Friday, July 14, 2006

"Half a calamity is better than a whole one"*

The following scrawl is not a well constructed post...just thoughts...and very rambling ones at that...

When my brother and I were younger (much younger!)and were being subjected to long car rides...there was a very strict demarcation line down the centre of the back seat of the car...and eventually one of us would stray over the line for one reason or another the other and serious scrapping would ensue which would only be ended when my mother weighed in threatening all sorts of awful punishments... usually the least of which would be being put out of the car immediately...and given we were usually driving through some desert or another that threat normally stopped us.

Watching Israel and her neighbours at the moment I can't help wishing there was a strong enough 'parent' who was willing to do something about the problems.

I watched with horror yesterday as the BBC replayed pictures of Beirut airport's runways being bombed...the Lebanese are incredibly proud of their was built after the civil war ended..and was a tangible sign that things were on the up for their incredibly beautiful country.

I am not coming down particularly on one side or another - ok not strictly true...I am with the Lebanese and the Palestinians.....but, my head says that what the Israeli's is doing is the only thing they can do to protect themselves, albeit they are seriously overreacting....but - my heart cries for the Lebanon and for Palestine...

Israel has always been a ferocious opponent and has proved in the past that she will fight to protect herself...Palestine and the Lebanon are the unfortunates who have, for various reasons, been stricken with having 'terrorist' groups operating within their social and political structure. Hamas and Hezbollah are both organisations that have behaved atrociously in the past (and present and no doubt the future) and both cause their own countries incredible harm. Hamas was voted into power in Palestine...really on the basis of the organisation and infrastructure they offer as opposed to the terrorism they offer....Hezbollah have 14 of their members in the Lebanese parliament, yes they were voted in, but don't forget Hezbollah is backed by Syria and Syria only really left the Lebanon last year.

Lebanon has been living under a constant dark shadow from its neighbours...Syria occupied Lebanon and had Syrian forces patrolling its road and countryside for many many years. Israel is constantly threatening presence.

The pictures above shows Israeli helicopter gun ships patrolling the Lebanon coast....whilst I was working in Beirut, they did this twice a day....once at about 8am and once later in the afternoon....these pictures were taken about 20 minutes north of the centre of Beirut. Nothing like a little intimidation before breakfast.

I hope that King Abdullah of Jordan will be heavily involved in behind the scenes negotiating...I just hope he can manage it with same skill as his father did so many times before.

Do I have a miraculous, unfortunatly not. I do know that Hamas and Hezbollah have to be removed/destroyed/taken apart before peace can exist in the Levant...I do know that I fear for Jordan....if this escalates into all out war...Jordan will suffer terribly.

The picture above is taken from Umm Qais in Jordan (at the north-eastern tip of Jordan), the water to the left is the Sea of Galilee, the land to the right is the southern tip of the Golan Heights...further to the right (out of picture) is Syria...obviously to the left (also out of picture) is the Israeli border

So much for the 'Promised Land'.....and the land of Milk and Honey.



Blogger Skippy-san said...

Hezbolah has a choice. Stop shooting missiles and recognize Israel. Till then the Israelis are going to make sure they know the cost of shooting rockets is high. Why the 'supposed' government in Lebanon allows them to exist is a mystery to me.

Jordan will suffer for sure. Mainly because the Palestinians have yet to realize that Jordan is Palestine..........

2:13 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Agree with your first paragraph. If a sovereign nation (Lebanon) can't rein in elements of its citizenry from attacking a neighboring state, then the neighboring state will have to do it for 'em. America sent General Pershing to invade Mexico just before we entered the Great War (as Madame Chiang's relatives might refer to it) because of Pancho Villa's depredations on our side of the border. Sad thing is, I don't expect Lebanon to request Israel's help in squelching this 'rogue' element on its southern border, though it might be in the interest of both parties.

Don't know about Jordan, however. Methinks that Jordan would be certifiably insane to get involved in this bit of hostility. Short of a major refugee problem, of course.

While you are correct, of course, that 'Palestinians' are perhaps indistinguishable from Jordanian Arabs, the Hashemite Kingdom has done an effective job at distinguishing themselves. I can't blame the Jordanians, quite frankly. I think (and I hope) that the Jordanians will emerge unscathed. Lord knows, they've had enough experience.

Fred Jacobsen
San Francisco

1:46 pm  
Blogger Madame Chiang said...

Lebanon is not going to ask for help in ridding themselves of Hezbollah because of Syria's looming presence...

Jordan is already unwittingly can be pretty damn sure that tourism will be down for a start...unfortunately Jordan's very location involves it as soon as something like this happens...the start of the second intifada was a classic example of that...and don't forget this offensive that Israel is undertaking is not only in the Lebanon...unfortunately the news in the Lebanon is distracting the world from the events in Palestine.

10:26 pm  

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