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July 19, 2006

Katrina Style Government for Lebanese Americans
Posted by Lorelei Kelly

Why is it that other countries are or have already evacuated their people from Lebanon but the USA is just getting around to it? Australia had close to the amount of people in Lebanon that we have...and they are all out. Sweden can do it, Italy can do it, Greece can do it, why even a small place like Peru has gotten their people out. ...why can't the US?

Senators Levin, Kennedy and Reid wrote  to Rumsfeld and Rice yesterday on stepping up evacuation efforts:

While we're at it. What has taken us so long to drop everything and get the hell over to the Middle East to stop this violent escalation? Our president too busy giving creepy frat boy massages  to female heads of state? (advice to Ms. Merkel: um. RUN! He will be gone in two years).   
Thousands and thousands of Lebanese refugees now exist--fleeing a country that was (hopefully still will be) our friend, that was trying to be democratic. Yes, Hezbollah is horrid. But we are going to have to learn to deal with non-state groups that we don't like (and groups that are democratically elected that we don't like i.e. Hamas) in our post 9/11 world.  Everyone from the Marine Corps to Peace Studies Departments is trying to figure out the art and science of stability without mass violence. Of calculating ill- consequences into decision making when it still matters.  Of avoiding that CIA thing called blowback.

Hezbollah did instigate this round of violence, but Israel's response, overwhelming city-destroying bombing campaigns, is a long-term strategic mistake.  If ours and Israel's regional grand strategy, from Iraq to Lebanon to Iran is helping individuals choose citizenship over extremism, responsibility to society over violence-defined identities, then we are driving them in the exact opposite direction. Airpower is an over-hyped idea leftover from World War II.  It seems as though the myth would somehow be busted by now: that peoples suffering the ruination of their cities and death will somehow get organized and overthrow their leaders? WHAT?  Doesn't work. Never has. Why? Not because the people are stoic, not because they like their leaders. Its because THEIR LEADERS DON"T CARE WHAT THEY THINK. The leaders of Germany, Japan and Italy didn't care in the 1940's. Hezbollah doesn't care today. They have other priorities. They are obviously willing to risk collective punishment of the Lebanese citizenry.

Why? Because right now, Israel is recruiting the ranks of Hezbollah for years to come. And we're helping.


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Why? Because right now, Israel is recruiting the ranks of Hezbollah for years to come. And we're helping.

Don't let your Western outlook color your ability to understand how others think. There are thousands of Lebanese who are begging Israel to continue.

Agree with you, Lorelei. I can't imagine what Israel is thinking. By weakening the Lebanese central gov't, they're ensuring a bigger role for Syria and Iran.

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