Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Response to Maya's and Jeha's lament

You can bomb Lebanon all you want, all you achieve is kill Lebanese, destroy the country, bankrupt the economy and further Syria's control over Lebanon.

I may not like the Assad regime, but at least I know what to expect from them.

Soviet Spetsnaz paratroops subscribed to this credo:
A good person in their eyes was one who did not conceal the animal seated within him. But a person who tried to appear good was dangerous. The most dangerous were those who not only paraded their good qualities but who also believed within themselves they were indeed good people. When things get difficult good people can quickly go bad and leave you hanging.

Better to associate with people who are bad. At least then you know what to expect of them when your luck turns. [Victor Suvorov, Inside the Aquarium, 1986.]
All human beings are "dangerous". But knowing what pushes people into employing violence and betrayal is a matter of cultural understanding, whether you agree with their principles or not. Spetsnaz troops were young, but they had already experienced the betrayals of
the Communists by the time they entered the Soviet Army. Naturally, they had to follow Party propaganda and at least openly profess that they believed the outside world was even worse, no matter how "good" the West appeared to be. And the West has killed its millions: in wars, through negligence, by revolutions, and even through wilful ignorance. Consider another little nugget of this Russian wisdom:
The most loathsome disgusting criminal might kill a man, ten men or even a hundred. But a criminal will never kill people by the million. Millions are killed only by those who consider themselves good...The Robespierres of this world were the most humane types and fed squirrels from the palms of their hands...
I think everyone should reflect upon these words very carefully.
In the case of Lebanon-Israel relations, it's hardly surprising that Israel is considered, "at best, an unreliable ally" by many Lebanese. Israel puts first and foremost its own security first, before attending to the cares of others.

The SLA, Israel's ally of the 1990s, couldn't stop Hezbollah attacks upon
Israeli troops, the international community wanted Israel out, and Israelis were no longer welcomed in Lebanon anyway. Partners have to contribute something to an alliance. It was better to leave if Israelis could convince themselves that security would improve rather than remain occupiers, especially if leniency was assured for most of Israel's former allies.

In 2006, Israelis woke up to discover that Lebanon harbored, was partially governed by, and materially benefited from an organization actively dedicated to making Israel unliveable . It could not be borne for Lebanese to expect that they could remain
untouched while Hezbollah was making war. The principles of Torah that Jews still subscribe to as well as international law and precedent support the Israeli response. (Indeed, both Torah and precedent would support an even harsher response.)

Had Lebanese patriots been more daring and openly supported it, the West might have bought Maya's argument that southern Lebanon was like a Mafia state. The end result
would probably have been a Chapter 7 resolution forcing Hezbollah's disarmament and re-establishing the central government's authority. But instead Lebanese decided once more to "play it safe" and parroted Hezbollah's claims of "resistance". Lacking open Lebanese support, the Israelis resorted to destroying what weapons and military installations they could and departed with a mere cease-fire.

So by Maya's standard - improving the lot of the Lebanese citizen - the Israelis did
indeed fail. And that perceived failure says a great deal about Maya's mentality: she ultimately expects her country to be dominated by a liege lord, rather than governed by a free people.Strangler vine (kills tree underneath)

Only a serf would blame her lords for damage to the farm during a hunt. Free peoples hold themselves responsible for the bulls within their fences, and what happens when they get loose.

If you wish to remain a serf, Maya, there is still a way out from under Hezbollah's thumb for you: advocate that Lebanon be placed under a U.N. mandate, like East Timor. Just don't go about saying others are responsible for the poisonous vine twisting the cedar when you're the one who claims ownership of the garden.

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