July 23, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
With Iraq, the question is why did we do it? Ask ten people why we invaded Iraq and you will get ten answers, which means there is no real reason which people understand. From Republicans you get a different answer every week...
Now the same question comes up about Lebanon. Why is Israel destroying Lebanon? Destroying the civilian infrastructure, bombing fuel depots and power plants and water pumping stations even in the northern part of the country... and Bush responds by rushing them more bombs. Of course this has nothing to do with the soldiers that were taken or the rockets shot into Israel. But even if it were just because of that, it is collective punishment, which is a war crime. One-third of civilian casualties so far have been children.
I think that maybe what is happening is a "show of force." What I mean is maybe the Republicans and Israel think they are showing the world that even though the US is tied up in Iraq, we can still destroy a country any time we want to, and have no compunctions at all about law or humanity. But the "little people" like you and I aren't going to be let in on the reasons things happen. THAT sort of thing is for old-fashioned democracies and republics. So we just have to speculate.
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Israel is "destroying" Lebanon because it typically overreacts to every military attack, from Hezbullah rockets to Palestinian suicide bombs. And it always will because it knows that the game has changed from violence as a leadup to neogiating land for peace, to an Iranian play for hegemony in the Middle East through a drive to destroy Israel. This is not a justification; just an understanding.
It is also dumb. Iran and Syria are better controlled by joint US/Sunni/Arab/European threats of sanctions and retaliation than by bombing roads and airports. Israel should restrict its operations to destroying Hezbullah's heavy focket launchers and driving Hezbullah back out of rocket range - something the Lebanese army is not capable of doing. This may take precision bombs provided by the US and even a ground operation -- with advance notice to the Lebanese government and a reqeust that Lebanese troops join it in driving Hezbullah back. They won't, but the symbolsim will still be there - Israel treats Lebanon like a sovereign nation.
THEN, the US and Israel must launch the Progressive strategy outlined in my response at http://www.seeingtheforest.com/archives/2006/07/middle_east_vio.htm#comments or on my diary on dailykos at http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/7/22/194954/951
Posted by: dr o at July 23, 2006 10:37 PM
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