Just Another Word For Nothing More to Lose
Tigerhawk and Walid Jumblatt raise different aspects of the central problem in Lebanon. First Tigerhawk reminds us to two things:
- The Grand Ayatollah Sistani feels compelled to side with the Lebanese Shi'a or lose political ground to Moqtada al-Sadr; and
- That Hezbollah's attack has finally destroyed the land-for-peace formula, upon which all past Roadmaps were founded. "Israel has no concession that it can make to Hezbollah to end the fighting, and Hezbollah cannot give Israel what it must ultimately have -- acceptance of its existence and the recognition of specific borders -- without destroying its own legitimacy."
Walid Jumblatt looks for Lebanon in the equation, but can't find it, except incidentally as a place on a map.
Whatever happens, Hizbullah will emerge victorious. To whom will Hizbullah dedicate this victory? Will it dedicate the victory to the Lebanese state, to the honoring of international resolutions, to the Taif Agreement? Or will it dedicate it to the Syrian regime, the Syrian-Iranian axis, in which case we will become scorched earth, annexed to Syria and Iran? Each of these countries wants, with this abduction, to negotiate with America over the remains of the Lebanese homeland.
It's manifestly clear that the current conflict is not a war on Lebanon. It is a war in Lebanon by outside powers over the central political issue in the Middle East: Israel's right to exist. That fact, which has become so nakedly apparent that even the Israeli Left -- indeed Olmert's government is a coalition with the Israeli Left -- cannot avoid staring it in the face, makes this conflict different from the border clashes of the recent past. Yoni the blogger puts it thus:
When Secretary of State Rice and Prime Minister Olmert , met after the incident at Qana and out of that meeting Olmert announced a stoppage of the air campaign for 48 hours. Who could blame me for writing the post All Is Lost, for it seemed like it was deja vue all over again.
But time has passed and two things that don’t fit the pattern have occurred, President Bush has gone on the record for not pushing for a cease fire. This combined with the Defense Minister Peretz stating that the ground war may be expanded and this statement is being followed up with the inner Security Cabinet meeting now as I write this to discuss the expanding of the ground war. So the pattern may be broken and America and Israel may just may write the most important chapter in world history in the next few days and weeks.
While I don't think the coming weeks will write the "most important chapter" in this sad old world's history (unless of course, it brings on those things long prophesied) it will certainly be an important time. If Lebanon is history's accidental victim, Olmert is it's reluctant D'Artagnan. However hard he tries to cast away the sword, however far he tries to fling it, it returns like an accursed piece of ironmongery into his hands. That much is clear but the rest trails into the dark.