Loose Ends and News
Aug 31, 2006
One Week Vacation
I am leaving for a one-week vacation today to go fishing with some of the brethren in northern Manitoba. I'm not much of a fisherman--never had time to do much of it--but it does give me a chance to get together with friends. I might even learn something about becoming a "fisher of men." I do not know if I will have internet access up there, but I will bring my laptop in case I am able to do some web logs while I am away.
New Web Log Discussion Forum
Some friends have set up a discussion forum for those of you who may want to discuss some of the issues that I have written about in my web logs. It begins today. Douglas is the moderator. Be responsible and kind in your discussions, please. This should not be a forum to vent anger or frustration, but to honestly learn and clarify various issues.
News: U.N. Investigation of Israeli use of Cluster Bombs
On the BBC News last night, the U.N. spokesman was shown condemning the Israeli use of cluster bombs during the recent war in Lebanon. They said there are about 100,000 unexploded cluster bombs in the towns and villages in south Lebanon. That does not even include the ones that exploded. The report said that 90% of them were dropped on the villages in the final three days of the war--after the Israelis agreed to the truce and knew that the war was going to end.
The U.N. spokesman called the Israeli actions "immoral." That's pretty lame language on the street, but it is strong language among diplomats. They were asking "who is going to clean this up?" My suggestion is to make the Israelis do it. Why should others always have to pay the bill for their destructive activity? They ought to be held accountable to rebuild all the buildings, bridges, and roads that they destroyed as well. But instead, the taxpayers in the rest of the world will have to pay for the reconstruction.
In 2002 the Israeli government invaded the West Bank and destroyed the Palestinian government of Yasir Arafat. Remember that? Regardless of their intentions or their justification for doing so, the political reality is that they weakened the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah movement, paving the way for Hamas to take over in 2006. It is all about relative strength. If you weaken one side, you strengthen the opposing side.
The same was done in Lebanon. When Syria was driven out of Lebanon, it did not weaken Hezbollah; it strengthened them, because Syria, as Hezbollah's patron, also kept it in check. The Lebanese government itself was weaker than Hezbollah, which is why they were never able to destroy or disband Hezbollah.
So now the Israelis came in and destroyed most of the infrastructure of Lebanon, supposedly to weaken Hezbollah. All they succeeded in doing was giving Hezbollah great fame for successfully standing up against the Israelis. The Lebanese government still looks like the sick old man of the country, and yet it will be held responsible to rebuild all the destroyed infrastructure--or to beg for help from other countries.
Furthermore, Hezbollah has been giving $12,000 to each family whose house was destroyed by the Israeli invasion. That makes them heroes in the eyes of the people. The Lebanese government, meanwhile, is broke. Money is power. So, from a political standpoint, the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was absolutely counter-productive. Not only did it fail to achieve their objective of retrieving the two kidnapped soldiers, it also succeeded in strengthening Hezbollah and greatly popularizing them.
Meanwhile, back in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Olmert is on the chopping block for failing to achieve the objectives, for the high number of Israeli casualties, and for ending the war too soon! That makes the war a colossal failure in every way.
Mark my words, we will be seeing political fallout from this war for a long time to come. History may prove that this was the real beginning of the end for the Israeli state itself.