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Another interesting piece in Dar Al Hayat on Lebanon

Just read another insight from inside Lebanon on what's going on at the moment. It is, unsurprisingly, critical of Israel, but it is the take on Hezbollah and our friends on the other side of the channel that I find more notable:

"As for Hezbollah, it has risked making Lebanon a hostage to Syria and Iran, whether it meant to or not. The question today is: where is Hezbollah taking Lebanon? Unfortunately, it has lost the good will of France, the only Western country that had recommended a dialogue with it, and which had undertaken the task of convincing others to include it in the domestic political game. France refused to include Hezbollah on the European terror list because it considered it a resistance movement that would transform itself into an important political movement after the occupied Lebanese territories were liberated. What is Hezbollah's strategy, now that this recent venture has brought the disaster of massacres, destruction and ruin to Lebanon? Is it to offer Lebanon up as a gift to its allies?.


"What has Lebanon done to deserve being the victim of Iran and Syria's conflict with the West? Why should the Lebanese people be the victim of a war it can do without? The Lebanese had looked forward to a quiet summer for themselves and for the holiday-makers who help the economy flourish. Why did Hezbollah lead them into this trap? Of all those who have fought Israel, Hezbollah is the last that needs to be told that Israel does not care in the least for any Arab country".

Whether people agree with my hawkish Zionism or not, if the IDF succeeds in eliminating Hezbollah as a military force, I can't help but think that it will be very much for the good of the long-suffering Lebanese people, as a state - in order to be termed such - has to have a monopoly on the ability to project lethal force. If Hezbollah is removed from the equation, Lebanese of all religions and identities are in with a far greater chance of building a stable civil society.

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Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 7:34 am

let's be real here C.hezbollah will not be eliminated by the IDF.The big problem the west has is that in it's arrogance it wants to impose it's ways ie democracy on the middle east.

The rub is that the only way to keep groups like hezbollah under control is to have dictator a la Saddam in place.

There is no doubt in my mind that Hezbollah did not expect this escalation after the kidnapping of the two soldiers but until the lebanese govt steps in and sorts them out,they will always be hostage to it's will.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:34 am

Hmm, not sure. I think the aim of Hezbollah was very much to provoke a strong reaction.

In this, it is behaving very much as the IRA used to do in the 70-80s - the idea (among others) for the republicans was to provoke a heavy response from the British so as to radicalise what the IRA saw as its constituency.  

Blogger Serf said... 8:55 am

I agree with Croydonian that Hezbollah wanted this reaction. For that reason, I think that Israel is making a mistake.

Now that Syria is gone, Hezbollah faces a future only as a political party, something which it finds scary. It needs a conflict to stop its decline and eventual death.  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 11:29 am

Think of it this way.At the moment Lebanon is getting bombed to f**k.Does this make hezbollah popular with the masses,I'm not so sure.

What would have suited them more was a long heated stand off re the two captives which would allow them to grandstand and get a prisoner swap......something the Israelis have form for.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 11:51 am

If I ever get back my copy of Terrorists' Target Selection (a mate's PhD thesis), I'll have a go at fleshing things out, but one of the aims of terrorists in launching attacks is to provoke a disproportianate response that then drives the targets of that response into the arms of those who started it, on the grounds that the latter will then 'protect' them. Thus, the IRA wanted the RUC, Britsh army etc to target non-radicalised Catholics in any reprisals so that they would then reject the SDLP and non-violent politics and support Sinn Fein / IRA as the orgnisation defending them.

It is a rather brutal way to use a people, but it has a certain cruel logic to it.  

Anonymous rigger mortice said... 1:35 pm

but as you sya in the lead piece,if Israel finish them as a military force the excercise will have been futile.

Do you honestly think the IDF can do it?  

Blogger barbara worth said... 9:34 pm

"one of the aims of terrorists in launching attacks is to provoke a disproportianate response that then drives the targets of that response into the arms of those who started it"

That's interesting and ties in with one of my own theories. It's noticeable in many of the classic conflicts (Northern Ireland, Israel/Palestine) how desperate each side is to portray itself as the "victim". It is only when one or both sides has the maturity to give up this stance that progress occurs.  

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