South Lebanon

Item added by GenghisTheHun. Added on 07/28/2006
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South Lebanon 5

Historically this has been a very tough neighborhood. Southern Lebanon is one of those spots where many different cultures and religions meet in a not so peaceful way, much like the former Yugoslavia, an area of the world which has in recent years been beset by civil strife. In the case of Lebanon, we have Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims fighting at each other along with the Christian and Druze elements of the population. Lebanon spent nearly 25 years fighting a major civil war. One of the primary results of this was the interference of foreign influences, like Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran and the Syrians, which has had a major hand in Lebanese affairs. All of this has created a situation where the central Lebanese government is decidedly weak. Indeed, Hezbollah rules much of the countryside.

Which leads us to the current situation between Israel and Lebanon. Like Genghis, I also sympathize with Israel's geopolitical situation, but their moves against Lebanon were completely foolhardy and unnecessary, indeed, it put them in a lose-lose situation. While Israel hammered away at Beirut's infrastructure, Hezbollah was busy lobbing nearly 3,000 rockets on Northern Israel. By the time the Israeli army moved against the REAL enemy Hezbollah, Israel had already suffered irreparable damage as a fighting country with moral standards. The major Arab powers, including the Saudi's, had condemned Hezbollah at the start of the fighting. But as Israel began attacking the Lebanese people rather than Hezbollah during the war, that international support disappeared.

Of course, there were a few losers here. The primary one of course was Lebanon herself, which suffered hundreds dead, thousands injured and one million refugees. A nation which was just coming out of 25 years of civil war, with much of its infrastructure unnecessarily destroyed, has been set back at least 20 years. If the Lebanese government does indeed fall as a result of this, Israel will have more problems along the border, as Hezbollah will likely fill that power vacuum. Remember, this is the same Lebanese government which came to power last year democratically under Bush-Cheney's support. As it stands, Israel has probably made a new enemy in the form of the Lebanese government and its people. Israel also lost, both morally, politically and militarily. Israel has survived in this tough neighborhood primarily on its power of deterrence. This major loss is a major erosion of this. Politically, the Premiership of Ehud Olmert along with his new party, Kadima, is all but over. America in a sense is also a loser here, because we dropped our historical role as a control valve for Israel in these situations. We just sat back and let Israel attack greater Lebanon. The reality is that Israel could have gotten the job done by just hitting Hezbollah's positions in Southern Lebanon from the get-go.

What happens now? Syria and Iran are really the big winners now, which explains why both Israel and the US are now egging on both of those regimes, yet another foolhardy move. Indeed, both Israel and America have lost their power of deterrence, specially with regards to the Middle East. With each passing day, Iran gains more power in the Middle East, primarily because of the rise of a majority Shi'ite government in Iraq that is allied with Iran. This is the last thing we want, for that will create a block of fundamentalist states going against our interests. We're also unwittingly making Iran a regional superpower, and they're goading us on because they know that with us tied up in Iraq, there is little that we can do. So, not to sound negative, but in short, our inept foreign policies in the Middle East have put this country in a very tight position.

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South Lebanon 5

Although I am sympathethic to Israel's geopolitical plight as a small country in a hostile sea of Arabs, it's latest attack in Southern Lebanon and then throughout that country has been a disaster.

Israel has fought the longest war in its history since its war of independence, and in effect, Isreal lost. Hezbollah still remains and in effect has suffered very little.

Israel has now managed to turn every facet of Lebanon against it. The Christians of Lebanon who still are about 35% of the population, and who were allies of Israel against the PLO in some of the wars of the last century now oppose Israel.

The Sunnis and Druze who were suspicious or even hostile to the Shiite Hezbollah now are firmly on Hezbollah's side.

The reason for all this is the Israel bombed and killed everyone equally. If you were a Lebanese, BOOM! We see lots of dead people, all kinds of bombed buildings, tens of thousands of homeless, and Hezbollah is still standing. Lot's of innocents are dead, however.

I can't understand the thinking in Tel Aviv. Collective punishment is a violation of international law and indeed could be a war crime.

It is hard to believe, in the Middle East, but Israel has made a bigger mess than ever.

Our own government's stupid attitude about the Middle East just compounds the problem. Syria is part of the solution. Syria distrusts and opposes Iran, the supporter of Hezbollah. Assad, the ruler of Syria, is a secular ruler, and naturally opposes the religious attitudes of Iran and Hezbollah.

However, the actions of Israel and our neo-con controlled government with George W. Bush spouting off about the "axis of evil," of which Syria, with a land area about the size of Nebraska, and a population about the size of New York, is an integral part of stupidity run rampant.

What a joke!

If we could turn it around and deal with Assad as we finally did with Khaddafi in Libya, maybe we could curb Iran's goals in the area. Iran and its Shiite pretensions are extremely destabilizing, as you learned members of the RIA already know. However all we have managed to do is to drive Assad and Syria into the arms of Hezbollah so now they are allies!

You know, if we insist on mucking around in the Middle East, let's do it right. Also let's insist that our allies also do the right thing.

Lebanon has made a bad situation so much worse.

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