Wednesday, July 19, 2006

A balanced look at Isreal and Lebanon

In a remarkable moment at the United Nations Security Council last week, Dan Gillerman, the Israeli ambassador, quoted plenty of Hezbollah-badgering by one Lebanese official after another, then looked at the Lebanese ambassador, who sat there, stone-faced, and said: "I would like to make a personal appeal to my esteemed Lebanese colleague. Your excellence, you know deep down that if you could, you would add your own brave voice to those voices of your brave compatriots and colleagues. You know deep in your heart that if you could, you would be sitting here right next to me right now, because you know that we are doing the right thing, and that if we succeed, Lebanon will be the beneficiary."

The words sound right. The logic sounds right. The sincerity is unquestioned. But aren't these very words what Israel told its esteemed colleague in 1982, when it invaded Lebanon to rid it of the Palestinians' state-within-a-state, killing 18,000 Lebanese civilians in a matter of 12 weeks along the way and seeding the rise of Hezbollah in the PLO's wake? Aren't these very words the words the Bush administration used in its defense of the Iraq invasion, and uses still, in the name of "doing the right thing" for other people?

Spare us the opportune rationales. Spare us the false moral metrics. You don't answer savagery with savagery -- not in Iraq, not in Lebanon, not in Gaza. There is no excusing Islam's little franchises of barbarians all over the Middle East. But there's no excusing their enablers, either. And that's what Israel has been, what the Bush administration has legitimized -- not only taking the bait of those Islamic fanatics and their terror-toting vermin, not only playing into their hands and perversely reinforcing their causes by responding in spades, but laying waste to lands and lives that don't give a grape's wrath about bleeding their part so the appearance of resolve can live another day. The notion of a proportionate response is derided only because it is made to look like a lesser alternative by trigger-happy leadership. But it's been all disproportion, especially since 2001. It shows. And with our own "stay the course" fanatics still calling the shots, it's bound to get worse.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

And it just might get worse...

10:58 AM  

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