July 25, 2006

Letter from a friend

Dear Israel,

I know you think you're doing the right thing in reducing much of Lebanon to rubble. I understand the provocations you've suffered, with missiles landing in your neighborhoods and soldiers being abducted. However, as an old friend and financial backer, I have reservations about your methods; I think they may backfire.

From the recent experience I've had in Iraq, and from your own experience in Gaza, the West Bank, and in Lebanon itself from 1982 2000, it seems to me that blowing up civilians tends to make them angry. Even people you'd think might be a little sympathetic to your goals find it hard to reconcile the good things you intend (eliminate terrorist cells and their infrastructure, destroy missile launchers) with the bombing of television stations, airports, and roads which have no direct connection to those terrorists.

You have to live in the neighborhood; it seems counterproductive to blow it up. If I can make an analogy to American suburbs, it would be like a homeowner having a serious dispute with the guy who lives next door; his unruly dogs have torn up the rosebushes, they've thrown M-80s into the driveway (one or two may have landed on the roof), and worst of all, he can't get near his own dogs to control them. Does it make sense to level his entire house?

I know you've called animal control and gotten them to issue declarations that he must contain his dogs, and I know that so far those declarations have been ineffective. But shouldn't you keep trying to get them to enforce those, rather than create a situation wherein he feels he has no choice but to retaliate in kind? Also, he's got some very nasty friends who may feel a need to help him, even though he might prefer they not do so.

Now, perhaps my analogy doesn't work for you; that's fine. I'm sure you can create one of your own. But here's what I think:

I am concerned that while you may in fact succeed in destroying some of those terrorists, you may also create a new generation of them by your actions. Is this wise?

The United States

Posted by Linkmeister at July 25, 2006 10:30 AM | TrackBack

If only that were the position of the United States.

Posted by: Ryan at July 25, 2006 12:09 PM

I somehow don't see "wisdom" anywhere near this issue.

Posted by: shelley at July 26, 2006 08:27 AM

Well said.

Posted by: J. at July 27, 2006 12:44 PM