Thursday, August 17, 2006

Is Israel our Mini-Me?

The always fucking brilliant Sidney Blumenthal (Salon, registration required) on Lebanon:

Israel's strategic debacle was a curiously warped and accelerated version of the U.S. misadventure in Iraq. It used mistaken means in pursuit of misconceived goals, producing misbegotten failure. Rather than seek the disarmament of Hezbollah, Israel sought to eliminate it permanently. If the aim had been to disarm it, in line with United Nations Resolution 1559, Israel might have initiated a diplomatic round, drawing in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt, to help with the Lebanese government. But, encouraged by the Bush administration, Israel treated Lebanese sovereignty as a fiction. With U.S. support, Israeli unilateralism was unfurled. The possible consequences of anything less than stunning and complete triumph in a place where Israel had long experienced disaster were dismissed.

After having withdrawn in 2000 from its occupation of Lebanon, achieving few of the aims declared in the 1982 invasion, the Israeli government launched an air campaign that would supposedly extirpate Hezbollah. The wishful thinking behind the air campaign was similar to that of the Bush administration in its invasion of Iraq. Upon the liberators' entry into Baghdad, Vice President Cheney explained beforehand, the population would greet them with flowers. In Lebanon, the idea was that the more destruction wreaked by Israel, the more the population would blame Hezbollah. Of course, as common sense and every previous historical example should have dictated, the opposite occurred. When the air campaign obviously failed, the army was thrown into the breach, sent to relive Israel's 1982 agony. Cautions about repeating the past were ignored, and the past was repeated.

2 comments:

michael said...

Why does every analysis of Bush-Cheney diplomacy remind me of every business George W. Bush ever owned? I'm disappointed in the Israelis, giving in to emotionalism and chest-beating when being cunning and smarts could have paid off. Since when does anyone launch a war on the basis of three kidnappings?

vikkitikkitavi said...

Here's an idea: how about we figure out exactly what those citizens of Lebanon are receiving from Hezebollah, and we give it to them instead. Do they need aid? Do they need security? Let's be the ones to help them.

And you too, Israel.