mercredi, juillet 26, 2006
Israel and Lebanon pt two
Chaplain Catherine's + thoughtful response to my first post on the Middle East made me think about whether I was beating up too hard on Israel. The problem is that there is no point at which one can say: "they started it", whether the "they" is the Israelis or Hezbollah. The creation of Hezbollah was a response to previous battles between Israel and Middle Eastern rejectionists, bankrolled in part by Syria and possibly by Iraq. While Israelis quite understandably see Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, Southern Lebanese turn to them for medical care and for charitable aid. But even that chain of events is due to another one and one before that-these combatants have been at war so long it is hard to recall at time with any sustained truce. So yes, Israel has a right to defend itself, and yes, aside from the United States, its bankroller and fervent defender, it has lots of hot enemies and cool friends. But does that make its every action defensible? There's something bizarre going on when civilian convoys keep getting hit and a UN observer post is targted after apparently repeated warnings from the UN. Bad intelligence? One would expect more from one of the most sophisticated military/spying operations in the Middle East. Again, the UN has not always been well disposed to Israel. There have been many times when anti-Jewish interests ruled. Yet much of that bigotry is in the past. As to the lack of implementation of resolutions-What motivation does Lebanon have to respect the particular resolution mandating that Hezbollah stay away from the Israeli -Lebanese border when the Israelis have ignored so many others others about the Palestinians that they didn't want to obey? It is also not obvious that the government in Lebanon has the ability to enforce peace on its own borders. In my opinion, everyone in the Middle East needs policing or help with good boundaries. Not that we have a hell of a lot of street cred in that regard. Here's one for you Christians-there seems to be a functional heresy here. On a deeper level, what makes us think that we can clear up human evil or make things better with bloodletting? There are precious few wars that really meet the "just war" criteria. Ask yourself- where are the good fruits of the Spirit in this conflict? However, one thing is clear-our government is paying dearly for its lunatic focus on regime change. Once again it is playing catch-up in an area in which you always have to be on top of, if not ahead, of the depots and "manly men" who shoot before they talk.