Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Conceding one point

As much as I utterly detest GWB and the entire administration, I'm going to concede them one point on one subject. Unlike virtually the entire civilized world, Bush understands on a gut level why there is no real political solution to the current Israel-Hezbollah conflict. Unfortunately, I think he understands it because of his own millennial worldview - when you think the book of Revelations is literal, you recognize other fanatics.

The fundamental problem is this: Hezbollah (and Hamas, down on the southern frontier) don't believe Israel has a right to exist. Period. So for them, any truce, any cease-fire, is simply a temporary bump in the road towards their overall goal. Israel's main objective is to simply exist. Sure, more territory would have been nice, but secure, defensible borders is more important to them as a political reality. And that's the problem in a nutshell.

Sure, Israel has done a lot of not-nice things over the years. And will continue to do so. But people who claim legitimacy for the terrorist organizations at their frontiers, or expect truces to hold should remember - despite their sins, the Israeli government is a democratically elected government that represents a plurality of the voters in a nation-state that was created as a result of an act of the United Nations, granting it legitimacy. Hamas and Hezbollah are organizations who are devoted to using terror techniques to try and meet their perceived religious mandate to make Israel vanish.

As a result, there is no conventional solution. Eventually, either one side has to win definitively (and even though it means killing thousands upon thousands of people, I think it's likelier that Israel will eventually prevail that way), or the Arab and Islamic states that host the terror groups will someday grow a pair and destroy these groups themselves. If the shell of a Lebanese Army had pushed Hezbollah away from the border years ago then their entire nation wouldn't have been bombed back into the Stone Age over the last several weeks.

And that's the reality that, shockingly, GWB seems to understand.

(or else he has some actual smart people explaining it to him using small words)

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