Monday, July 31, 2006
The problem is, there is no way to settle this fight between Israel and Hezbollah. Jonah Goldberg describes the conundrum as eloquently as I have seen it written:
It seems to me the inescapable lesson of the current conflict is a depressing one for Israel and the United States. It ain't about land. In the 1990s, we were repeatedly told that Israel's problems could be solved via a geopolitical swap-meet. Everyone get together in back-slapping fellowship and trade land and, abracadabra, we'd have peace. It turns out, in Israel's case, this is nonsense. Hezbollah doesn't want land-for-peace, it wants genocide for peace.... Of course, this generalization doesn't apply to every Arab talking head and potentate. But as far as the militants with the guns and the hearts and minds go, that's the reality. Perhaps there are deal-makers even among the Iranians, but the fact is Hezbollah means what it says and it's stock is going up, not down. That means all of the 1990s illusions about how the Arab-Israeli (now more of a Muslim-Israeli) conflict could be solved through negotiations have been exploded.
Israel has no concession that it can make to Hezbollah to end the fighting, and Hezbollah cannot give Israel what it must ultimately have -- acceptance of its existence and the recognition of specific borders -- without destroying its own legitimacy. Unlike a state -- Egypt, Jordan, Syria or even Iran -- Hezbollah exists for the purpose of destroying Israel and other enemies of the Shia radicals. So how do we settle this fight, rather than simply postpone it? Either (A) we let them fight until one side is utterly destroyed, or (B) we separate them. Since Option A is very unpalatable, the West is being driven to Option B. Unfortunately, the separation will have to be permanent, or virtually so, and certainly much longer than the electoral cycle in any democracy. If enough countries were to contribute enough soldiers, and if those soldiers were vested in rules of engagement that allowed them to prevent incursions, separation might work insofar as it buys time to deal with Hezbollah's roots, the radicalism in the Muslim world. The problem, though, is that Hezbollah would never agree to such a deal because it would prevent them from realizing their mission, and very few countries will have the stones to join an international separation force unless Hezbollah agrees. It is therefore far more likely that the fight is not settled by either decisive victory or separation, but once again postponed to some even bloodier reckoning in the future.
Iran? Why is Goldberg dragging Iran into the discussion?
Seriously, though, what did the President mean when he said "the United States makes no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them..."?
Of course for that statement to even be applicable one would first have to make the case that Hezbollah is a terrorist organization and Iran is a patron and benefactor.
Tall, tall order, that.
The ironic thing after pondering this war for weeks and watching its ebbs and flows, is that Hezbullah (and by extension, Iran)has in effect signed its death warrant. Allow me to explain:
If Israel gets Hezbullah to stop attacking, then Israel at least gets peace. If Hezbullah resumes attacks, Israel has shown some will to fight. So the old "status quo" is virtually impossible to go back to even if both sides wished to do so. In this post 9/11 world, it is impossible to go back.
Simply put even if Israel gets the shaft and a "ceasefire", they have won. Because the minute Hezbullah attacks again (and who doubts that they won't?) Israel will once again launch a massive offensive only next time it won't stop for nobody.
So indeed for Hezbullah to continue its (popular) existance, they will have to commit themselves to continuous fighting. This will be their doom.
For surely even the French will grow tired of it all.
And by extension, Iran will too be fighting us.
I guess what I'm saying is this: The Islamic world, particularly Iran, Syria and Hezbullah has tried our (West)patience time and time again.
They will keep up the attacks and they will continuously make it easier for us to resopond. Simply put, we are surely and slowly losing our "inhibitions". The people of teh West will demand that their governments do something. Forget the Leftists. The will screed and make common cause with the Terrorists, but they will lose (at least in America).
So Iran, Syria, Hezbullah, Hamas has pushed us slowly to the cliff.
There will be a point in time where we do not give one shit about what teh UN of france or Russia thinks. We will do what we need to do to survive. The misunderestimate AMericans as usual.
So on reflection I think ultimately this Israel-Hezbullah war represnts the first CONCRETE evidence that we (civilized people, particularly America and Israel) are starting to feel "our backs against the wall".
The next hot-spot war will take that thought one step further. And then there will be some serious ass-kickling.
This gives me hope.
It seems to me that a whole lot of bloggers are kind of drunk when they post. At least it seems that way from their spelling and methods of expressing themselves. Don't get me wrong, I'm not criticizing. I have a buzz as I write this. I rarely have time for blogging when I'm completely sober.
It seems to me that a whole lot of bloggers are kind of drunk when they post. At least it seems that way from their spelling and methods of expressing themselves.
You know, three years ago I might've agreed with you, b/c I was one of those really annoying commenters who never had a typo and whose comments were immaculate.
But that was then. Now I have my own site, and between maintaining that, responding to my own readers, and trying to visit three or four friends' sites on two-minute work breaks and say something even marginally intelligent (and usually failing miserably) I now understand why my very intelligent friends' comments often were rife with typos, misspelled words, and things that often made no sense though I happen to know they are much smarter than some of their comments sometimes made them sound (because I exchange emails with them all the time).
Limited time. Fractured attention. Time slicing. Having gotten up at 4 am 10 days in a row and gone to bed at midnight.
Sometimes the comments section is the way busy people stay in touch, and it's an inadequate method at best.