After the Cedar Revolution, the Lebanese managed to eject Syria from their nest, but Hezbollah was allowed to stay, whether out of fear or sympathy or some combination of both. The Lebanese were supposed to disarm Hezbollah, but the "Party of God," supported by Iran's Islamic theocracy and Syria's regime, has become a lethally armed "state within a state." Hezbollah is not only responsible for terrorist attacks against Israelis; Americans have died at theirs hands too, most notably the 1983 Beirut attack in which 241 U.S. Marines were killed. There should be no doubt who is the enemy here.
But some Lebanese officials have been more conciliatory toward Hezbollah. Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora has expressed sympathy with Hezbollah claims against Israel. Lebanese President Emile Lahoud formally thanked Iran for its support during the Israeli attacks, knowing that Hezbollah is using missiles made in Iran. And though its been reported that the Lebanese army is too weak to take on Hezbollah, this report says the Lebanese army may join forces with the "Party of God" to take on Israel.
As criticism of Israel rises with the Lebanese deathtoll, it is paramount to remember: Hezbollah initiated this war by crossing Israel's border from Lebanon to kill eight Israeli soldiers and kidnap two. Hezbollah then returned to take refuge in Lebanon where the terrorist group enjoys a safe haven behind Lebanese human shields. The civilian casualties in Lebanon will continue to rise so long as Lebanon continues to harbor Hezbollah. Every single Lebanese victim should be laid at the feet of Hezbollah and any Lebanese who have supported Hezbollah's home in Lebanon.
UPDATE I -- July 21: At Level Ground notes the good news of those rallying behind Israel.
UPDATE II: From the Ayn Rand Institute: The Indispensable Condition of Peace by Onkar Gate.
To achieve peace in the Middle East, as in any region, there is a necessary principle that every party must learn: the initiation of force is evil. And the indispensable means of teaching it is to ensure that the initiating side is defeated and punished. Decisive retaliatory force must be wielded against the aggressor. So long as one side has reason to think it will benefit from initiating force against its neighbors, war must result. Yet this is precisely what America's immoral foreign policy gives the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and Hezbollah reason to think.
Israel is a free country, which recognizes the rights of its citizens, whatever their race or religion, and which prospers through business and trade. It has no use for war and no interest in conquest. But for years, Arafat and the Palestinian authorities, with the aid of Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and other states, sought not to learn the conditions of freedom, but to annihilate the only free nation in their midst: Israel. Did the United States demand that the Palestinian leadership be destroyed?
No. Clinton invited Arafat to dine at the White House and Bush declared that peace requires Israel to give in to its aggressor's insistence on a state.
UPDATE III: Rich Chandler comments on some CNN coverage: Poor Hezbollah!.
UPDATE IV: Regime Change Iran has an article on the Lebanese perspective: The Lebanese really blame Hezbollah by Michael Young.
The Lebanese people have watched as Hezbollah has built up a heavily armed state-within-a-state that has now carried the country into a devastating conflict it cannot win and many are fed up. Sunni Muslims, Christians and the Druze have no desire to pay for the martial vanity of the Hezbollah leader, Hassan Nasrallah. Nor will they take kindly to his transforming the devastation into a political victory.
Some even welcome Israel’s intervention. As one Lebanese politician said to me in private (but would never dare say in public) Israel must not stop now. It sounds cynical, he said, but ‘for things to get better in Lebanon, Nasrallah must be weakened further’.
Even some Shiites are beginning to have doubts about Nasrallah. If interviewed on television they will praise Hezbollah, but when the cameras are off, there are those who will suddenly become more critical. Many have had to flee, leaving behind their homes and possessions with no hope of recovering anything of any worth.
UPDATE V -- July 23: Via Little Green Footballs:
BBC Admits Many Lebanese Casualties are Terrorists
Hizbullah's Filthy Methods
Posted by Forkum at July 20, 2006 04:56 PM