Sunday, July 30, 2006

Simple Lebanon Solution

Some facts about the current Israeli attacks within Lebanon are obvious.
  • Lebanon and the Lebanese people are suffering more than they should.
  • Israel has lost the moral high ground. Many countries who don't normally support Israel initially conceded Israel had a right to defend itself. Unfortunately, Israel has gone way beyond defending themselves.
  • Israel decided to use this provocation to justify destroying Hezbollah. They misjudged the situation. They can't take out Hezbollah from the air. They can't afford a land war in Lebanon.
  • Continued fighting is only benefiting Hezbollah.
  • The world sees the Lebanese as victims, not as citizens of a country that supports terrorists and allows attacks on other countries to originate from within its borders.
  • It is not possible to move Hezbollah far enough away from the Israeli border to protect Israel from Hezbollah rockets.
  • The chances of getting an international force on the border that can solve this problem is zero.
Now that they've gotten the attention of the world and at least a few concessions that they have the right to defend themselves, Israel should go to the UN and offer a full cease-fire and pull-out with a condition and one stipulation. The condition is that Hezbollah return the two kidnapped soldiers. The stipulation is that Israel has the right to defend themselves.

The US should offer a simple resolution; Israel has a right to defend itself from attacks from outside its borders. Although even such an obvious statement might not be adopted, the US and Israel would have started a move to return Israel to the moral high ground.

Israel and the US should also make it clear that it is the responsibility of Lebanon to insure that Israel is not attacked by people from within Lebanon. Israel should clearly state that it will consider any rocket launched from within Lebanon to be an act of war by Lebanon. If they are attacked again by forces based in Lebanon, Israel will take whatever military action they feel is necessary. The people of Lebanon need to understand that they will be held responsible for the acts of Hezbollah, a group that is accepted by much of their country and is actually part of their government.

It is clear that the Lebanese Army cannot stop Hezbollah, but Israel should now use the people of Lebanon and the world to help control the problem. Israel has made the point that it will aggressively defend itself, it now needs to use this opportunity to get additional support from the world to keep Hezbollah's and Iran's aggression in check. I know some people will point out that Hezbollah, Iran and much of the world are not interested in morality, but I would point out that Israeli bombs have been falling for a couple of weeks now and that hasn't stopped the rockets either.

From the news it seems like Israel can pinpoint the source of a rocket launch quickly. If a rocket is launched, Israel should try to take out the launcher and other Hezbollah facilities in the area. The response doesn't need to be limited to just the launcher, but the response must be somewhat proportional to attack. The responses could escalate in severity if attacks continue.

Every attack should bring a complaint from Israel and the US at the UN. That won't necessarily stop the attacks, but it will help keep the world focused on Hezbollah's aggression and strengthen Israel's position if they have to attack again.

Israel had more support at the beginning of the current fighting than they've ever had. They should learn from this and build on it.

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C├ęsar said...
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