Saturday, August 05, 2006

Reflections on the war in Lebanon

I’m back in Jordan since two days, and it is clear that the war in Lebanon, predictably, has galvanized public opinion against the US for its support of what Israel has done. “This war should be a reminder to us that Israel is our enemy”, says a Jordanian whom I have always known to be a moderate and who previously supported peace and coexistence with Israel. If America is concerned with bolstering its Arab allies and pragmatic Arab moderates, it should think twice about the consequences of its unequivocal support for Israel.

The US and Israel seem happy to sacrifice the country of Lebanon for the fantasy of getting rid of Hizbollah. Whether they will succeed in doing so is yet to be seen, and in fact seems unlikely. The only thing that is guaranteed and that has already happened is the trashing of Lebanon, the destruction of its roads, ports, bridges, and most of its infrastructure, the destruction of whole villages in the south and whole neighborhoods in Beirut, and the killing of an estimated 1000 civilians and 3000 others maimed and wounded as of this writing. Not to forget the exodus of more than 600,000 Lebanese in fear, most of whom fled outside their country.

This is why this war, by any measure, is a despicably racist war: why is Arab blood so cheap? Why is it ok to destroy a country like Lebanon and kill a thousand innocent people in response to the abduction of 2 Israeli soldiers? If America thinks that this is a reasonable calculus then it is dead wrong.

How is it that the Israeli Army’s chief of staff can go on Israeli TV and get away with proclaiming that his army is “going to turn Lebanon back into what it was 20 years ago”, and later go on to threaten to blow up “a 10 floor building for every missile”. Does America not care that these aforementioned buildings will probably contain hundreds of innocent civilians and children? Does America not care to be associated with such belligerent revenge-driven bluster? Do Israelis not care that their army has stooped so low? Why are Israelis not appaled that their army is proving most efficient at incurring civilian casualties.

What the world needs is not the birth pangs of a new Middle East, but the birth pangs of a new kind of US Administration, namely one that has a Mideast policy that is distinct than that of Israel. This is needed for Israel's sake as well. I am not sure why the American administration does not or cannot seem to understand the very simple concept that at this point “why” the conflict started is much less important than “how” it is being conducted. Arabs wonder about the reasons why this Administration does not hesitate in giving a green light to turning Lebanon, a previously functional country with a western-leaning, democratically elected government, into another chaotic Iraqi-style black hole. Are our countries really that worthless to Mr. George W. Bush?

Hizbullah has already won in the eyes of most Arabs, simply by being able to muster a good fight with Israel and giving it an unexpected jolt. Sheikh Nasarallah, Hizbullah’s leader, is wildly popular and would probably be elected across the Arab world if it came down to it. Message#1 to George Bush: this is not good news. Message#2: America should think twice in the future before espousing the Israeli position hook, line, and sinker. Its about time the US started acting like a superpower instead of the consortium of special interests that it apparently is.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for a very insightful post. Your call and analysis is right on the money! I wish this kind of nuanced analysis of the state of affairs in the Middle East would be mirrored in the corridors of the White House.

2:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Islam is the religion of peace? Have you red all pages in your Quaran? Lebanon seem to be obsessed with the idea of freeing childkiller Samir Kuntar. There must be something seriousely wrong with the minds of people who make him a cult figure.

2:06 AM  
Blogger مرعي المغربي said...

شركة شام للخدمات المنزليه
لو محتاج شركة رش مبيدات لها سمعه جيده ومضمونه شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام نستعمل أجود المبيدات الالمانيه ( جهازيه-وبالملامسه )
ليس لها تأثير على الانسان او البيئه
لو بيتك فيه .نمل أبيض او صراصير او بق او فأران او ثعابيين اطلب شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام للقضاء على الحشرات من اول رشه

8:43 AM  

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