Sunday, July 16, 2006

A "Back To Reality" Update

After posting yesterday about possible good that could come out of the Lebanese/Israeli conflict, in the form of the legitimate Lebanese government finally looking to gain control of the southern region of the country and taking it out of the hands of the Hezbollah militia that has controlled it for the last decade or so, this report from the Associated Press (at ABC News International) is a grim reminder of why this part of the world has seen constant turmoil for so very long. Lebanon herself is so divided between opposing factions that the government is paralysed; standing up to Hezbollah could plunge the nation into another civil war. Since the country had finally been starting to recover from the last civil war, which consumed more than a decade's worth of her blood and treasure, it's easy to understand that no one in Lebanon wants to start that miserable cycle up again. The irony is that this is such a fearsome prospect that the government would rather take a horrible pounding from Israel than face down its own militia, in effect trusting Israel to do less damage than Hezbollah.

Update to the update: Meryl Yourish has a war news roundup with this interesting element (apologies for the colorful, if descriptive, language):

This one’s big: The U.S. will not try to negotiate a cease-fire, according to Condi Rice. Translation: This time, Israel gets to kick the bad guys’ asses. There’s also a note about selling Israel jet fuel in the article, another crucial piece of information. President Bush has obviously instructed his people to block all attempts to stop Israel, as is usually done, before the situation can be fully resolved. Think about how different the world would be if the UN had not stopped Israel on the road to Damascus in 1967.
It's clear Yourish's sympathies are entirely with Israel here. I agree that Israel has every right, in fact obligation, to defend her people. I really hope that Israel hits Hezbollah unmercifully, and the terrorist militia is rendered permanently irrelevant by her actions (as unlikely as that sounds given Hezbollah's Iranian and Syrian backing), but I also hope that those Lebanese who have been opposed to Hezbollah's insanity throughout all this don't pay the highest price for their government's weakness. The more precisely Israel targets Hezbollah, the better.