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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

what if? « Previous | |Next »
July 20, 2006

Well the Howard Government is one hundred per cent right behind the Israel destruction of Lebanon and adopts the same position as the Bush Administration ----the talking points are all about Syria and Iran and Israel needing more time to destroy Hezbollah, which is a terrorist organization. So why bomb hospitals, or Greek Orthodox churches and milk factories far from Shiite areas?

The spin from the Howard Government is that the Israeli assault on Lebanon is not as bad as it is, and that there is no need to criticise Israeli tactics:

Alan Moir

It is not clear if Lebanon will survive from Israel's disproportionate response to the kidnapping of two of its soldiers by Hezbollah--ie., gradually reducing Lebanon's infrastructure to rubble whilst killing and maiming its civilian population. It appears that the Israeli campaign is designed to ensure that Lebanon is economically poor and weak for decades to come and beyond to break the back of Shiite villagers in southern Lebanon. The American neo-con hawks are saying that the war in Lebanon can't end until Israel destroys Hezbollah once and for all, and that means knocking Syria and Iran around. If so, then the broad action against so much of Lebanon is wrong and strategically flawed. The inference is that the political endgame is that Israel becomes a regional superpower.

I presume that if Israel the goal is to degrade Hizbullah's military capability, then more land operations are likely.If the Israelis exit quickly, creating a free-fire zone in the border area so Hizbullah cannot return, then this might allow the international community to facilitate the deployment of an expanded United Nations force with the Lebanese Army to the South. Yet that presupposes that Hizbullah would first have to agree to surrender its weapons. Deploying the Lebanese Army, a multinational force or both along the border, is in Israel's interest and perhaps Lebanon's, but not Hezbollah's and certainly not Iran's.

So what happens if Lebanon collapses? What happens if Israel cannot accomplish the destruction of Hezbollah? Doesn't that create an unstable region? How is an unstable region with failed states an improvement? Is this an example of short term tactics at the expense of long term strategy?

Is there a public and critical debate about the point of the war in Israel? One about the reasons, the motives, the responsibility of the Israel Defense Forces and the government, as well as about the results and the implications of the war and the alternatives?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 8:48 AM | | Comments (2)


A disproportionate response would be fine if Israel actually focused on Hezbollah and not destroying all of Beirut. They've flown over 600 sorties and have killed over 300 civilians. They have killed very few members of Hezbollah.

What is Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's strategy in his resistance to the Israeli invasion of Lebanon? Presumably, he can no longer return to the status quo ante on the Lebanese border. So I presume that he reckons that Hezbollah needs only to survive the conflict with his militia intact and Israel sufficiently bloodied.

Maybe he has been able to trap Israel: cannot stop the military operation without having real political achievements to show its public, yet prolonged fighting and casualities will weaken its citizens' fortitude for war. Hezbollah's missile attackes Tiberias, Afula and Haifa rocked Israel and whilst Israeli air attacks cannot dismantling Hezbollah's guerrilla army.

On the other hand, a high price that is being paid by the Shi'ite Lebanese in Southern Lebanon. On the other hand the Israel Defense Forces has been pounding Lebanon and dropping thousands of tons of bombs on it for 8 days, yet Hezbollah remains the same intransigent enemy as before. It is showing no signs of breaking.

If international pressure builds up for a cease-fire in the next ten days, then is Nasrallah calculating, that he might be able to turn everything around? Is Nasrallah, the most powerful politician in Lebanon, banking on Iranian money would finance Shiite reconstruction? He would then be able to tell his brethren that, though they paid a high price, they also preserved their dignity in their conflict with Israel?

Is that the scenario?