Destruction, bought and paid for by the American taxpayer.
This blog is no fan of Pat Buchanan. And Pat is no friend of freedom. He is a rather authoritarian conservative. But it is said that even a stopped clock is right twice a day and sometimes Pat gets it right.
Israel has been planning an attack on Lebanon for sometime now and was just waiting for the excuse. Of course with Bush in the White House Israel feels emboldened because Bush has shown that any tactic, no matter how offensive to Western liberal values, is acceptable. And the war hawks in Israel feel the Bush presidency has unleashed them to do what they want whenever they want.
Hezbollah captured two Israeli soldiers and have told Israel that they want a prisoner exchange. Israel refuses to negotiate the return of the soldiers and instead chose to slaughter hundreds of people who had nothing to do with the capture. Israel justifies there intentional infliction of destruction to innocent civilians by saying that the Lebanese government has to disarm Hezbollah. But Buchanan notes that in 18 years of occupation of Lebanon by Israel they were unable to disarm Hezbollah and they have the best weapons American tax money can buy. So Israel, when it held Lebanon, could not disarm Hezbollah but it insists that a much weaker Lebanese government accomplish that goal or face, as one top military officer in Israel put it, having Israel "turn back the clock in Lebanon 20 years."
Buchanan said Israel has the right to defend itself. Yet he also points out that "what Israel is doing is imposing deliberate suffering on civilians, collective punishment on innocent people, to force them to do something they are powerless to do: disarm the gunmen among them. Such a policy violates international law and comports neither with our values nor our interests." Tom Palmer, of the Cato Institute wrote, "The Israeli attacks on civilian infrastructure throughout the country and the destruction of the lives of innocents are simply unconscionable."
It is often overlooked that Israel intentional destroys the capacity of other governments to do what they demand and then uses their non-compliance as an excuse for further attacks. When the PLO was unable to stop Hamas the Israeli authorities destroyed the Palestinian government's infrastructure starting with the police force --- the very people who would need to stop Hamas. To me this is an indication that Israel simply does not want peace and as long as she lives off of American welfare she had no incentive to rethink her policies. Foreign aid has always been destructive, at least more destructive than beneficial. But in the case of Israel the handouts from American taxpayers only encourages more war, conflict and death. Israel needs the incentive to moderate and only the cessation of all American government handouts will do that.
The airports of Lebanon are being destroyed. So too are the highways, bridges, fuel tanks, etc. Israel is doing what it said it would do -- set economic progress there back 20 years just as Lebanon was starting to prosper again. By destroying the infrastructure of Lebanon Israel is making Hamas stronger not weaker and making the Lebanese government, which is pro-American, weaker. It is fuelling the forces of Islamic fundamentalism and undoing one of the few democratic nations in the Arab world. I have a hard time believing that Israel wants peace. I suspect the hundreds of innocent civilians killed by Israel, and the tens of thousands of grieving relatives will hold anything but contempt for Israel after this. I have a hard time faulting them for that. Not now.