Monday, August 07, 2006

Who Is Fighting In This War Anyway?

All of the different news stories coming out of the Middle East have been really kind of making me want to sit back and wonder about some of the people around me. For such an enlightened civilization that we are supposed to be, it amazes me that we keep finding new ways to screw up the same damn things. I keep hearing all of this talk about how this is a war between Lebanon and Israel which it isn't. They say that Lebanon doesn't want to fight Hezbollah because they side with them which is not true for a large portion of the country.

Lebanon is a country that was literally just starting to turn the corner away from all of the civil wars and bloodshed that nearly destroyed the country in the 80s and most of the 90s. You had Muslims fighting to recreate the country into an Islamic state which didn't really go with what the rest of the population wanted. After years of bloodshed and turmoil, it came down to the point that a cease fire was possible and it moved through all of the warring groups. Even with the end of open hostilities, there were still some mighty snags in the plan.

The biggest snag was the fact that a large portion of the really devout Muslims moved down to the southern part of Lebanon. This influx of new immigrants gave Hezbollah the might to turn it's attentions away from ruling Lebanon and to trying to destroy their perceived mortal enemies, Israel. So began the bombings and incursions and all of the other assorted attacks that pissed off the Jewish population to the south.

All of this leads into a hook that is pulling at the snag - Most people in the northern area of Lebanon don't like or follow Hezbollah at all. They see the group as a terrorist organization that uses violence to get it's way. The people in the sourthern regions have a different view of the situation. They have Hezbollah members around them 24/7 and they have noticed that it seems like this group does a lot better with helping out their survival than the official government is. Let it be stated that most of these niceties tend to wind up being linked into the whole human shield idea of diplomacy but the fact that this group is able to help them with basic aspects of survival tends to soften the blow considerably.

Lebanon is a country that is still in the rebuilding phase but many people in the rest of the world don't want to hear that. They don't see a country that is still rebuilding it's military after years of neglect and battle. All they see is what they want to see, namely a country that is allowing a terrorist group to operate on it's sovereign soil. The possible ramifications of a less than powerful Lebanese army trying to fight Hezbollah could lead the country right back into the civil war that it took so long to get out of.

I don't claim to know all of the answers but I do know that It's better to hear the whole story and not just the bits and pieces that fit into your view of the situation. I and many people that I know are very lucky to not have to survive in the hellish kind of world that a good portion of the Lebanese people are going through right now. I wish them all of the luck and strength to survive until a possible new dawn appears in their country.


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