Monday, July 31, 2006

False Assumptions and Wishful Thinking

The best argument against the tactics of Israel's current Lebanon campaign is simple coldblooded pragmatism. Real Realpolitik if you like.

They won't work. The tactics are based on false assumptions about the nature of Hezbollah and the nature of the Lebanese people. The campaign itself is based on naive wishful thinking that the Lebanese will turn their anger on Hezbollah rather than on Israel.

Before the war began, Hezbollah's appeal was primarily confined to Shiites. Poor Shiites. Mainstream middle-class Lebanese who were Christians or Druze or Sunni didn't believe Hezbollah's claim that Israel would attack and invade Lebanon again. Israel has done an excellent job of convincing these mainstream Lebanese that Hezbollah was right all along and turned many who had harshly opposed the group into Hezbollah partisans.

And a whole new generation of young people is growing up with the memory of terror, pain and dead loved ones at the hands of Israelis radicalizing them for the next round of bloodshed.

Juan Cole has a thoughtful post about the true nature of Hezbollah and the current conflict.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps Israel would have no need to invade Lebanon if groups like the PLO and Hezbollah weren't based there. Also they wouldn't have to invade if groups like Hamas and Hezbollah didn't commit acts of war like kidnapping Israeli soldiers inside Israel or launching rockets at Israel.

Israel has the right to exist and defend itself. Hezbollah and Hamas don't want peace. They want victory. That means no state of Israel and the Jews pushed into the sea. Israel will not let that happen.

The nature of Hezbollah is simple. It is a terrorist group bent on the destruction of Israel and the murder of Jews.

Cliff said...

And it's this kind of simplistic short sightedness that will make this war a disaster for Israel.

Further comments will require something better than 'Anonymous'.

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