Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Turning swords into ploughshares

The carnage inflicted by Hezbollah and Israel on each other has almost reached the one month mark. While the White House dances around diplomacy, tacitly endorsing the violence by its inaction, horrified observers around the world call for a truce. Granted, as the NYT points out, it won't be easy.
Troops must also be lined up for the international security force. The idea is to draw them from NATO countries like France, Italy and Turkey, along with perhaps Australia. None of these countries want to send soldiers if either Israel or Hezbollah is going to keep shooting. Therefore the political settlement has to be packaged so that both sides can claim some sort of victory.
Therein lies the problem. The combat has ceased to be about defense or aggression. It rests on perceptions. Both sides want to be seen as the
"winners." But all the posturing about victory is for politicians. The civilians on both sides of the border, who daily lose their homes, their loved ones and their peace of mind, are the real losers. As the Times points out,
This ugly war has already killed about 700 Lebanese and more than 90 Israelis. Close to one out of every four people in Lebanon have been routed from their homes. With the human price of combat so high, this settlement must be built to last.
One might suggest that the first step is for both sides to simply declare victory, agree to a ceasefire and start thinking about the populations they are allegedly protecting. Putting down their weapons and picking up hammers to begin repairing the damage done by this ill-advised fight would show some true concern about the well being of their peoples.
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4 Comments:

Blogger pissed off patricia said...

The longer it goes on the more difficult it is to stop. Bush and Condi are waiting for the birth of the new middle east and meanwhile more and more people are dying.

I feel so sorry for the innocent people who are left on their own while all hell breaks loose all around them. They didn't ask for this just as the innocent people in Iraq didn't ask for what they now have to deal with. It's truly a shame and in my eyes, a sin.

2:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

My heart breaks for the innocent victims on all sides too PoP. I wish the people who declared the wars were also required to go fight them themselves. It might look so attractive if they were putting their own lives on the line.

3:21:00 PM  
Blogger Blogenfreude said...

Bolton is no help - the French are ready to stop working with him.

4:33:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

Bolton is a disaster. I can't believe it looks like he might get confirmed.

5:58:00 PM  

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