Thursday, July 20, 2006
War? In the Middle East? Wus it all about?
From the Times of London:
"In the nine days since fighting in Lebanon began
315 Lebanese killed
31 Israelis killed
In the 25 days since first Israeli soldier kidnapped in Gaza
93 Palestinians killed
1 Israeli killed
500,000 the number of displaced people in Lebanon, Unicef says"
What is the fighting about? There is a war on two fronts. One in Gaza, one in Lebanon. They are separate from eachother. First I'll deal with Lebanon:
In the mid 70's Lebanon fell into a 15 year Civil War. Lebanon, while a French protectorate after WWI, had a heavy Christian influx. The Muslim population, especially the south, is heavily Shia; which is a sect that tends not to get along with the Sunni Muslim population (which is what most Muslims are.) Iran is a majority Shia state. Iraq is also a majority Shia state, although until recently it had always been ruled by the Sunni minority (now that the Shiite majority are in power, the Sunnis are angry and hence an underlying reason for the insurgency.) Many have suggested that in some parts of the Middle East the Sunni-Shiite hatred eclipses that of Muslim hatred of the US. Thats how bad it is.
Both Israel and Syria invaded Lebanon during the Civil War, for different reasons which are too complicated to get into now. One of Israel's reasons was to crush the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization). Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000 and Syria in 2005. One of the consequences of Israel's invasion, though, was a resistance group of Lebanese Shiites to fight the Israeli occupation, funded and armed by the Shiite theocracy of Iran. That group is called Hizbollah (aka Hezbollah). While being what is probably the strongest and most effective terrorist organization in the world, and in all likelihood much stronger then Al Qaeda, Hizbollah also became a political party in Lebanon.
In 2004 the United Nations passed Resolution 1559; which among other things called for the disarmament of Hizbollah. The problem, most analysts agree, is that Hizbollah is one of the strongest forces in the Middle East and the Lebanese government isnt strong enough to disarm Hizbollah; Hizbollah would in any fight.
Thus when some Israel soldiers were kidnapped and some killed in a border raid with Hizbollah last week, Israel enacted what was a blantant premeditated plan to finally disarm Hizbollah. And yet while Israel is getting the green light from the United States, it is strongly suspected there are other states who are tactically supporting Israel and the US. And those are the neighborhood Arab States.
This is the most interesting aspect of the Israeli assault. Every Arab state in the region has been on edge since the Shiites took power in Iraq. None more so then Saudi Arabia, who's oppressed Shiite minority population which is primarily concentrated in the eastern oil rich region of Saudi Arabia. There is a big fear of a rising Shiite revolution across the region, and it had to be dealt with. The strongest Shiite force outside of Iran is Hizbollah. Therefore there is a great deal of necessity to crush any 'independent' shiite force. Robin Write of the Washington Post actually wrote about this the other day, which is as far as I know the only mention of this in the mainstream media. On Democracy Now (radio/webcast) Chris Hedges and CSU professor AS’AD ABUKHALIL discussed it, with Abukhalil stating "The Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Kuwaitis, as well as the Saudis, primarily the Saudis, are participating in this campaign in order to disarm and weaken Hezbollah." I dont doubt this is most likely the truth. THe governments of each of these states must of course publically denounce Israel but behind the scenes there is likely support.
In the meantime I think the strikes are horrible because it is destroying civilian infrastructure all over Lebanon and massacring civilians left and right. I certainly agree with the Israeli's that Hizbollah should be disarmed, nobody wants an Iranian funded terrorist group at their doorstep, but I dont think this is the right way. Instead they are probably vastly strengthening Hizbollah's popular base by agitating the Shiite civilian population into further Israeli hatred. When an American made Israeli missile hits a building killing your wife and kids, you get angry. I think this is just a bad continuation of the cycle of violence.
I'll talk about Gaza later, im tired now
Now for the non-news segment:
I was watching the remake of "The Parent Trap" the other day and I suddenly realized, with the war in Iraq, the war with Lebanon and Israel, the collapse in the I-90 connecter tunnel, Bush vetoing stem cell research, North korea, somalia, THE BLOODY G-8 SUMMIT! I realized our nation is in pain, like we were in the 1960's with all the chaos then. And in a time of pain, there is only one person you can turn to:
"Where have you gone Lindsay Lohan, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you (woo woo wooo) whats that you say Mrs Robinson, Little Lindsay left and gone away, hey hey hey.....hey hey hey....."
I recently was able to interview Lindsay as we chatted
Kevin: Lindsay, welcome.
Lindsay: Thanks its in honor!
Kevin: So tell me about your latest movie
Lindsay: Um.....hahah! I like bubbles
Kevin: Me too! So what do you think of my blog
Lindsay: I mean you are just so smart and I think you are going to probably be president some day. I read your blog everyday and I tell all my Hollywood friends about it, its the cool thing to do now in Hollywood! We blow some yak and read your blog.Except that bitch Paris!
Kevin: Whats the deal with you and Paris anyway, she and her friend kept calling you firecrotch. Is it true?
Lindsay: Is what true?
Kevin: Does the carpet match the curtains...
Lindsay: Oh, haha! No, Ive been bulemic so long I've lost all my hair, this red bush on my head right now is a wig. Want to see?
Kevin: No, no thank you. Thats all, thanks Lindsay!
Lindsay: Keep on rockin America!
Posted by Kevin Maley at 6:24 AM