Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Lebanon: In ruins again, somehow a loss for Israel?

Once again, Juan Cole quoting Patrick McGreevy

The Battle of Lebanon was a rude little war that played like a blockbuster summer film. This, perhaps, was the fundamental mistake that Israel and its US backers made: they underestimated the articulateness of Lebanon—a multilingual country, connected to a global diaspora, with a history so compelling that novice and seasoned journalists are drawn to its stories by instinct.

Hezbollah’s tactics countered Israel’s brilliantly before the world’s gaze. As the vastly more powerful force, the IDF could have crushed Hezbollah, but only by conducting a genocide on the Shiite people of southern Lebanon who support its resistance. And genocide, on global TV, is the one sin Israel cannot survive. Hezbollah is a designer resistance force, shaped by repeated Israeli blows against Arabs—designed not simply to counter its powerful adversary’s field techniques, but to infiltrate its soul and seek its deepest pain. It finds this pain like a heat-seeking missile finds its warm target because Hezbollah’s resistance, too, is born of pain. This is the madness we confront.
In a very real sense, Hezbollah 'won' this war. Since, if Seymour Hersh is to be believed, this was intended to be the opening step in attacking Iran, it's a clear loss for the US.

Oh - since countering big lies seems to be one of the things I'm doing in this blog, here's a big lie: the government of Israel does things that the US doesn't want.

We have given tens of billions of dollars and military equipment to the state of Israel. As Cole himself put it not too long ago, we are a Great Power, and Israel is one of our client states. If the US government wanted to stop the Israeli government from doing something, we could cut off that aid.

Needless to say, this never came up. As a matter of fact, our government rushed them more precision guided munitions, as well as crates and crates of cluster bombs, one of the least precision of all air ordinance, and a weapon that civilized people around the world put in the same category as poison gas and nukes; i.e., something not to be used at all, ever. (Ditto Depleted Uranium, btw.)

Anyway, good for Hezbollah; they survived. Yay, the aggression of the Israeli government wasn't rewarded. Over a thousand dead Lebanese, tens of thousands of wounded, a bombed airport and bridges and houses and factories. Yay. I guess.

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