Friday, July 28, 2006

Israel, Lebanon: ITS NATIONALISM STUPID!!!

Exhibit 1
So I am watching Greta Van Susteren on Fox News, and one of the correspondents cited the results of a poll that said that an overwhelming majority of the Israeli public supported Israel's prosecution of the war in Lebanon against Hizbullah. CNN put the numbers at 82% in support, 71% wanting Israel to get tougher. The Christian Science Monitor in this article, looked at the editorial pages of Israeli papers, great majority of Israeli pundits are pro-war - and actually want Israel to get tougher.

Exhibit 2 From the CSN
The stakes are high for Hizbullah, but it seems it can count on an unprecedented swell of public support that cuts across sectarian lines.According to a poll released by the Beirut Center for Research and Information, 87 percent of Lebanese support Hizbullah's fight with Israel, a rise of 29 percent on a similar poll conducted in February. More striking, however, is the level of support for Hizbullah's resistance from non-Shiite communities. Eighty percent of Christians polled supported Hizbullah along with 80 percent of Druze and 89 percent of Sunnis.

WELL DUH!
Why are people in the media, and government so damn surprised?
Israel is a small country, a good part of their population is under rocket attack by Hizbullah every day. They are a nation of citizen soldiers, many have fought in past wars and understand they are threatened by their neighbors. Now most Israeli's feel their country is under direct attack from an enemy, backed by powers that want them dead. And they want their military to strike back really, really, hard to kill the guys trying to kill them.

The Lebanese also feel their small country is under direct attack, as they watch their infraestructure being pounded, their countrymen dying and fleeing for their lives. Their national territory is again being invaded by their neighbor who had also trashed their country in the past and humilliated them by occupying a big chunk of their territory for years. No surprise they are backing the Lebanese guys pounding back at the Israeli's inside their country. That's their boys, no matter how much they have hated them in the past.

At this stage of the game you can't just assume that the Lebanese government representing its people's opinions are going to have the will and mandate to disarm Hizbullah. And on the other side you can not assume that the Israeli's will just agree to any ceasefire, and that any intransigence is due to their leaders. It is the public that forces the leaders hand. This is all one big scrap between neighbors who want to kill each other, either side could give a shit if enemy civilians get killed or what level of force is used. No one cares - at least now - who really started this immediate mess.
Its that simple, resolving it is complicated.