In reply to my article The Tipping Point John wrote, "You say that Israel has made a mistake, but in your left wing bias you don't even mention the terrorists who started this conflict in the first place when they invaded Israel and murdered and kidnapped. Aren't these murderous terroristic thugs that ones who made the mistake?"
John is, of course, correct. I did fail to mention that Hezbollah and Hamas did start each of the recent conflicts by invading Israel's territory and kidnapping Israeli soldiers.
Tragically, John is horribly wrong when he asserts that it was the "terrorist thugs" who made the mistake. It looks today like they have done everything right. Not morally right, but strategically right.
Israel is getting their butts kicked by a bunch of rag-tag Islamic fundamentalist revolutionaries.
Ralph Peters, normally a conservative columnist, wrote in The New York Post,
- "The sands of the hourglass favor the terrorists - every day they hold out and drop more rockets on Israel, Hezbollah scores a propaganda win."
"All Hezbollah has to do to achieve victory is not to lose completely. But for Israel to emerge the acknowledged winner, it has to shatter Hezbollah. Yet Israeli miscalculations have left Hezbollah alive and kicking."
"The mess Israel has made of its opportunity to smack down Hezbollah should be a wake-up call to the country's leadership. The IDF looks like a pathetic shadow of the bold military that Ariel Sharon led into Egypt three decades ago. The IDF's intelligence, targeting and planning were all deficient. Technology failed to vanquish flesh and blood. The myth of the IDF's invincibility just shattered."
It's darn hard to find anyone who disagrees with this analysis.
And the world is watching and gauging both Israel and The United States. Future actions by other Arab nations, especially Iran and Syria are being determined by these events.
Borzou Daragahi reports in the LA Times,
- "Though embroiled in a bloody war over the future shape and identity of their country, Iraq's Sunni Arabs, Shiites, Kurds and even Christians have unified in condemning Israel over its fighting in Lebanon against the Hezbollah militia."
"Condemnation of Israel's actions in Lebanon and of the United States as the Jewish state's backer has emerged as a rare bridge issue, cutting across political, ethnic and religious lines."
I'm not writing today to agree or disagree with John's point that Israel is morally right and that Hezbollah and Hamas are terrorist thugs. I'll leave such arguments to other commentators and future essays.
I'm posting today to say that Israel is losing the battle, the war and perhaps the future of the entire middle east.
I happen to think that George Bush was right when he said the the best hope for the future was a strong democracy in the middle east that provided it's citizens with hope, a voice, and a real stake in the future. Sadly Iraq is not (and perhaps never was) that beacon of hope. Toppling Saddam may have been a fool's errand.
But, Lebanon WAS that Democracy. Lebanon had the potential to be that beacon of hope. And through heavy handed, ineffective war, Israel has handed Lebanon, gift wrapped, to the Islamic fundamentalists.
We all lose.