Jul. 31st, 2006

rfmcdonald: (Default)
It's a terrible pity that it took a second Israeli massacre of civilians in the Lebanese town of Qana, one decade after the first one, to make the point that Israel shouldn't be engaged in its ongoing, stupid, and terribly counterproductive war in Lebanon.

Never mind the mind-numbing list of atrocities minor and major that have been and doubtless will be committed. I think of the situation as requiring the application of political science's variant upon Gödel's incompleteness theorem: A country or other entity deeply implicated in a conflict is incapable of favouring a settlement that won't seriously disadvantage others' legitimate interests. In this particular case, Israel's existential fears have combined with the country's lack of empathy for even for Arabs who hold Israeli citizenship (Susan Nathan's The Other Side of Israel is a good primer) to produce death and massacre for the other side. (Israeli civilians killed by Hezbollah, it should be noted, are outnumbered by Lebanese killed by the IDF by a factor of twenty.)

External intervention, by parties not excessively indebted to the ideological prejudices and bigotries of Israel and Hezbollah, is urgently needed. Will this materialize? Not before still more death. If it took three years to intervene in the siege of Sarajevo ...
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