The Washington Post’s Anthony Shadid writes that Hizbullah (as we seem to be spelling Hezbollah these days) attacked Israel to make Israel treat Lebanon as though Hizbullah were running Lebanon, and hope that the appearance will eventually become the reality (that’s what Ezra Klein’s take is, anyway). And Hizbullah isn’t the government there, despite what people think. It’s a force, yeah, it’s there, like the IRA and Sinn Fein are/were in Northern Ireland, and needed to be reckoned with, even though they derived a lot of their support from places like, well, Boston.
It’s not as though most Lebanese really want Hizbullah or the Syrians running the show. They like it when Hizbullah does good stuff for them, and they aren’t exactly fans of the state of Israel, but mostly they want peace; they mostly want to get on with their farming and cafe-running and cedar-growing. This blockade put a real damper on the tourist season– great beaches and historical sites, a vibrant pop music scene…
My friend working with the UN for the summer is looking at an evacuation to Jordan, or possibly to the West via Cyprus, but it’s not clear how it’s going to happen.
The important thing is that the bombings have not let up on either side of the border, that people are spilling blood that doesn’t need to be spilled.
It makes me pine for cheerier subjects like global warming, coal, and slavery.