All the Middle East's a stageThe kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers by the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah, has set into motion dreadful and appalling consequences for the people of the Middle East. The region is now fast becoming a worldwide stage-show, a theater where militarised public relations stunts are now pretty much the norm.
William Shakespeare once wrote that; "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players". All sides and players in this conflict seem to be playing to the gallery, or in other words, all sides are hell-bent on provoking reactions that are guaranteed to get the most amount of international coverage and media headlines. Take for example Hezbollah's threat to engage in a 'all-out-war', but, the reality is rather different, wildly firing rockets in the general direction of Israel and snatching a couple of squaddies does not really amount to much, let alone all out war. In Clausewitzian terms, Hezbollah and Hamas are engaging not in an 'all-out-war', but more a militarised PR stunts.
The same can be said for Israeli military strategy at present. For example, the bombing of Beirut airport and bridges are simply symbolic gestures on the part of Israel. These bombings will not end Hezbollah attacks in southern Lebanon, so what was the point? With Israel becoming more, and more isolated throughout the world than ever before, Israel finds itself under emence pressure to demonstrate it's continuing authority. However, these demonstrations of Israeli might have unforeseen consequencies for Israel, and for the rest of the Middle East.
The danger now, is that the Middle East is heading towards a process of 'Balkanisation' as pointed out by Mick Hume;
"Things are unravelling across the Middle East, raising the danger of an increased Balkanisation of the region as states fall apart. It is not that the conflict is worse than in the past; the military exchanges have been pale shadows of the wars and invasions of 1948, 1956, 1967, 1973 or even 1982. But from America downwards, none of the political players involved today is capable of getting a grip on events."
All of the political players in this current cycle of bombing and counter bombing are being swept away by events - there seems to be no end game in sight - but, if there's one thing I know, is that the solution to all of this military mess rests solely with the peoples of the Middle East, and no one else. Not the UN, the EU, the G8 or NGO's, they all just need to keep their dirty meddling hands off.