Thursday, July 27, 2006

Not a Good Sign

From Steve Gilliard:

Israeli troops wave captured Hezbollah and Lebanese national flags as they cross the border into Lebanon Thursday July 27, 2006.

Considering this war/skirmish/conflict was supposed to be just about Hezbollah, the waving of a captured Lebanonese flag doesn't strike me as useful, appropriate, or good PR across the Arab world.

Juan Cole:

"The Israeli official line is that they are only fighting Hizbullah and that the huge number of civilian casualties is an accident. But why are they bombing the regular Lebanese army north of Beirut if their real enemy is Hizbullah, a southern Shiite paramilitary? Why are they bombing radio relay stations?

Note that the only way this conflict can end is for the Lebanese state to be strengthened so that it has a hope of dealing with Hizbullah. Uh, these actions are not, like, strengthening the Lebanese state."

From the start it was obvious that Israel's stated claim to be waging war on Hezbollah, and only on Hezbollah, and the West's adjunct claim that appearances to the contrary, supporting Israel's bombing of Beirut was actually good for Lebanon and in the service and for the benefit of that country's budding Cedar Revolution was fiction.

But as the conflict expands to officially welcome in opposition to the Lebanese army and the Lebanese government, not to mention the resurrecting of Al Qaeda, who also wants a place at the table, and add to this toxic stew the rantings and fervor of people like this, it's hard to say or see how this gets resolved in some rational, peaceful manner.

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