Tuesday, August 08, 2006

We're gonna pay for this

Professor Juan Cole say this today in lengthy and well, informed comment. Read the whole thing.
Hizbullah is a poor people's movement. It could have been moderated over time, and its adherents could have been pulled into more moderate, mainstream politics if the world had devoted itself to seeing that the Lebanese economy flourished and its government was gradually strengthened. That was the achievement of the Lebanese and regional political elite in the 1990s. If the Israelis had not aggressively occupied the Lebanese South, there would have been no Hizbullah. If the Israelis had left ten years earlier, Hizbullah would have disarmed when all the other militias did. Hizbullah could have been nurtured out of existence if Lebanon had been helped.

Now, extremism has been strengthened. Lebanon is abject, on its knees, stricken with a plague inflicted on it by Bush and Olmert. The abject, the humiliated, the impoverished do not, as Bush and Olmert fondly imagine to themselves, lie down and let the mighty walk over them. They blow up skyscrapers.

The idea that the whole Eastern Mediterranean had to be polluted, that the Christian Lebanese economy had to be destroyed for the next decade or two, that 900,000 persons had to be rendered homeless, that a whole country had to be pounded into rubble because some Lebanese Shiites voted for Hizbullah in the last election, putting 12 in parliament, is obscene. Bush's glib ignorance is destroying our world. Our children will suffer for it, and perhaps our grandchildren after them.

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