Tyre in peacetime
Today's headline from the BBC:
Israeli forces have been bombing targets in Lebanon for an eighth day, with at least 40 civilian deaths reported in the south and east.
Residents said an air strike killed 20 people in the southern village of Srifa, near Tyre. Police said at least 20 people died in other air raids.
Israel attacked Lebanon after Hezbollah fighters captured two soldiers in a cross-border raid last Wednesday.
At least 270 Lebanese - mostly civilians - have died in the conflict. Twenty-five Israelis have died, including 13 civilians killed by Hezbollah rocket attacks.
Another 40 civilian deaths.
How can anyone think that killing civilians.. people like you and me - is going to make anything better or make yourself be stronger? There are lots of words written about Isarel's right to defend itself and how bad the Hezbollah people are (backed according to Bush by Syria and according to Israel by Iran). Well, this all might be the case in the warped corrupted minds of so-called world leaders, but for the rest of us, we do not accept that killing civilains is the best way to go about meeting your political aims.
Aside from the fact that Israeli folklore is based upon a book showing centuries after centuries of strife and fighting with its neighbours, quite often at the request of their tribal deity, it seems to me not to make practical sense to weaken your neighbour in the way that Israel is now doing in Lebanon.
Surely, Israel has an interest in having a strong Lebanon, one with a strong commercial base, a populous middle class, well educated, efficient, modern and so on. Such a Lebanon is a democracy and is going to want to live in peace and not be bullied around by any of its neighbours.
Bombing the civil airport, the motorways, the bridges and so on of Lebanon, all of which have been rebuilt during the past few years after the disastrous civil war and Israeli occupation, is going to have completely the opposite effect. More good people will leave Lebanon, to find peaceful lives in places like Canada, London, Sydney and so on. The moneyed and well educated - the middle classes, to leave Lebanon in the hands of kleptomaniac leaders and down trodden poorer classes who may or may not be open to religious fanticism. And this will lead to exactly the opposite result of what would be good for Israel.
Of course, the US indulges Israel, as they too share that the-world-is-against-us-but-we-are-strong-so-we-can-show-them mentality. Amazing for a country with such obviously fine intellects that their political classes are so shamefully dumb.
I haven't quite manage to ascertain where Tony Blair has decided to position himself on this, but it is just another reminder of the disdain the US has for its main ally, that the US will not take any notice of what Britain has to say.
In the meantime, the world's condemnation of what is going on is left in the hands of non-commercial media and bloggers. Very sad.