Friday, July 28, 2006

More "Now what" in the Middle East

This is in response to the comments on my previous "Now What" posting.

I agree with you that Israel's reaction was both wrong and counterproductive. I wish they hadn't done it, and I wish they would stop. If it were up to me I would stop.

I agree with you that Hezbollah is raising its profile and improving its stature in a large part of the Arab world by standing up to the Israelis. I think they are doing it by taking Lebanon hostage. I don't think that is right, and I think they should stop. I think they would reply that they have a bigger goal and that the means justify the end. I disagree both with their overall bigger goal and that the means justify the end in this case -- and probably in most cases.

I agree with you that in some sense Israel is probably more comfortable fighting what appears to be a real war than just having to respond to terrorist. It's a lot clearer where you are when fighting a war than when dealing with terrorists. I disagree that Israel is a nation of war. If Israel were assured of its future and were free from the fear of continued terrorist attacks, I'm convinced that it would live peacefully with its neighbors. I don't believe that Israel wants to be in a war or that it wants to fight its neighbors. The Israelis are creative and productive. They don't need handouts to survive.

I think this cuts two ways for Bush. On the one hand, it does distract the country from other things (as you said), and most Americans appear to support his position with respect to supporting Israel. In that sense it's almost a proxy for us being at war. Americans support the president when we are at war. On the other hand, it puts his entire reputation at risk. He came to power with relative peace in the Middle East. It's now a complete mess. It's his fault. He will have to answer for that.

1 comment:

Aslan said...

I believe that Israel is a nation of war because it was born to a war. It came about right after the end of Second World War during the confusion and transition period of great powers to the new era. After the 1967 6-Day-war they expanded their territory. All and all one can say wars have always been to their advantage.

Can Israel expect peace from the Arab world? I don’t know but looking back I can see that was a relatively calm region until Israel came. Israel invaded Lebanon for about two decades. Israel is very aggressive in dealing with the Palestinians. They kidnap and kill Palestinians they call terrorist and usually some civilians are killed in the process. There are many Palestinian refugees scattered all around the region. They are a constant reminder of Israelis aggression to the Arab world.

Israel has its own deal of fundamentalists like the other side. They make peace possess a difficult path for Israel. If peace is made eventually Israel is going to become a Jewish / Arab nation and that is against their belief. The Promised Land is supposed to be a Jewish only state!

I firmly believe that Arab nations should take the path toward peace process. But I don’t see that happening soon.

I agree that the outcome of the current conflict can go both ways for Bush. I think in the short run it might seem good for bush but in the long run its going to be bad.
At the beginning of the war Israel set the bar very very high. Disarming Hezbolah!? Huh… For that you have to flatten Lebanon and change it to a big parking lot.
Israel is going to step back as days go by. That’s a bad thing for Bush’s war against terrorism.