Monday, July 17, 2006

Olmert Offers Adult Solution to a Group of Children

Israeli Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert's offer of a cease fire in the battle against Hezbollah and Lebanon is remarkably simple and reasonable: 1. a return of the two soldiers who were kidnapped by Hezbollah guerrillas, 2. a cessation of cross-border rocket attacks, and 3. a deployment of Lebanese troops along the southern border to prevent Hezbollah from doing as they have done. But it won't work, (at least not yet), for some very simple reasons.

Israel made a very mature and reasonable offer. Stop attacking us (because we weren't attacking you), give us back our men who were wrongfully taken, and police your border like a responsible neighbor. But Lebanon really has very little control over the acts of Hezbollah, so controlling them in a straightforward fashion is unlikely.

But more to the point, the nations involved, Lebanon, Syria and Iran, are all still thinking like the adolescent bullies they are. In their minds, Israel needs to be destroyed, if for no other reason than the fact of its presence. And while it does not attack its neighbors as a first aggressor, its Islamofacist opponents regard its very existence as provocation. And against such opponents, Israel's efforts at rational negotiation have no hope. Which is why the military option may help the growing up process along.

There is nothing like a good schoolyard licking to set a bully straight, and the same works on the international level. Some nations will only learn to be peaceful if the cost of belligerence is too high. In this case, Hezbollah has some popularity in the nation. Take away the popularity and you take away the power. And so by wrecking the Lebanese infrastructure little by little, the Lebanese then have reason to reevaluate their tolerance of such a thugocracy operating in their nation. And so while they may still not have the slightest scintilla of love for their neighbor to the south, at the very least, they now know the price of unnecessarily angering them.

The choice now falls to Lebanon. Will they finally decide to grow up and rein in, expel, or destroy (as Jordan's King Hussein did) the terrorists, or will they continue on the same foolish path they have for the past 60 years, by remaining the tool of Syria's Bashar Assad and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, while being pummelled by an Israel that wants nothing more than to be left alone?

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