Friday, July 28, 2006

The Israelis and Lebanese Need Our Help

What is needed, for both Israel and Lebanon, is for the international community to send in forces to enforce UN Resolution 1559 by ousting the Hezbollah militia completely from southern Lebanon. Israel should not have to be doing this alone. This situation is causing avoidable deaths on both sides (mostly Lebanese) and Israel is taking a huge PR hit that will increase its security risk for years, perhaps decades.

Israel is in a fight for its life. It has been trying to get Lebanon to remove Hezbollah and its thousands of rockets from its border for years. Hezbollah has spent the last six years attacking Israel, building bunkers in civilian areas, bringing more Iranian rockets into Lebanon from Syria, and preparing to attack Israel.

There is a pretty good argument that Israel has been too soft, both in not striking sooner and in telegraphing its bombing targets by dropping leaflets to warn Lebanese civilians. (You wonder how all that damage you see on the news could have resulted in only 400 Lebanese deaths? I don't mean to trivialize the hardship to the Lebanese, but Israelis have died because the Israeli military is trying to limit Lebanese casualties.)

Iran is trying to build nuclear bombs, and at the moment the front line is in Israel and Lebanon. If the Israelis and Palestinians signed a peace accord tomorrow, it wouldn't make one whit of difference to Hezbollah, Iran, Syria, and their regional aspirations. In the west, we are all benefiting from what Israel is doing. When/if Iran gets nuclear bombs, it won't just be Tel Aviv that's a smoking rubble.



FurGaia said...

Yappa Ding Ding, I believe that may prove to be a wee bit difficult as Hezbollah is part and parcel of the Lebanese society

Luke said...

Furgaia is right. Hezbollah has representation in the Lebanese government, and holds popular support among the Lebonese people (the latter is according to political experts from Lebanon - of course all too often their just asserting their view onto the majority).

Lebanon does not want an international force wiping out the Hezbollah - right now, the government's protecting them. Any international force would also be an invasion force.

Anonymous said...

Yappa Ding Ding, I AGREE!

Yappa said...

Hi furgaia and luke,

Thanks for your comments. Actually I said "oust the Hezbollah militia" not "oust all members of Hezbollah." I am not proposing anything that is not in the UN security council resolution 1559. And Israel's goals are more modest: to disarm the Hezbollah militias and stop reinforcements from coming from Syria and Iran.

But your point is well taken that this will not be popular with all Lebanese.