Wednesday, July 19, 2006

All the Middle East's a stage

The 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.


At 10:47 PM, Anonymous Lucyp said...

It seems that the hands of approach has not been working. Someone needs to get involved or else the Israeli air force will continue slaughtering civilians and Hizbullah will continue blindly aiming missiles into Israel. Israel is very touchy about anyone condemning their actions, they seem to think they have a god given divine right to treat other nations and international voices via the UN with contempt. The dissenting voices are making themselevs heard above the deafening silence from the US and UK concerning Israel, world leaders need to pile on the pressure and stop the conflict and then sort out the underlying causes of these conflicts by moving Israel back to the 1967 boundaries, helping the Lebanon government to disarm Hizbullah and securing boundaries for Palestine and Israel.

At 4:24 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Courtney nice new looks. Thanks for your comment! I have found out what "Nassralloway" pimp of Tower Hamlets said on the London Peace march and could not believe it. Check for links via my blog!

At 11:33 PM, Blogger Roland Dodds said...

Yes, I like the new look of your blog, and thanks for the heads up concerning the Aussie article.

I think you make some good points about the current conflict in Lebanon. I am an unabashed supporter of Israel, and I do support them in entering an area to stop the shelling of their country by Hezbollah. But I do think a number of their military targets are symbolic gestures of power made to have others back down, and will not further their goals of safety in the short or long run. It will slow terrorist attacks into their country, until the Lebanese government gains control of the entire nation.
I am hoping the Lebanese and Israeli governments can find some way to sign a truce that will further both of their aims…

At 7:13 PM, Blogger nyomythus said...

These bombings will not end Hezbollah attacks in southern Lebanon, so what was the point?

The obvious rationale would be that they are destroying supply routes from Iran/Syria -- so what? It's a very good strategy.

At 7:19 PM, Blogger Courtney Hamilton said...

"The obvious rationale would be that they are destroying supply routes from Iran/Syria -- so what? It's a very good strategy."

The only problem I saw with this particular strategy was, even if the goal was to halt supply routes to southern Lebonon, bombing Beirut International airport would not accomplish that goal. So what was the point? The point that Israel was making, was purley symbolic.

Israel could turn the whole of southern Lebonon into a sheet of dark glass if it wanted to - so, would that be a 'very good strategy'?

All the best.



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