Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends

I'm starting to realize what the goal is for Israel. I would rather be wrong, but I don't think I am.

Israel was driven out of Lebanon by Hezbollah in 2000. By all accounts, the occupation of Lebanon was a disaster, and Israel is not anxious to do it again. But Israel cannot defeat Hezbollah unless it occupies Lebanon. That is the upshot of this proposal that only "neutral force" of combat troops patrolling the region of southern Lebanon can stop the violence.

Hezbollah clearly prepared for this war. And while Israel is inflicting massive damage, it's mostly on Lebanese civilians. The position of the Bush Administration, in the face of even it's closest allies, is that there is no place for "terrorists groups" like Hezbollah to attack Israel from Lebanon. Israel is still fighting along the border, and yet the IDF doesn't seem to have made a dent in Hezbollah's ability to respond.

Israel has already made 750,000 Lebanese into refugees. They dare not try to occupy Lebanon again. They won't leave Hezbollah in Lebanon. They can't eliminate Hezbollah. Their only alternative is to turn southern Lebanon into a permanent battlefield, one which they can shell with impunity whenever the urge strikes them. And I seriously think that is what they plan to do. Which is why they keep talking about the strikes going on for a "long time."

What other ending could Israel and the Bush Administration be envisioning?

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