Fishy Tales

28 July 2006

Learning from (bitter) experience

I'm very grateful to Jim Muir of the BBC for having summarised the current war in Lebanon so cogently in 2 articles:

He's saved me having to find words to capture my own incoherent and inchoate feelings on the matter, but more importantly he puts it in a historic context that makes the most likely consequences of current actions scarily apparent. I sincerely hope that - despite his wealth of experience and unarguable authority on such matters - he is completely wrong.

There's a simple question I'd like to put to all readers: out of the IDF and Hezbollah, which army is subjecting the greater number of innocent civilians to the most terror?

I imagine the response from pro-War Against Terror people would be along the lines of Hezbollah having caused the current war, and Hezbollah using "cowardly" tactics like hiding amongst civilians, therefore Hezbollah is responsible for all the suffering and death endured by innocent Lebanese civilians. But that's tantamount to saying Israel has no choice in the matter; in its exact response, its targets, the weapons it uses, the intensity of its attack.. everything, really. Which in turn means that Hezbollah effectively tells the IDF what to do. Doesn't really wash, does it?

I'm afraid that Israel increasingly makes me think of abusive parents that were once themselves abused children. Unsure exactly what role the US and (shamefully) the UK play according to that analogy. The UK would probably be a crap representative from Social Services who talks the talk but is too lily-livered to confront the abusive parent until the evidence of abuse is completely irrefutable, e.g. the child is mortally wounded. The US, perhaps, would be the recent male rape victim who wants the opportunity to exact a particularly slow, painful and nasty vengeance on the rapist when it finds him. Most people tell the US this vigilante action would be illegal and may well make it as bad as the rapist, but Israel slaps him on the back and says it's a damn fine idea.

Other answers on a postcard, please.

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