Anyway, today's issue is a big one: Lebanon, Syria, and whether or not the US should support Hezbollah. Today's NYT has an article called U.S. Called Ready to See Hezbollah in Lebanon Role (registration probably required).
After years of campaigning against Hezbollah, the radical Shiite Muslim party in Lebanon, as a terrorist pariah, the Bush administration is grudgingly going along with efforts by France and the United Nations to steer the party into the Lebanese political mainstream, administration officials say.
The administration's shift was described by American, European and United Nations officials as a reluctant recognition that Hezbollah, besides having a militia and sponsoring attacks on Israelis, is an enormous political force in Lebanon that could block Western efforts to get Syria to withdraw its troops.
Wow. My first impression of this was that it was like a bad movie where they put the most out-of-control student in charge of the class, and the sudden responsibility sobers him to the point that he sees the error of his ways. But that seemed like it was too flip, this is a very serious issue, I shouldn't be making fun.
My second thought was "How can we possibly back a terrorist organization as a viable political force?" That one's more serious, and it seems to be how I actually feel. I'm always surprised when a right leaning tendency pops up in my brain, but I think that this one's wedged in there pretty firmly and isn't going to be leaving any time soon.
I want to think that the Lebanese people are all individuals with rights, but by all I hold dear, I can NOT get behind the idea of supporting a group of people who have used covert violence to further their cause. And, of course, their cause is the destruction of Israel. Destruction. They'd like to push the Jews into the ocean. If the U.S. could be destroyed as well, hey that would be just peachy! Because the U.S. is an ally to Israel, which makes us an enemy to Hezbollah.
The kindler gentler approach to "Palestine" is starting to make me angry. These people send out their own on suicide missions, they teach their young to hate, the leaders purposefully keep their populous in poverty in order to keep the hate festering, and over and over is repeated the "fact" that it's all the fault of Israel and the U.S. Well you know what -and you do actually know this - it's NOT our fault. We just want everyone to go about their lives, living in whatever the heck country they're already in. Apparently, this is too much to ask.
The article quotes an arab diplomat who wished to remain anonymous:
"Why don't they realize that once America makes a case for something, the Middle East will go in the opposite direction?"And there you have it. Whatever it is, if the Americans want it, do NOT do it. These people don't want to work with us. It's time to take of the kid gloves and stop pretending that you can love everyone, which, by the way, coming from this administration is RIDICULOUS. It is time to stand up straight and say that the U.S. is an ally of Israel. It seems as if we're trying to play both sides of the fence, but we're only welcome on one of the sides!
I wish I could just say "Screw Lebanon, screw Hezbollah, let Syria go ahead and stay". I wish it was that easy. But since I can't, in good conscience, recommend that the best thing for a country is occupation, I find that I don't know what to say at all.