Saturday, July 15, 2006

How it started.

If the start of the most recent Israeli-Lebanese war turns out to be the beginnings of the end of the world, it will be good to know how and why it started. We know that two Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by the loathsome Hezbollah, and that Israel has responded by bombing every square inch of Lebanese infrastructure in an attempt to get them back.

But why?

Already, conservative consensus is (naturally) forming around Syria and Iran as the grand puppeteers pulling all of these strings. Be sure that this consensus will likely be used in any future wars against those two nations (and with Bush in charge, there will be a war against one of those two nations).

But were they really responsible?

Mark Perry runs an organization that promotes dialogue between former Senior American and British foreign affairs officials and Hezbollah. He's someone who is likely to know, in other words, how this started. And he has the the following to say:

We’ve been hearing the theory that the timing of Hezbollah’s Tuesday kidnapping of the two Israeli Defense Force soldiers was planned well in advance and with coordination from Tehran or Damascus. Can you speak to that?

Oy vey. There are a lot of people in Washington trying to walk that story back right now, because it’s not true.

Hezbollah and Israel stand along this border every day observing each other through binoculars and waiting for an opportunity to kill each other. They are at war. They have been for 25 years, no one ever declared a cease-fire between them. … They stand on the border every day and just wait for an opportunity. And on Tuesday morning there were two Humvees full of Israeli soldiers, not under observation from the Israeli side, not under covering fire, sitting out there all alone. The Hezbollah militia commander just couldn’t believe it -- so he went and got them.

The Israeli captain in charge of that unit knew he had really screwed up, so he sent an armored personnel carrier to go get them in hot pursuit, and Hezbollah led them right through a minefield.

Now if you’re sitting in Tehran or Damascus or Beirut, and you are part of the terrorist Politburo so to speak, you have a choice. With your head sunk in your hands, thinking "Oh my God," you can either give [the kidnapped soldiers] back and say "Oops, sorry, wrong time" or you can say, "Hey, this is war."

It is absolutely ridiculous to believe that the Hezbollah commander on the ground said Tuesday morning, "Go get two Israeli soldiers, would you please?”

But, you make it sound like a dog with a squirrel, like there’s no free will. Like the temptation for Hezbollah to kidnap the Israeli soldiers because there was an opportunity suddenly on Tuesday was somehow irresistible. Why did they have to go get them?

They are at war. Israel says they want to go get and destroy Hezbollah every day. Israel occupied their country for how many years?

Just read the whole interview.

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