Like everybody else, Polimom’s looked at this upside down and sideways, and I keep circling back to the same problem: if Hezbollah’s goal (along with Syria and Iran) is to remove Israel from middle eastern maps, what is that we (as in, the world) hope to achieve via roadmaps and treaties and accords?
Because I see only one way for permanent peace in the Middle East (specifically regarding Israel): one way or another, Israel’s right to exist is no longer at issue.
From Polimom’s porch this morning, it looks like there are only two ways that would come about: either those who are insisting on Israel’s removal from that part of the world accept its presence, or Israel goes away.
Short of one those two outcomes, the battle over that patch of ground strikes me as perpetual, and any brokered peace agreement will fail sooner or later (usually sooner). “Taking care of Hezbollah” is just another short term solution; unless the Middle East as a region accepts Israel as part of its reality, another Hezbollah will simply take its place… and another… ad infinitum.
I sure would like to think I’m missing some other option, but folks, this question is in its third generation now; it’s not going away. Either Israel has a right to be there, or it doesn’t.
Is there any way to solve this once and for all… without war? umm… Please?
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This is not an opportunity for the United States to strike Iranian nuclear capability save for an act of extreme provocation by Ahmadinejad’s regime. That’s not to say that Iran hasn’t been provocative in this conflict–its tentacles can be seen at many levels–but nothing so far has risen to the level which would justify what Kristol is advocating. September 11th brought us to Iraq with haste. Let’s not make this an opportunity to make the same mistake again.
And even as I was reading Greg Tinti’s post, this update from Stratfor came across my desk:
1320 GMT – About 100 Iranian troops in Lebanon helped Hezbollah fire an Iranian-made C-102 missile that damaged an Israeli warship off the coast of Lebanon late July 14, a senior Israeli intelligence officer said July 15.
Is that enough, do you think, to escalate?
Polimom thinks (and hopes) not, but the neocons cannot be trusted to make decisions, and their definition of provocative will probably require a very low threshold. Furthermore, any solution from them will move this to World War status, and potentially divide the people of the United States beyond repair.
The neocon presence in our government has been Polimom’s biggest objection (bar none) to this administration… yet there they are, and here we are…
I am not hopeful, folks.