Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Lebanon

When you boil it down, I think it is fair to say that the whole Israel / Hezbollah conflict - which has Lebanon caught as piggy-in-the-middle, is at its heart a hell of a mess.

Why however, can't people admit a few truths about the whole thing:
1) Bush was right - his offhand remarks to Yo Blair at the G8 were spot on. Without the connivance and support of Iran and Syria who make, purchase and transport the katusha rockets Hezbollah would have no choice but to quit;
2) Israel is utterly wrong to devastate Lebanon...
3) ... but Hezbollah is utterly wrong to use civilian residential areas as rocket bases and para-military command posts
4) Israel cannot continue this appalling war...
5) ... but must defend its law abiding citizens from rocket attack;
6) Lebanon is an independant democracy, parts of whose elected government is Hezbollah - and this must be respected...
7) ... but the West cannot allow terrorists to negotiate on common ground with governments even if - or especially where - terrorists are part of the government;
8) Israel must not attack the red cross or UN missions - however when thought about rationally it seems unlikely that Israel who already toil Sisyphus like against centuries of anti-semitism, would act deliberately in destroying Red Cross / UN assets (unless they secretly want to alienate world opinion more...cunning devils);
9) The US must act to stop it...
10) ... but what gives the US the right to act as world policemen;
11) The EU must engage...
12) ... as long as it doesnt anger minority sentiment in EU countries
etc etc

We need a cease fire urgently to stop the deaths of the innocent, but not to allow Hezbollah to rearm. We need a ceasefire to stop this massively disproportionate assault by Israel, but not to allow Mossad death squads to start their black arts; we need a cease fire to stop the rockets raining down on Nablus and Nazereth, but not to allow terrorists (from Hezbollah, or Syria or Iran) to grandstand as statesmen or heroes.

In the end there are no simple answers, no black and white division between goodies and baddies and the BBC and 'received opinion' in the West must stop pretending that there are.

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