(Caution: long post)
The war between Hezbollah/Lebanon and Israel I wrote about on July 29 was aborted. The enemy claims they won and Israel lost. In a sense, they are right: without finding the kidnapped soldiers, Israel agreed to a cease-fire and so used the simplest and most reliable way to lose - left the battlefield. Has Israel caught from old Europe the virus of unwillingness to survive?
However, it would be wrong to blame Israeli leadership alone. I cannot imagine the war led logically, i.e. spreading to Hezbollah sponsors Iran and maybe Syria, without the help of the USA. And instead of helping, the Americans were pressing Israel to step back. Somebody rightly described Bush as "all talk, no walk".
Of course it was just a stage in the ongoing global war and, as such, it produced some benefits: revealed the arsenal and capabilities of Hezbollah, the attitudes of key world players and the so-called world opinion (about the latter and how much it costs, read a good essay at http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=23635). However, this knowledge will be useful only if somebody really intends to resume the fight.
As for the Lebanese, it seems that what sympathy I had for them was largely undeserved and the support for Hezbollah actually is much stronger than I thought. I'm translating information by Netinfo: "The (Lebanese) government hasn't even considered disarming Hezbollah, which is one of the basic requirements in the UN Security Council cease-fire resolution... The pro-Syrian president Emil Lahud said it would be a shame to insist for disarming the national resistance (Hezbollah), the only force in the Arab world that stood against Israel..." (http://news.netinfo.bg/?tid=40&oid=923890).
Hezbollah ringleader Hassan Nasrallah became a hero of the Muslim world because of his successes in kidnapping soldiers and shelling Israeli cities and villages. These same Muslims who hail a thug for deliberate killings of civilians are angry when we say they are bad people... I recently commented on Highlander's blog, "Can the Muslim world reach a deeper point in moral degradation? I cannot imagine, but let's wait and see, every time when I think this is impossible they manage to make another step downward. If the Devil exists and makes list of the souls who belong to him, I pity the poor fellow, he must already have arthritis from the too-intensive writing or typing."
Or possibly I'm too pessimistic. Perhaps, when things become much worse, the civilized world will awaken from its lethargy and take care of itself. And at least our media will stop working as enemy PR. Last night, I watched the TV show "Neudobnite (The Inconvenient)". It's broadcasted by cable TV Channel 3 and its host is one of the best known Bulgarian journalists, Margarita Mihneva. She had invited two Lebanese who offered plenty of anti-Israel talk and put photos of killed Lebanese children under our noses (as if the Israeli children killed on Friday are expected, like Jesus Christ, to be alive again on Sunday).
I liked just one of the questions asked by Mihneva: what the ordinary Lebanese think about Hezbollah. The Lebanese guests said that the lack of support of Lebanese to Hezbollah is US media disinformation, in fact all Hezbollah fighters are Lebanese and the population supports them. Unfortunately, Mihneva offered no comment and no further questions to clarify this important issue.
All the time Mihneva was saying that she will present the Jewish viewpoint as well. Only during the last minutes we heard a Bulgarian Jewish intellectual, Jacob Dzherasi. However, he was not in the studio, his voice was taped. And he was not discussing the current conflict but something completely unrelated - the architecture and history of a particular house at Oborishte street in Sofia! She used him just to wash her hands. So much about the honest representation of opposite viewpoints.
Finally, let me quote a different Arab voice, like a beam of light in a realm of darkness: Libyan reformist writer Dr. Muhammad Al-Huni and his article "The lexicon of resistance", presented by MEMRI (http://www.memri.org/bin/opener_latest.cgi?ID=SD125306#_edn1):
"The word 'resistance' has come to be constantly used in the killing fields known as the Middle East... When Shi'ites kill Sunnis and Sunnis kill Shi'ites in Iraq merely for their [sectarian] identity, it is called 'resistance.' When Janjaweed gangs murder unarmed civilians in Darfour, it is called 'resistance.' When year after year, Hamas and Islamic Jihad extinguish any spark of peace which can end the suffering of the Palestinian people, it is called 'resistance.' When Hizbullah takes an entire people hostage and refuses to obey the elected [authorities], dragging Lebanon into destruction, it is called 'resistance.' The war which is being waged by the new global terrorism under the command of bin Laden, Al-Zawahiri and Al-Zarqawi is called 'resistance'... What is common to these types of resistance is that they all present themselves as 'Islamic'... The project of these resistance [groups] has had its day in the Arab world. It made the most noise and the most bloodshed, and therefore its dreadful collapse is highly imminent. They betted on a wild horse, and have left not a single seed that can sprout, nor a single bud that can open. They are the murderers of the future, and therefore they have no future."
Read the whole text, it's worth it. I hope Highlander will see it, too, because it's by her fellow countryman not very likely to be published in Jamahiriya or any other Libyan newspaper. I hope his prognosis will come true.