah fighter is highly (even insanely) motivated and will certainly prove to be a tough nut to crack. I assume the average Lebanese soldier is much like the average soldier throughout history: given his druthers, he’d druther not. This goes double for conscripts. Triple-plus, when it comes to confronting an enemy you know can kick your ass. The Lebonese would do well, and get off easy, if they can make some sort of arrangement that doesn’t have them abjectly, and publicly, surrendering to Israel.
Finally, I have to ask if any ME country can risk confronting Israel. Nukes, ya know. Big ass stick, no matter how softly you talk.
Of course, all of this can be swept aside by the Tuchman Factor (after the famous Ovarian-American historian Barbara Tuchman, of Guns of August fame…) The mechanisms, both political and emotional that sweep otherwise rational people on a tide of poisonous nationalism. Then, of course, all bets are off. God help us all.
In Lebanon Hezbollah helps feed the people, provides water and schools. The picture that Bush has of them is not shared in much of the middle east. In Iraq the US had a trade embargo that resulted in death and hardship for the people. They tell of lack of medicine and of course tell of children dying. True or not these are the stories being told. The middle east is absolutely certain Israel would not have acted without Bushs approval.
it is extremely onesided and brings no prestige to the Iraelies. It will not bring them peace either.
Not to Godwinize or anything, but in Germany after the depression the Nazi party did a lot of good works…and was fairly popular with the German people as well…
I think the analogy works on a lot of levels from this perspective.
Ok…what do you propose then? What SHOULD Israel do? They have tried the peace route…doesn’t seem to get them anywhere, since the other side is seemingly bent on their destruction. You say that responding aggressively to attacks is unwise. Fair enough. Whats the alternative? Should they just bend over and take it? As for some lube before getting fucked? Or do you have another proposal? Because while I’ve seen a lot of bitching about this whole mess, I’ve seen very few alternative suggestions thus far.
Easy. They should evacuate the West Bank settlements and withdraw all IDF forces west of the Green Line. Then the Palestinians will be too busy with nation-building to keep lobbing shells at the Israelis, and Hezbollah will have no excuse to do anything of anything.
I’m not sure if you said this tongue in cheek or with a straight face. Assuming it was with a straight face…do you seriously think that doing this would cause peace to spontaneously break out all around? And why do you think Hezbollah NEEDS any kind of excuse??
No, it would not cause peace to spontaneously break out, but it would help immensely. And Hezbollah does need credibility. Evacuating the OTs would eliminate the “Apartheid and oppression” factors from the whole calculus and make it clear that, from this point on, anyone who guns for Israel is doing so only because they have a problem with Israel’s existence as such. And many might think that, but how can they sell the idea as a just one in world councils not dominated by Muslims?