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Reflections in Lebanon of a Failed Bush Doctrine

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Message Ron Fullwood
See this page for links to articles on OpEdNEws that articulate both sides on the issues in the middle east. It is the goal of OpEdNews to air opinions from both sides to stretch the envelope of discussion and communication. Hate statements are not accepted. Discussions of issues and new ideas for solutions are encouraged. .
I walk'd the shores of my Eastern Sea,
Heard over the waves the little voice,
Saw the divine infant, where she woke, mournfully wailing, amid the roar of cannon, curses, shouts, crash of falling buildings --Wordsworth

The stated strategy of Israel is to provide a deterrence or a disincentive for combatants to attack their homeland. That is to be effected with the demonstration of their military force in Lebanon; shock and awe. The killings of hundreds of Lebanese and the destruction of their infrastructure is apparently supposed to provide the incentive for the Lebanese to abandon Hizbollah as their provider or protector.

The problem with that approach is that the Hizbollah are not available to the masses of Lebanese civilians to offer up to the Israelis. Those who have been killed or maimed as they were caught in front of the Israeli's military reprisals apparently did not have the power to influence Hizbollah as the Israeli's assumed their deaths would.

The other stated goal of Israel's military campaign is to halt the attacks. So far, the scores of innocent civilians killed in Lebanon by Israeli airstrikes have not effected any lessening of the attacks from the Hizbollah combatants.

That's the case as well in Iraq and Afghanistan. The wanton attacks which envelop masses of innocent civilians in their wake have not made these countries more secure. Rather, these collective reprisals - undertaken as a 'defense' against acts which are clearly indefensible, morally and otherwise - have alienated the very groups and individuals who may have been amenable to joining in a unified effort to disband, disarm, and neutralize these militarized splinter organizations.

That's the legacy of the Bush doctrine, which is really no plan at all; save their determination to overrun everything and everyone who stands in the way of their manufactured mandates to expand and conquer across sovereign borders.

Was not so sick from the blood in the gutters running-nor from the single corpses, nor those in heaps, nor those borne away in the tumbrils;
Was not so desperate at the battues of death-was not so shock'd at the repeated fusillades of the guns.

Israel's determination to attack civilians in Lebanon, deliberately or not, who have absolutely no influence with the political or militant organization of Hizbollah (or any other group which supposedly threatens) and destroying their lives and livelihoods as a 'deterrence' is reprehensible.

That's Israel's stated intention behind the airstrikes. They want to influence the Lebanese away from any support they may have with Hizbollah, politically or otherwise. However, Lebanon's citizens didn't vote en masse for Hizbollah; they voted for the present Lebanese government which the Bush regime claims to be so enamored with.

Israel's violent reprisals have led many in Lebanon to question their move for independence from Syria and actually drawn them closer to the militant splinter group. The anecdotal evidence has the majority in Lebanon blaming Israel for the destruction rather than Hizbollah. I rather doubt the assertion made by some that the strikes will make the Lebanese civilians want to disarm them. At this point, there doesn't seem to be any country willing to step up and protect them from Israel's misguided reprisals.

It's a political and diplomatic effort that will dislodge Hizbollah from its influence in southern Lebanon and in the region. I believe the actions of the Israelis are antithetical to that end.

That's the issue now: Have Israel's actions, intended as declared to neutralize and isolate Hizbollah and halt the attacks achieved that result? I would argue that they have, so far, had the opposite effect. As Kofi Annan said yesterday, " "You cannot disarm Hezbollah by force."

It's not practical or even possible disengage and neuter Hizbollah without finding a way to bolster and support the Lebanese government. Otherwise, Israel is left advancing toward Syria; something none of the Arab states will tolerate. The more Israel advances into Lebanon, the less able they will be to convince the Lebanese that they don't need the political and militant organization of Hizbollah as a buffer against the destructive Israeli military.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said today that Hizbollah was the aggressor in this conflict. I agree.

But, Israel, in destroying so many Lebanese lives who apparently have nothing to do with the rockets lobbed by Hizbollah, is also an 'aggressor.' If not, then they (and their supporters) need to show how their 'collective' killings have lessened the threat to Israel, or accomplished ANY of the goals they claim to be prosecuting in their reprisals.

There has to be an accounting as to what the specific missions of their sorties were in which hundreds of Lebanese civilians were killed, and there needs to be an accounting of what the intended result was, measured against the actual result. That shouldn't wait until the mass graves are grown over.

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Ron Fullwood, is an activist from Columbia, Md. and the author of the book 'Power of Mischief' : Military Industry Executives are Making Bush Policy and the Country is Paying the Price
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