Hezbollah & Lebanon

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been silent here on the happenings in the Middle East right now. His mind has been focusing on the situation to the extent that his life is allowing that to happen. First off, your Maximum Leader is a staunch supporter of Israel. He supports their military actions against Hamas and Hezbollah. He feels that their reaction is “proportionate” - whatever that means. He can tell you one thing for sure, Israel is acting with more restraint than would your Maximum Leader.

So what happens now? Israel has said that they will stop acting in self-defence when they are not being attacked. This seems like a perfectly reasonable stance to adopt. It is unfortunate that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas are rational actors on the international scene. It is unfortunate for Israel that Hezbollah & Hamas are so intractable. You can’t very well negotiate with someone who can’t get past the idea that they want you dead. And it is unfortunate that the people of Lebanon, many of whom are not supporters of Hezbollah, are suffering as a result of their own weakness.

Lebanon, long the minion of a strong Syria, has only recently started to cast off Syrian authority. The “central” government in Beirut doesn’t control the south of the country. The south where Hezbollah reigns. Your Maximum Leader agrees with the Israeli UN Ambassador when he said words to the effect of Israel will liberate southern Lebanon from Hezbollah - and that will be a boon for all Lebanese.

Which brings your Maximum Leader to the one vexing point he can’t seem to get past. Many bloggers, the Israeli government, and others say that Hezbollah must be destroyed. How exactly is that accomplished? This is the vexing problem. Your Maximum Leader supposes that there is the undefined term “destroyed” out there. Well… Perhaps not undefined; more accurately “destroyed” in this case is ambiguous. Does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah will be organizationally dismantled in Lebanon to the point where it is no longer a viable political/military force? That is an achievable goals in this conflict. But does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah is largely demolished at all levels and moves underground as small cells of terrorist operatives living in far-flung areas of the world? That too may be an achievable goal. But does “destroyed” mean that Hezbollah is wiped from the face of the earth? Well… That isn’t going to happen.

For the most part your Maximum Leader believes that the goal of Israel, after getting back their soliders, is to drive Hezbollah out of southern Lebanon and cause Hezbollah to no longer be an effective political/military force in that country.

Unfortunately, that is about the extent of what your Maximum Leader thinks Israel can do. At some level Hezbollah still has support among many people in the region. Your Maximum Leader recognizes that their support is limited as they are backed by Shia and Shia sects. They are ot of the predominant vein of Islam for that geographic region. But they still have support.

So long as Hezbollah has people (and a government in Iran) that support them, they will continue to exist in some form. Now we are back at your Maximum Leader’s vexation. What is destroyed? It is unclear. The next step of vexation is how do you destroy them? We see on the news what is going on every day. That is one element. One suspects that Israeli special forces are on the ground and terminating with extreme prejudice. That is a second element. But what is being done to dismantle the support structure that keeps Hezbollah going? To be specific your Maximum Leader is asking what is being done to attack those who feed, shelter, and nurse those Hezbollah terrorists? That is where the real problem is.

Carry on.

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