Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Ward politics is universal

The Daily Telegraph reports democracy in action

Hizbollah and its allies have been accused of favoring their supporters in the distribution of aid in southern Lebanon. "Some people are getting $2,000, others $8,000," said an unnamed villager in Taibe. "They determine what you need and that's what you get." Most of the emergency aid in Taibe, a battle-scarred village about two miles from the Israeli border, comes from local and international groups and is handed to the council, which then distributes it. Locals have complained that aid is being doled out on the basis of political favouritism, with Amal and Communist party supporters getting preference. The UN is aware of complaints throughout the south, the group's spokesman in Lebanon said, but it is working through the local councils because they were "free and fairly elected".

President Bush's idea of bringing democracy to the Middle East doesn't seem like such an unpopular idea after all. BTW, what happened to the Lebanese government?

7 Comments:

Blogger TigerHawk said...

Recognizing it may damage my street cred with your readers, may I suggest that this is "good news," at least by the measure of the region. Hez as a bureaucratic structure will have a hard time building the momentum to launch a new war if it has lots of operatives -- aldermen, to extend the Chicago analogy a bit -- who have "constituents" who have been laboreously rebuilding their homes. Not a lasting solution for Israel, but a respite.

9/12/2006 07:40:00 PM  
Blogger sam said...

What happened to the Lebanese Government?

The Lebanese Government is partially compriseb by Hizbollah. They can even put Hamadi back to work again.

9/12/2006 08:19:00 PM  
Blogger wretchard said...

tigerhawk,

I think it's pretty good news as well. More friendships and marriages have been broken up by money than anything else.

9/12/2006 08:34:00 PM  
Blogger Reocon said...

TigerHawk said...
"Recognizing it may damage my street cred with your readers, may I suggest that this is "good news," at least by the measure of the region. Hez as a bureaucratic structure will have a hard time building the momentum to launch a new war if it has lots of operatives -- aldermen, to extend the Chicago analogy a bit -- who have "constituents" who have been laboreously rebuilding their homes."

But Tigerhawk, Hezbollah has had such civil society connections with bureaucrats and doctors well before the current conflict. In the aftermath, aren't they only strengthening them? Isn't this how Islamofascism gains more adherents, more constituents, more soldiers? Will the childern of the families they are aiding really complain about infrastructural problems when it comes time to fight against Israel once more? Fascist groups built up their power by deilvering largesse and services, and I don't see it as "good news" that Islamofascists are doing the same.

9/12/2006 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger TigerHawk said...

Reocon -

All "Islamofascists" are not similarly aggressive and expansionist. Hez may be as dangerous as al Qaeda and it may also be Islamist, but that doesn't make it the same as al Qaeda. This should not surprise us. Totalitarians do not automatically act the same as their ideological soulmates. Franco's Spain, which was born of blood and manifestly fascist, did not join the fascist side in World War II even when Germany conquered France and put huge pressure on Spain to give it passage to attack Gibralter. The split became so severe that Germany almost certainly would have attacked Spain had it not gone east.

Similarly, there were a lot of smart people -- not just doves -- who thought Hezbollah's leadership was "going soft" before this last fighting, that it was more concerned with its business interests than actually whacking Israel. My own guess is that this was, like most such speculation, partly true and partly not. There were enough militant hawks left that the kidnap operation got authorized, but I think that Hez was genuinely surprised (as it claimed it was) by the ferocity and duration of the Israeli response. My guess is that Hezbollah had become sufficiently comfortable that it would not have kidnapped those soldiers if it had known the extent of the response. That is, by the way, why I think Israel improved its position in this war -- even though many in Israel are very disappointed in the performance of the IDF and some will say that Hez is the "first Arab army" to fight Israel to a standstill, I think that the moneygrubbers in Hezbollah -- the corrupt aldermen -- do not want to lose everything they've gained. Not a guarantee, but a tendency.

9/13/2006 03:41:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

Al Queda fights the far enemy while Hez fights the near enemy. For now.

9/13/2006 04:30:00 AM  
Blogger foxenburg said...

franco was totally fascist. he was always happy to help hitler and not only sent the blue division but also tens of thousands of civilian workers to germany. the abwehr operated in spain freely almost until the end of the war. but franco was sensible enough to see the tide turning against germany by 1941 and feared that adventures against gibraltar would bring the wrath of the royal navy and gods knows what else. he wisely stayed out of it. also, of course, coming out of the civil war spain was on its uppers.

9/13/2006 12:51:00 PM  

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