Thursday, August 10, 2006

Israel's Fudge

I've been a vehement supporter of Israel's right to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon. I'm not so sure I can support how they're exercising that right.

Israel seems to be fighting for a tie: they will bomb southern Lebanon into stateless anarchy, at which point somebody else, preferrably European, will send in the troops to govern the place and fight Hezbollah.

Shouldn't this have been done as a formal war against Lebanon? But that would compel Israeli participation in a postwar settlement, occupation, handover.

Israel's reliance on the Western powers to win this war for Israel is not only a cheap violation of the obligations of a combatant power, but stupid and self-defeating. Lebanon does not want to fight Hezbollah. France and Pakistan do not want to fight Hezbollah. The United States might not mind fighting Hezbollah, but we have use for our troops in Iraq unless we have to send them elsewhere, and with Israel barely mobilized we don't have to.

From what I can see, if Israel were given everything it calls for today, it would be right back where it started within a year. That is no way to run a "war"--whether you make it a formal war, or just bomb cities and roll back a national government as a "police action".

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