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What incredibly sad about the entire crisis in the Middle East is that it is one that the American government could put a stop to, as least as far as Israel attacking with disproportionate force is concerned, relatively easily.  Israel is wholly dependent upon America, and it would deal a lot more credibility to the US if Bush became serious about stopping Israeli attacks while also working with Lebanon to stop Hezbollah's militant wing.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sat Jul 15th, 2006 at 06:26:32 PM EST
if Bush became serious about stopping Israeli attacks while also working with Lebanon to stop Hezbollah's militant wing. .
You want Bush, or any American leader, to work with Hezbollah (funded by Iran)?  I just don't see how that would work,,,maybe you could elaborate.  (Is there a non-militant Hezbollah wing?  just a question, I just haven't heard of one.)
by wchurchill on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 04:56:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry, but no cigar. You just identified Lebanon with Hezbollah. Try reading what you bolded again.

Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 05:19:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You want Bush, or any American leader, to work with Hezbollah (funded by Iran)?
In Iraq, the US works together with Da'wa and SCIRI.
I just don't see how that would work
I suppose you're right: it isn't working in Iraq either.
Is there a non-militant Hezbollah wing?
I don't know about "non-militant", but "non-military" there is. Like Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood, the reason these organizations are successful is that they provide the social services that our friendly dictators don't provide.
I just haven't heard of one
I suppose you haven't been listening to the right sources. Try wikipedia for a start.
The civilian wing of Hezbollah runs hospitals, news services, and educational facilities and participates in the Lebanese Parliament. Its Reconstruction Campaign (Jihad al-Bina) is responsible for numerous economic and infrastructural development projects in Shia-populated areas of Lebanon.


Nothing is 'mere'. — Richard P. Feynman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 05:27:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As Miguel pointed out, you're confusing Lebanon with Hezbollah.  Hezbollah may be centered in South Lebanon, but the Lebanese are not all Hezbollah members.  And, yes, most of these groups have non-militant wings.  They participate in politics.  What frightens me is that we have a new government in Lebanon that, prior to this crisis, seemed to be showing some promise.  Israel had an anti-Syria neighbour to its North, but it may well drive the population (and the government), out of fear, to support groups like Hezbollah.  Rather than help Lebanon clean up Hezbollah, Israel is destabilising the Hariri government.  And bear in mind that the destruction of terrorism is not a foreign concept to Hariri, whose father was murdered with a car bomb suspected of being planted by the Syrian govenment -- this, according to Wikipedia.

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 11:41:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually Israel was doing fine without American support, and didn't get a penny from the US government untill well after the 1967 war.

The Myth is that the US president could just snap it's fingers and Israel would lie down. No way in hell is that true.

by messy on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 09:12:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And where does Israel's military aid come from?  From whom does the Israeli government buy advanced weaponry?  What country ships billions of dollars to Israel every year (and pays for it by being hated by non-Israelis in the Middle East)?

Be nice to America. Or we'll bring democracy to your country.
by Drew J Jones (pedobear@pennstatefootball.com) on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 11:33:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
no polemic intended, but isn't it possible that if the u.s. were percieved to be more even-handed in its economic largesse in the region, israel might act a little less arrogantly?

Murdering civilians as punishment for the terroristic actions of hotheads is no way to win hearts and minds, and only fuels the fire.

why should palestinians be made to pay for hitler's genocidal follies de grandeur?

it seems israel assumes the world has a a priori hate-on for them, and lashes out like a bear trying to swat flies, when if they were percieved as being more generous and fair-minded to their neighbours, they would win much more respect.

England has much to answer for, historically, in this mess.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 12:07:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Myth is that the US president could just snap it's fingers and Israel would lie down. No way in hell is that true.

For once you have half a point, though in this specific case I think you're wrong and America could get Israel to ramp down their idiotic, counterproductive, and criminal bombing campaign.  It's like Iran and Syria with respect to Hezbollah - lots of support and plenty of influence, but only limited control.

by MarekNYC on Sun Jul 16th, 2006 at 12:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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