Tuesday, July 18, 2006

it doesn't work

Let me first say, Israel exists... and it has a right to continue existing. Israel has a right to defend itself. The people of Israel have a right to security.

Their strategy however, doesn't work. Never has. Never will. The king has no clothes. Let's say it out loud! For decades Israel has responded to terror with military strikes with huge numbers of civilian casualties. Every univolved casualty creates an extended community of people filled with anger and hatred. Destroying Lebanon will not stop Hezbollah... it will only add new members to its numbers as innocent Lebanese find themselves hating what they have experienced as disproportionate and random violence at the hands of Israel. All of this does not make Israel more secure. It makes Israel less so. Wouldn't you wish the destruction of a country that just launched a missile at your home when you had done nothing to that people? Israel is not defending itself. It is lashing out at targets it cannot distinguish and in the process constructing a history that becomes more difficult to escape each day.

There is no question that Hezbollah is in Lebanon, that they keep weapons among civilian populations, and that the Lebanese government is powerless to control them, but wouldn't a more effective strategy have been to work with the Lebanese government to root out Hezbollah rather than destroying the infrastructure of the country? Wouldn't a more effective strategy have been to work with the more moderate Arab states for their common interests - peace? I realize that the US debacle in Iraq has only served to make everything worse in that region of the world but wouldn't there have been some value in at least trying to bring together the world community to stop the trading of arms, both legal and illegal ones, into this volatile region? to end the poverty and despair among refugees that leaves little room for any emotions other than hatred? to recall a history of a place that was home to a variety of different religious traditions who lived together in respect?

The current strategy simply does not work. And it doesn't work for the Palestinians either. They have a right to a home, to economic security, to self-determination but the continuing violence ensures only that they will have none.

I guess it does work for Hezbollah. They alone further their agenda with this destruction. Continuing the pattern only makes them more successful.

Idiots like the Newt are declaring it World War III and may succeed in creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. It certainly could become that if someone doesn't scale things down and begin negotiating. An idiot president making cowboy-like remarks with overly simplistic advice rather than using the positive power of the US to help craft a pathway to peace doesn't help.

As a world, let's do something that does work. Let's work for peace in that area. Nobody but Hezbollah loses then.

2 comments:

Bills Blog said...

You don't negotiate with terrorists.

roy said...

happy... three reactions...

First, I didn't advocate negotiating with the terrorists. I said that a military solution doesn't work and instead only strengthens the terrorists.

Second, we negotiate with "terrorists" all of the time. We just have to call them by a different name before we do.

Third, that is a wonderful way to dismiss any solutions other than military one which I have said, history proves ineffective.

What do you say to the hundreds of Lebanese civilians dead? "Sorry, we don't talk to Hezbollah." What does this stance do to a fledgling moderate democracy in Lebanon that now is in a shambles?