2006/07/31

"Let me be serious now ": Zbig has some things to say

"Let me be serious now because this is a serious time that calls for serious reflection,"says Zbigniew Brzezinski in an address in Washington, .
I hate to say this but I will say it. I think what the Israelis are doing today for example in Lebanon is in effect, in effect--maybe not in intent--the killing of hostages. The killing of hostages. Because when you kill 300 people, 400 people, who have nothing to do with the provocations Hezbollah staged, but you do it in effect deliberately by being indifferent to the scale of collateral damage, you’re killing hostages in the hope of intimidating those that you want to intimidate. And more likely than not you will not intimidate them. You’ll simply outrage them and make them into permanent enemies with the number of such enemies increasing.

2 comments:

Bill Wheaton said...

What Israel is doing is morally inexcusable, and stupid (because it won't work and only makes things worse), but in the name of compassion we ought to remember that they must be simply terrified, even if they do not consciously recognize it, and are doing everything they can to deny real awareness of their plight. They feel they must win a big victory over Hizbollah, as a matter of survival, and indeed they may spill enough blood to call it that and gain a little more time, but they are only delaying the awful day of reckoning.

And honestly, it is not clear that at any time in the past forty years there was any way they could have won through to a decent peace, given the nature of some of the opposition. I'll grant that they could have done better than they have, made a better shot at it, but there is not much assurance that anything would have been enough. The US, if we had had an attack of Marshall-Plan generosity and foresight, could possibly have made the difference, but such things are few and far between in the real world of politics and national selfishness. Alas for us all.

Surely the Jews have suffered enough over the past millenium to be goaded into the madness that seemingly now infects them.

Bill Wheaton

gef said...

Thanks, Bill. I feel much the same as you. But it's clear to me that this aerial campaign (which failed and now is being supplemented by a ground campaign) was the most reckless and foolish of the options open to the Israelis. As Uri Avnery (himself an Israeli army vet) has argued, the military brass deluded themselves and the inexperienced Olmert and Peretz into thinking this would be a quick war, and that Hezbollah could be decapitated. If Papes (op ed in today's NYT) is right about Hezbollah's constituency & organizationm, this military campaign is just making them stronger.