Another little war started in the Middle East 19 days ago. At least it seemed that way for the first few days. A border skirmish lead to Israeli incursion into Lebanon. Missile launch installations were targeted and terrorist infrastructure. Smart weapons doing the job but causing hardly any collateral damage. So the Israelis claimed. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and watched as the campaign unfolded, then stalled, and quickly degenerated into indiscriminate punishment of the Lebanese people. Civilian casualties were mounting. Today, 50 were killed at once. Important strategic goal were surely met.
What's up with the Israeli government, and by extension with the Israeli people who strongly support their government and its actions? Is Ehud Olmert on steroids? Is he trying to impress? ("Look Arik, I can do massacres also!" But Sharon doesn't look - he's still clinically dead.) Or did he get trapped in a situation from where he feels like he can't escape? Since there is no military success to report, he might feel that concessions to Hezballah or a cessation of hostilities would make him lose face and strengthen Hezballah.
But does he have any face left with the Israeli goverment acting like a bunch of terrorist nutcases. Hezballah is a serious threat to Israel's security. So why is it that Isreal changed their haphazardly conducted attack on Hezballah positions and infrastructure into the biggest recruiting drive that Hezballah has ever enjoyed? Is no one alarmed at all that Lebanon is rallying behind a terrorist organization? Christians and Sunnis hand in hand with the Shiite would be a cause for jubilation, except they're chanting Hassan Nasrallah's name. Even Iran didn't see this coming and is speechless.
Why does Israel support terrorism? Is Olmert really so stupid to think that every killed jihadi means one fewer jihadi? I'd say it means at least nine more jihadis. And every slaughtered child surely means a hundred more jihadis. With every passing hour, with every Lebanese cilivian who is brutally murdered, terrorism gains ground. The reason is the current Isreali goverment and its shockingly inept way of dealing with a threat that is real but not more so today than it was last week or would have been next week. Except now it will be more dangerous next week because Olmert is recruiting terrorists.
I'd prefer he'd just send money and rockets instead of killing civilians. The effect would be the same, but the suffering less. I'm afraid when the next bomb explodes in Tel Aviv, taking innocent bystanders' lives, I won't have any tears left to cry after what I saw this weekend.