Walid's Wanderings

Reflections on life, good-and-evil, family, humanity, and anything else that occurs to me, usually when I travel. Right now I am on a 6-year trip through Lebanon, the homeland I had never really lived in before.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Let's... go home!

The time has come for both sides to declare victory and go home.

The tactics of Hezballah have now earned their place in the history books, and fighting on will not change that one way or the other. The principle of a "well organized militia" has now found its rightful place in the military history of the 21st century. Lacking the conventional strict oversight needs of a hierarchical military, an organization with fighters who can be fully trusted by their leadership, even when out of sight, is capable of keeping powerful weapons out of the reach of a vastly better-equipped air, sea and land force. No matter what happens to Hezballah in the current conflict, the lessons of this war will not be lost.

As for Israel, the envelope is also being pushed on what a democracy will stomach for the military adventurism of its generals. I understand that perhaps even a majority of Israeli citizens honstly belive that they are against an enemy who would stop at nothing to destroy every last one of them. But evidence to the contrary contiues to mount, and you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. The truth is that victory as defined by Israel's hawks will only be accomplished by massive atrocities against Lebanon's civilians. The plan to raze Beirut, city block by city block, is continuing. It's not clear from just reading the names of the neighborhoods being targeted, but a map of Beirut will quickly show the path being followed. Besides, the starvation of fuel will soon start to lead to many more deaths. Eventually, Hezballah will run out of missiles (funny how you prevent Hezballah from rocketing Israel in the future by having them launch their missiles in the present...) So, yes, Israel can win this, but only by visiting upon Lebanon a fate worse than the fate of the Palestinians in 1948. Maybe in 60 years we'll be hearing about how Lebanon was never really populated, since everyone living there in 2008 had come from Syria or Cyprus in the preceding five decades...

On the other hand, "defeat" by the standards of the Israeli military will lead to the Lebanese army patrolling southern Lebanon to prevent any of the attacks that Hezballah was never going to launch anyway. Returning the Shebaa farms and the prisoners will accomplish that, but it is necessary to save face, and having the Lebanese army in place will accomplish that goal. But of course the remaining missiles will remain hidden. These missiles are Israel's only guarantee that any peace treaties signed by its neighbors will be long-lasting and genuine, rather than the dissembling blather of politicians who are negitiating out of weakness.

Now if only some genius on the Israel side can package this outcome as the true victory that I argue it is, then both sides will be able to declare victory and go home....


  • At 11/8/06 6:23 PM, Anonymous Marina said…

    You know, Walid, the more I read your blog, the more I am convinced of my own stupidity. I have sincerely believed you to be, a friend and, more importantly, honest. But satisfy my curiosity, please, what is it that you believed that made you send the link to this blog to me?

  • At 11/8/06 9:57 PM, Blogger Walid said…

    Dear Marina,
    If I did not have you, who else would leave comments on my blog? :).


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