Saturday, July 29, 2006

The crux of the biscuit


Now I personally happen to think that Hizbullah probably did or does have some weapons stashed away somewhere in the Dahiyeh. I also happen to think that the attempt to explode those weapons was not worth exploding so many of the neighborhood's inhabitants.


What will happen, Hussein told me, is that Hizbullah, using money from international donors such as Iran and Syria, will provide for these people and rebuild their homes. And a new cycle of loyalty will be created.


It is my opinion that this consensus is the product of a broad indifference to the loss of Lebanese life. Nothing less, I believe, could generate such disregard for what happened to the residents of southern Beirut beginning on July 12 and for what is still happening to the residents of South Lebanon. What happened in Beirut was the targeting with heavy ordnance from air and sea of a sitting-duck civilian population. It was a bad deal.


And so we create another generation of terrorists who will continue to harass Israel and dream of striking at the heart of the Great Satan itself.

Since people seem to want answers, how's this: Let's put together a socio-economic package* for the region that addresses putting Lebanon and the Occupied Territories on a path to economic prosperity. Let's figure out a 'land barter', if you will, between the Israelis and Palestinians to create a viable, contiguous state of Palestine. Prosperity and recogntion of Palestine would, and should, be tied to a real peace. If we give people a chance at a future, they won't want to shoot rockets into Israel or blow themselves up on buses.

If Hezbollah and Hamas want their people to be prosperous, they will have to put down their weapons. If we show that we actually care what happens to these people instead of so much lip service, these terrorist groups would lose their following quickly. I'm certain, if you polled the Palestinians and Lebanese, a far greater majority would rather live in peace with Israel than continue this lunacy, but Israel cannot be allowed to run roughshod over innocent civilians or make unilateral decisions for them.

As long as the groups of Hamas and Hezbollah give their people a greater promise of hope than the western nations trying 'to remake the region', there will never be peace. And it is incumbent upon us to sue for that peace. It is up to us, as the most powerful nation on the planet, to initiate talks with Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas, to take the high road and say artillery and bombs, suicide bombers and rockets are not the answer.

Unfortunately, the greedy bastids who run the show don't care about anyone but themselves.

*For clarification, I'm talking a package worth at least as much per year as we give to Israel.

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